Friday Fives: Our Director of Channel Sales on Millennial Advantages, Future Buzzwords, and Why He’s An Expert at Programmatic Sales

Not many of us can say that we have been in programmatic since the beginning. Since graduating college, James Forrester, our Director of Channel Sales has worked in a number of sales positions and built up his knowledge of programmatic. For this edition of Friday Fives, James explains how being a millenial has its advantages in ad tech, the best part about his job, and why he’s an “expert” with programmatic sales.

What do you think is the ultimate problem in ad tech that needs to be solved?
I think one of the biggest problems in ad tech is the lack of training. As our industry grows, things get progressively more complicated. Fortunately there are more resources than ever to solve this. Organizations such as The Trade Desk have created modules which set the foundations for programmatic. I’m excited to see educational opportunities grow and knowledge instilled in the new talent that enters into our workforce.

As a millennial in ad tech, what advantages do you think you have?
I started working in ad tech in 2014. During this time veteran industry leaders were calling for the demise of ad tech, and a return to the “glory days.” While I was never a member of the “glory days,” I saw myself as a sponge seeking growth. My advantage was that I was able to learn and study programmatic at its infancy. This has afforded me the opportunity to grow within the space and attain sought-after skills.

Fast forward to 2020, what will be the buzzword/hot topic within ad tech?
I think we will continue to hear a lot about artificial intelligence, virtual reality; and the convergence of programmatic in television, radio, and out-of-home advertising. As digital industry continues to make improvements and forge forward with programmatic, I am confident we will take our learnings and apply best practices to these other mediums. Our mobile devices are also evolving. As consumers’ attention move to these type experiences it is only a natural progression of advertising to figure out how to best monetize.

What is the best part about your job?
The best part of my job is most certainly the amazing people I get to work with every day. Some of the most interesting and driven folks I have met are ones here in ad tech. I think the combination of the historically casual dress code, the blend of creative and data professionals has led to the creation of a new economy which I’m happy to be apart of.

Do you consider yourself an expert at anything? If so, what?
An old adage is said that one becomes an expert at something after spending 10,000 hours or more on it. With that notion in mind I am an expert at 2 things -sleep and programmatic media sales, assuming four years in the industry and 2,500 hours a year at work.