MarTech360 Interview With Sheri Ham, VP Programmatic Partnerships and Sales, Intersection

“As DOOH and programmatic OOH have evolved, they’ve allowed us to engage with many more “digital-first” advertisers, and help get them bought in on the value of OOH.”

How did your career begin? What interested you most in OOH, programmatic? Has anything unique happened throughout your career?

My background is deeply rooted in digital advertising, developing teams and capabilities, and educating marketers on emerging channels. I began my career working with the digital team of WIRED Magazine, and my interest in programmatic followed. Prior to joining Intersection, I held leadership roles at Nativo, Diply and Glam.

The focus of my career for the last ten years has been building programmatic offerings across multiple publishers and expanding the adoption of the Nativo SSP.

When I joined Glam, we were in the early stages of implementing their first programmatic offerings by successfully leveraging an automated approach through open exchange. As we started to hear from our agency clients that they were developing programmatic teams and agency trading desks, I quickly pivoted to building the technical solutions and go-to-market strategies. There was terrific demand across Glam’s key verticals including beauty, style/fashion and food, and a strong desire to target influencer content.

While I was at Diply, a social publisher based in Canada, we were heavily reliant on the programmatic channel for our monetization strategy. As part of the US industry launch, during my time there I helped to significantly increase revenue by transitioning to an in-house tech and sales team, and expanded their partnerships pipeline for wider access to Diply’s massive scale.  

The transition to Nativo was an introduction to the native channel and the flexibility of leveraging a proprietary ad server to deliver native content across an extensive list of publishers. With the responsive look and feel of the ad unit on the publishers page, we were able to provide solid performance outcomes for our partners. 

These roles were instrumental in not only uncovering my passion for programmatic, but helping me to learn and then hone the skills that I have brought with me to Intersection.

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Tell us about your role within Intersection.

At Intersection, my top priority is to set the company’s programmatic strategy and oversee its execution and rollout, while also driving revenue growth for the company across its programmatic channel.

My responsibilities include establishing programmatic partnerships and products across digital media and ad tech which helps enable Intersection to grow its programmatic capabilities and further open digital buyers to Intersection’s suite of digital out of home (OOH) products across the country.

How has digital technology impacted the larger marketing and advertising landscape?

Digital technology has accelerated the opportunity for advertisers and brands to connect with potential consumers in real-time across multiple platforms. DOOH is the latest piece of the omnichannel puzzle, helping provide the expansion that’s needed within OOH.

In your eyes, how have OOH and DOOH advertising evolved in the last decade?

In the last ten years, we’ve made great strides to achieve parity with other digital channels. The continued emergence of technology connecting the digital and physical worlds has enabled advertisers and brands to reach and engage their audiences in more spaces than ever. As technology partners continue to enter DOOH, this will only provide advertisers with more abilities to execute omnichannel consumer centric brand strategies and deliver consistent brand messaging, targeting and measurement. As DOOH and programmatic OOH have evolved, they’ve allowed us to engage with many more “digital-first” advertisers, and help get them bought in on the value of OOH.

When compared to online marketing, what benefits does DOOH advertising offer?

DOOH has experienced rapid programmatic adoption In part to the flexibility programmatic affords and advances in campaign planning, execution and measurement. Over the last few years, we’ve seen that agencies have had shorter planning cycles, helping to turn them to  the flexibility that programmatic offers. In addition to flexibility, DOOH brings an advertisement into the physical world— to spaces where the ad can’t be skipped or blocked. Viewability is a huge positive for advertisers in DOOH.

How has digital video advertising evolved so far and what does its future in marketing look like?

Like most channels, DOOH is moving towards more engaging ad formats that move beyond static display assets. Many screens support video and dynamic executions including dynamic mapping, countdown functionality or weather triggers to engage the audience. Triggers can be leveraged to activate campaigns based on parameters set by the buyer. 

DOOH now provides brands the option to deliver engaging video assets across DOOH venues driving a deep engagement with the consumer. DOOH is also a great space to extend the reach of vertical video assets, typically created for social channels.

In what ways can programmatic DOOH help in creating measurable and highly-targeted campaigns?

As brands look to build consumer centric strategies with the goal to drive cohesive brand experiences across different channels, DOOH becomes an important component of engaging consumers anywhere, anytime driving business outcomes. Advances in targeting capabilities including audience and POI/Location targeting are now widely available as well as dayparting, geo targeting and POI radius targets – enabling brands to target retailer locations and sports venues as examples.

There is a perception that DOOH doesn’t have the ability to measure the effectiveness of an advertiser’s campaign. DOOH has advanced in providing measurement solutions and attribution including brand lift studies, foot traffic studies, script lift and shopper marketing. As a result, DOOH is no longer just a top of the funnel tactic.

Any advice for future advertising or marketing professionals?

The advertising landscape is vast. Find the areas that interest you and never stop learning. The beginning of my career was largely sales driven but with the emergence of programmatic, my interest shifted to enhance my technical proficiency and desire to understand automation and the programmatic ecosystem.

Thanks, Sheri!

Sheri Ham is the Vice President of Programmatic Partnerships and Sales with Intersection. Based out of Boston, Ham’s background is deeply rooted in digital advertising, developing teams and capabilities and educating marketers on emerging channels. She began her career with the digital team of WIRED Magazine, and her interest in programmatic quickly followed. Prior to joining Intersection, Ham held leadership roles at Nativo, Diply and Monster.

Intersection is an experience-driven Out of Home media and technology company that delivers programming, consumer amenities, and advertising to cities. From free internet access to wayfinding to real-time information, our products make city life easier and more sustainable. We further enrich cities with experiential programming that inspires and engages people throughout their day. With valuable, diverse audiences in America’s top cities, we provide innovative, data-driven solutions for brands to reach urbanites at scale.

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