Recruiting and Retaining The Best Talent in Programmatic Media
A common challenge in any new and growing field is attracting and retaining talented, qualified employees. This is no different in Programmatic Media. The industry itself is only a decade old (the first Demand Side Platforms gained prominence around 2008/2009), which means that there are even only a handful of individuals across the country that have 5+ years of experience, much less meet the standard that we have set forth at PMG. Couple that with the technical, data, and strategic requirements of the job when running a true programmatic trading operation and you have an incredibly challenging mission when building a team.
“Retaining talent requires an intense focus on a few key areas.”
Retaining talent requires an intense focus on a few key areas. First, you have to have a strong commitment to training, certification, and ongoing learning. At PMG, not only do we require many different types of certification, but we have weekly training sessions where we review things we have learned, including best practices and tips for how to be a better trader. We also work closely with our technology partners to stay up to speed on the best approaches for running programmatic media campaigns, ensuring that we are trained on how to fully take advantage of all of the advancements in technology while being able to speak to the work we do in a concise yet authoritative manner.
Second, you have to create a culture of constant learning, evolution, and excellence. Because the programmatic world changes rapidly with new forms of targeting, technology, and channels — not to mention ongoing data and privacy challenges — it’s increasingly important for us to continually evolve our knowledge set or risk being left behind. Creating an environment where there is a constant thirst for learning not only allows us to be one step ahead of changes that impact our client’s business, but also creates an excitement around the work we do. When your job is never the same and what you do changes every day, it keeps your team interested and engaged. And frankly, if we continue to do the same types of things we were doing six months ago, we wouldn’t be bringing the best solutions to our customers.
Create a culture of constant learning, evolution, and excellence.
Lastly, we place a lot of importance on sending our team to conferences, having them participate in industry events, and getting them as much exposure with our clients and partners as possible. Pushing the team beyond the scope of their day-to-day trading lives allows them to build a more well-rounded repertoire of skills, as well as rewarding them with the perks that come along with involvement in industry happenings. We’ve found that by removing any sort of hierarchical constraints on team, industry, or client meeting participation, we foster a new level of engagement and satisfaction with being apart of our programmatic practice.
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Although the challenge of keeping and growing talent is not exclusive to PMG or the programmatic agency and ad tech ecosystem, we’ve found that by creating a core structure around learning, excellence, and participation while breaking down traditional hierarchical silos creates a framework for keeping our practice one step ahead of the curve while also keeping our team members happy and engaged.