Presto, Programmatic Player Chango Taps Microsoft Vet To Accelerate Sales

KeithLorizioChango’s new CRO, Keith Lorizio, has an ad tech CV as long as your arm – but it was only a short while ago that he became a convert to the gospel of programmatic.

“I wasn’t a fan of programmatic about three years ago back when I was a rep with a big publisher working on things like MSN and Xbox,” said Lorizio, who most recently held a post as VP of US sales at Microsoft (he left in February).

Before that gig he built the Yahoo mid-market sales team from scratch, growing revenue to about $350 million, and before that Lorizio spent time as VP of the East Coast and inside sales at early search engine AltaVista.

“Back then, the ability to buy inventory at cheaper rates felt like it would only hurt overall revenue – but now it’s a totally different world,” Lorizio said. “Programmatic isn’t just about buying inventory. … It’s about procuring that inventory at the right price and generating better results.”

Founded in 2008, Chango’s technology uses intent data to help advertisers build more timely campaigns. Its client list includes Clorox, eBay, Sears, Sprint and Toyota.

The Chango sales team now stands at a little less than 40 people, and Lorizio has been given license to roughly double that in the next six months.

AdExchanger caught up with Lorizio.

AdExchanger: Tell me about Chango’s technology.

KEITH LORIZIO: We’ve built a programmatic product that is both a DSP [demand-side platform] and a DMP [data management platform], which enables us to not only instantly buy inventory, but to also match it with the best profiles out there in the marketplace. With the advances in ad tech over the last couple of years in the programmatic space, we see it as much more than just for the ROI- and performance-based advertisers out there, which was the case at one point in time.

What’s your plan for the Chango sales team?

At both Yahoo and AltaVista I was able to build my own sales force. There’s a strong team in place here at Chango, but there’s also the opportunity for hypergrowth. Until now, Chango has been focused on its data scientists and the platform itself, and at this point, the product is ahead of the sales organization. We’ll definitely be looking to speak to agencies and Fortune 500 clients.

How do advertisers view programmatic?

Programmatic definitely had a less than favorable image in the past. There was the perception that it was about cheaper inventory or just for people looking for performance-based numbers rather than providing lifetime customer value. In the past, programmatic was also more likely to have a separate budget, but I view all budgets becoming one. The branded budget, the programmatic budget, search, retargeting – there’s no need to separate them out. We can reach across those budgets now to provide experiences. 

What did you learn from Microsoft?

For one, I was responsible for the entire P&L, so it was about doing a lot more than just running a sales organization. I also learned patience. Microsoft is an incredibly large organization, so I learned how to politic in a better fashion and how to get things done in what could be a very difficult culture.

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