MarTech Interview with Ezra Doty, CEO and Co-Founder at Quorum

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MarTech Interview with Ezra Doty, CEO & Co-Founder, Quorum

“Machine Learning takes the heavy lifting out of optimization, increasing effectiveness and reducing manual labor costs.”

Tell us about your role and journey into Technology. What inspired you to start at Quorum?

My entire career has revolved around Media and AdTech, and I’ve seen several stages of evolution in the industry. As AdTech has become more sophisticated, I noticed that Out of Home physical advertising was booming, and simultaneously mobile location data has become more abundant and more accurate. It made me think a lot about how the Physical and Digital Advertising worlds could be integrated, which was the inspiration for Quorum.

What is Quorum and how does it fit into a modern Advertising Technology stack?

We are the glue that allows outdoor, mobile and Facebook Advertising to work in synchronization. More simply put, we build lists of consumers who have been exposed to billboards and we load those lists into media buying systems, like DPS’s and Facebook. The result is a coordinated multi-channel experience between those touchpoints from the consumer’s perspective, and in turn, it produces greater Advertising effectiveness and on a variety of levels.

Analytics is another important part of our technology stack. Bringing location data into the attribution mix adds a whole new level of insight as well. In addition to seeing conversion rates in terms of retail foot traffic, you can learn a lot about the effectiveness of your physical media from the way people respond to the synchronized mobile ads.

Which businesses are fastest to the adoption of AdTech and Analytics platforms? How does it impact Branding and Marketing operations?

Historically, digital marketers have resided on the cutting edge and have been early adopters. However, with the recent boom in Digital Out of Home advertising we’ve found that this industry is rapidly embracing new technology. The earlier forms of one-dimensional advertising are now learning to buy and sell media programmatically, solve attribution challenges, and leverage all sorts of concepts that were originally designed for the online world. It’s fascinating to see the collision of old and new AdTech; physical and digital campaigns.

Tell us the fine details of OOH and Programmatic platforms? How do these compete with traditional native advertising and TV formats?

Essentially we are making OOH, mobile and Facebook advertising better by working together. If you are currently spending in both of these places, we make sure that your message is delivered in “surround sound”. Instead of saturating a market with both billboards and Facebook advertising and hoping people see both, we make sure that this happens all of the time. As OOH becomes more quantifiable and easier to optimize it will be considered less in the light of ‘traditional media’, and more a part of the ‘always on’ digital media conversation with Google Ad Words and Facebook.

Which brands have managed to successfully transform their Digital Advertising campaigns using OOH and Programmatic?

Any advertiser that integrates mobile companion advertising into their OOH strategy automatically transforms their reach and impact. This is because they are taking a media format that is successful at getting attention in the physical world and layering it with another format that delivers direct response and measurement. The two compliment each other perfectly.

How do Location Data and Customer Data Platforms disrupt the Outdoor Advertising formats?

They totally change the game. When Quorum implements location data and customer data platforms into OOH, we’re adding transparency and control to a media format that hasn’t had that before.

What is the future of Digital and Live Advertising? How do you see AI ML shaping the industry?

Machine Learning takes the heavy lifting out of optimization, increasing effectiveness and reducing manual labor costs. In Quorum’s case, it’s used to identify conditions that are successful in physical advertising and recommend new physical placements that display similar favorable conditions.

Tell us about your technology integrations with other Technology platforms such as CRM, Contacts, Social Media, Automation, Contracts, Email and Customer Service.

We are integrated with a variety of raw location data feeds, demand-side platforms, a few different geographic/mapping technologies, Facebook, and Geopath’s physical OOH media planning system.

Which Marketing and Sales Automation tools and technologies do you currently use?

We use HubSpot right now, and our own products!

What startups in the technology industry are you watching keenly right now?

The Augmented Reality field is really interesting to me. I’m excited to see where this goes in 5 and 10 years. Also, while not a traditional technology, products developed by companies like Impossible Foods are also really interesting.

How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a Business Leader?

The world is changing fast and AI is disrupting (or will disrupt) a lot of business processes that have been in place and working just fine for years. Departing from the herd mentality and re-thinking processes that are still collectively viewed as ‘good enough’ isn’t always on the top of people’s list. I believe that while technology becomes smarter, the tools to manage it become simpler and it’s important to stay up to date to ensure you’re operating with the maximum efficiency and effectiveness, even if it means a learning curve now and again. The investment in staying current will pay off.

How do you inspire your people to work with technology?

There’s something energizing and magical about people realizing they can now do something that previously seemed difficult or impossible. It inspires people to find more obstacles to tackle and overcome. We’re always looking for that feeling and excitement in our work and I think it’s a big motivator.

One word that best describes how you work.

Happily. I love what I do.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

Microsoft Powerpoint. I use it for everything, presentations, wireframes, flow diagrams. I like to communicate visually and find this is the easiest way to express and share ideas.

What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?

Anything that requires creative or deep thinking I try to tackle early in the morning when I first wake up. Then use the afternoon for meetings, calls, and setting up my schedule for the next day.

What are you currently reading?

The Big Picture by Sean Carroll – listing to the audiobook version. That’s how I consume a lot of information, usually while driving. I like books about history also. Other than that I get a lot of information through my conversations with experts in whatever area is the area of interest – really that’s the most effective way to learn, for me anyway.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Do. Or do not, there is no try.

Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?

I don’t know if I do it better than others, but one big factor has been to take leaps of faith in executing new concepts. If you have a creative idea, my advice is to begin the work to materialize that idea before seeking any external feedback or validation. If it’s truly original most people won’t fully understand what you’re talking about (and therefore can’t possibly give constructive feedback) until there is something tangible to share. Then, as early as possible, shift your focus to only seek validation in terms of sales and the quality of customer relationships.

Thank you, Ezra! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.

Ezra has envisioned, built and commercialized several leading technology and advertising companies including: Think Realtime, acquired by (Cox Automotive), where he was General Manager of Advertising Operations, Sales, and Product development; Vevo, a Universal Music Group Company joint venture which is now the “Hulu” of music; Everyday Health, acquired by Ziff Davis; and Audience Science, the industry’s first integrated data, media and campaign management SaaS solution.

quorumoutdoor logo

Quorum is a new force in out-of-home advertising, bringing together multiple media channels, technologies and outdoor operators to help you better connect with consumers in motion.

Quorum provides advertisers Mobile Ad Retargeting following consumer engagements with OOH and store locations, OOH Performance Analytics, OOH Location and Creative Testing, and Predictive OOH Campaign Performance across all OOH operators and platforms.

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The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.

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