MarTech360 Interview With Tom Cheli, Chief Executive Officer at Frequence

“Be authentic. Many people think of sales and marketing as a performance, and hold back their true selves. People really value authenticity and relationships.”

Tom, can you tell us about your professional background and your current role at Frequence.

I started my career in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry, but in 1999 when the first tech bubble hit, I recognized how important tech was going to be. I dove into technology and helped build a company called Quinstreet. I wanted to do another startup after QuinStreet, so I went to a big data company called TellApart that got acquired. In my search for my next company, I met the founders of Frequence. I joined later that year, in 2014, and have been on this fantastic journey in media technology ever since.

Frequence was started with a passion to build technology and improve programmatic advertising for media companies and their local advertisers. We have evolved from our bootstrapped, humble beginnings to a company with over 350 employees servicing media companies in cable, broadcast radio and television, print and out-of-home.

We’ve evolved and improved our technology across functions, from sales automation to operational optimization. It’s like maturing through the course of a human life – a company matures as you replicate and scale your business. It’s an incredible evolution to be a part of.

What does Frequence do, and how does it differentiate itself from other companies in the same space?

Frequence is the only true proprietary technology platform that lets you create data-rich media proposals, automatically launch and optimize multi-tactic campaigns, and produce comprehensive reports all with an easy-to-use platform engineered to scale, grow, and evolve with your business. As a single platform with native systems and powerful capabilities, Frequence adapts to current workflows to increase automation and streamline operations. Digital media sales automation, planning, execution, reporting, optimization, etc. – they used to require a baffling array of point solutions. Frequence has made it seamless.

How does Frequence optimize display campaigns?

Effective display advertising reaches the audiences you want, in the best locations, anywhere on the open web. Targeting by geographic location, demographics, keywords, and interests—ensures that your display ads are reaching the right people.

At Frequence, there are several metrics that we use to measure the effectiveness of our partners’ display advertising campaigns, including click-through rates (CTR), conversion rates, and cost per acquisition (CPA). We optimize beyond the click, extending the understanding of campaign value and performance to include engagements, view throughs, and, ultimately, digital lift.

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How does Frequence empower brand marketers to sell local, omnichannel advertising at scale?

We enable our customers to move away from a list of point solutions to provide truly integrated marketing for their local advertisers. This has increased performance and transparency for their advertisers and allowed the media companies to scale and differentiate themselves.

For media companies looking to sell local, omnichannel advertising at scale, we’re the only ones who do it comprehensively. No other company understands selling, managing and reporting advertising better than Frequence. And we do all of it while empowering local-market media companies to sell more of their own owned-and-operated inventory, which is especially valuable.

What emerging trends can be anticipated in the future of local media advertising?

Technology has enabled massive amounts of new media creation. This has made it more complex for local advertisers to reach their target audience across channels like search, social, programmatic, linear and addressable video. Technology can help support the relationship between media sellers and local businesses, allowing media companies to profit by selling more and better advertising.

What notable achievements did Frequence experience last year that made it a banner year?

We’ve had a lot to celebrate over the past year. We received multiple industry awards, including the highly esteemed Best Sales Automation Platform award from Digiday in November. Additionally, we welcomed several important executives to our team, including a new Head of Sales. Our company grew significantly within the past year, with our global headcount increasing by almost 30%. Furthermore, we were also added to the influential LUMAScape, which is a map of the top brands in advertising and marketing technology.

 What advice would you give to other leaders which helped you personally?

Be authentic. Many people think of sales and marketing as a performance, and hold back their true selves. People really value authenticity and relationships.

What is the biggest problem you or your team is solving this year?

From a customer perspective we continue to evolve and advance our platform and product offerings to meet the ever-changing landscape of omnichannel advertising. The company is working hard to continue to scale and grow, helping local-market advertisers while developing our employees for the demands of a high-growth, fast-paced business.

Thanks, Tom!

Tom has held a number of high tech senior management roles in Silicon Valley over the past twenty years.  He is currently the CEO and on the Board of Directors of Frequence, the first and only end-to-end solution for media companies to automate and grow their local advertising sales. Prior to Frequence, Tom was the COO at Tellapart and the executive vice president at QuinStreet where he spent over 11 years and held various management positions driving growth for sales and operations.  He has also previously held executive positions at Collagen Aesthetics, Akorn and Merck.  Tom earned his BA in Sports Medicine & Biology from the University of the Pacific.

Frequence is the Future of Media – the only end-to-end platform for media companies to grow and automate their advertising sales and operations while integrating owned and operated media. Through its full-stack proposal, workflow and campaign-management software, Frequence drives revenue with best-in-class tools to sell, optimize and report omnichannel advertising campaigns.

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