New Nanigans COO Marc Grabowski Discusses Social Future

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nanigansYesterday, "Facebook Performance Advertising" company, Nanigans, announced the hiring of former Yahoo! sales executive Marc Grabowski as it's Chief Operating Officer. Given his sales and marketing responsibilities, Nanigans appears to be looking to grow its "feet on the street" and revenues as well as leverage Grabowski's experience in the data-driven display world. See the release.

AdExchanger spoke to Grabowski about his new role...

AdExchanger: Why did you decide to join Nanigans?

MARC GRABOWSKI: There are a few reasons. First, the amount of movement and spend in the social space right now is something I haven't seen for the last decade in media. People are spending more on social. It's a confusing landscape. People need a company to make sense of that.

Additionally, what I thought differentiated Nanigans from anyone else is their understanding of lifetime value ‑‑ how to interpret lifetime value for an advertiser and then find the right users to drive lifetime value for those advertisers. They were able to do it fluidly, and with a very easy‑to‑use interface.

You said the “last decade” - when was the last time you've seen something like this?

It reminds me of the inflection around Right Media when Right Media came up as an exchange and made sense of a lot of data and inventory, as well as connected buyers to sellers. Granted, Nanigans isn't a marketplace. Nanigans is plugging into a marketplace. But it's the same challenge with a tremendous amount of inventory, users and advertisers who are having trouble making sense of all of that.

What are some of the key learnings that you've had at Yahoo! That you'll bring to Nanigans?

There are a couple of things. The first is understanding the minutia of data sets and how to utilize those data sets to drive true value according to how the advertiser interprets value. The other big piece is the understanding of insights and analytics to help define who a customer is for an advertiser.

Advertisers are having challenges identifying their best prospects and when they need to reach them. It's more of a “prescriptive“ approach rather than “descriptive“ approach to analytics that I've experienced over the last few years.

What I mean by "prescriptive" is determining who that audience is before campaigns are launched instead of just defining who those audiences are after a campaign runs.

What are some of your key responsibilities now as COO?

The company, right now, is a very product‑driven and technology‑driven company. That was one of the real benefits to coming here. Part of what I'm going to be taking over includes the sales portion, the account management and client services portion, as well as marketing and various other functions. I'll be partnering very closely with CEO Ric [Calvillo], who I know you spoke with a few weeks ago, and help him oversee and manage the business side.

Finally, what would be a few success metrics in the future that you'll be looking at to grade yourself and determine that you've done a good job at Nanigans? Anything come to mind? –other than growing revenues.

The only success metric that matters is how well advertisers perform, how well our individual advertisers scale and reach those lifetime values. Beyond that, we have our internal metrics of ideas around growth and scaling. So, it’s the general ideas of scaling employees, scaling customers.

But the only thing that matters is making sure that advertisers hit those lifetime value metrics.

Follow Marc Grabowski (@MarcTGrabowski), Nanigans (@nanigans) and AdExchanger (@adexchanger) on Twitter.

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