Greg Coleman has experience leading Yahoo! global sales from 2001 – 2007, as president of The Huffington Post, and president of Criteo during the company’s $1.69 billion IPO.
Now chairman of the board at LoopMe, the AI-driven advertising platform, we caught up with Coleman to find out what a day in his life entails.
Please describe your job: What do you do?
Greg Coleman: I am chairman of the board at LoopMe – an AI-driven advertising platform. As chairman, I run the board and give strategic guidance to the CEO. In particular, my role is to help LoopMe become a household name in the US.
As well as my role with LoopMe, I am a board member of several other companies in the martech industry. I also lecture at NYU on “Digital Media Innovation”.
Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?
Greg Coleman:As chairman of the board, I don’t really report into anyone. But I have a very close relationship with LoopMe’s CEO, Stephen Upstone, to help move the company in the right direction.
What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
Greg Coleman:I think LoopMe brought me on board because of my experience of growing small companies into key players and big names within the AdTech industry. For instance, when I began working with Criteo, no one really knew who they were, and I helped eventually take them public in the US.
I think for a position such as mine, you need a very thorough and deep understanding of the broader industry and ecosystem, more so than any technical knowledge of the specific solutions. In particular, a wide and deep net of connections and experience across the industry is essential if you are to share effective strategic guidance with the CEO.
Tell us about a typical working day…
Greg Coleman:As I’m part of a few different boards and lecture at NYU, I have quite a broad range of activities I’m involved in. In this sense, I feel like a personal trainer in that I have to be very disciplined in how I allocate my time. Having said that, typically, I will go in for meetings in the LoopMe offices twice a week. Stephen splits his time between NYC and London, so I’ll often be chatting to him either at the offices or over a coffee.
What do you love about your job? What sucks?
Greg Coleman:I have spent my career in an external capacity, and I love that I have built the trust within the industry and community to such an extent that I can reach almost anyone, even when I don’t have a direct line of communication. Possessing a wealth of connections is a wonderful position to be in – and it is one of the key reasons why I think I am good at the job I do.
What sucks? Not much to be completely honest! I love what I do, and I do it on my own terms. But if I were to change one thing, I could do with a personal assistant to help me keep up with everything going on!
What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?
Greg Coleman:From my perspective, I want to grow LoopMe to become a prominent name within the adtech advertising industry in the US, and meet the huge potential that its technology clearly has. I am hoping that I can replicate a lot of the success I had at Criteo here at LoopMe.
LoopMe has developed a platform which provides clients with very specific KPIs and ROI in terms attribution and other brand metrics and, for me as a board member, the key performance indicator is the extent to which LoopMe is retaining clients. The key to success is making sure they come back again.
What are your favourite tools to help you get the job done?
Greg Coleman:My best tool to do a good job for LoopMe is something that has been honed and developed through my years in the industry – and that is the wealth of connections I have in the industry. Without this, I couldn’t do my job effectively.
How did you end up at LoopMe, and where might you go from here?
Greg Coleman:Before I make the decision to join any adtech company I do my homework and make sure they have something that is of genuine value for the industry and is a company that I know I can help take forward.
In adtech, there are a lot of companies who claim to have ground-breaking platforms…but they don’t. Having spoken to Stephen and taken advice from some of my contacts who had worked with LoopMe in the past, I knew that their platform was something to be excited about. I will continue to
help grow LoopMe until it reaches its status in the industry where it deserves to be.
Which advertising campaigns have impressed you lately?
Greg Coleman:While not a recent campaign, the one which stands out in my mind is the ‘Wassup’ Budweiser commercial of 1999. It was the perfect mix of understanding their key audience and catchy content – it went viral before going viral was even a thing.
Do you have any advice for marketers trying to rationalise their adtech?
Greg Coleman:Marketers today can get so clogged up with different adtech pitches and “solutions” that there is just no bandwidth to test them. If marketers could test the hundreds of solutions that are thrown their way, then they would have some idea of what works and what doesn’t. Everything is brilliant in principle, but you only really know how effective technology is when you use it for real.
My advice to marketers would be to build a testing lab and find the time to test different adtech. Only then will they know what’s the real deal.