As a people-first organization, we go the extra mile to provide our Vampers with the ability to grow through championing talent and remaining adaptable to individual needs. Our Transformation Series explores how our people have been able to thrive within their roles and transform both personally and professionally. In our second installment, we sit down with Melissa Marks to talk about her career growth and development at VideoAmp.
Tell us about yourself and about your original role at VideoAmp.
I started at VideoAmp two years ago as a Programmatic Manager, which eventually turned into our Campaign Management team. At the time, it was just myself and Jason Capunitan, and then we added Ashley Chang about two months later. We all helped to build the Campaign Management team to where it is today. It was after that when I heard they were building an Insights and Analytics team.
I was drawn to this new opportunity because it was something that I wasn't familiar with and could help grow my overall skill set. Moving to this position would help me grow in my career at VideoAmp, and once they hired Matt Weinman, I was able to fully transition into this new role. Kim Jones, the SVP of Client Success, played an integral part in helping me transition between positions, providing me with one-on-one guidance and support during this shift in responsibility. I really enjoyed this new position because I was constantly learning something new.
In what ways have you grown since making that career switch?
I've become much more confident in the work that I do, since I am the only one who runs TV Maximizer reporting. Having this responsibility has forced me to step up and come into my own, which has been really great for my professional confidence. I trust my instincts more now; I go with my gut. I don't second guess myself and it's empowered me to take control of my work and my career path.
How has the culture and environment at VideoAmp contributed to your career growth?
One of my favorite parts about VideoAmp is that I feel comfortable to communicate honestly with my managers. I remember when I was in my first role at VideoAmp, I told Kim that I wasn't feeling inspired to come to work each day and felt I had progressed as far as I could as a Campaign Manager. I felt as if I had reached my learning capacity in campaign management and I didn't see a future in this sector. I told her I wanted to expand my skill set and move towards analytics, even though I didn't have much experience in this area. But, what I did have was the opportunity to be honest and open with my manager without feeling anxious that she would take it the wrong way. It was comforting to hear that she supported my career growth at VideoAmp and we worked together to find a role that was more fulfilling for me.
Have any of the new skills that you've developed at VideoAmp transferred into your personal life at all?
Absolutely! My confidence has definitely transferred from professional to personal. I feel more comfortable being honest with the people I care about outside of work and going with my gut instincts.
What are your future goals for your career?
To continue to grow and learn. I transferred originally from Insights to Analytics, and then was able to move again into the Marketing Science department. This department has a completely different area of expertise, and VideoAmp has allowed me to grow and given me the opportunity to learn the different departments that drive the company's success. I definitely want to learn more about the technical side of analytics reporting, grow my presentation and analytical thinking skills, and to further understand how VideoAmp is providing value for our clients.
Melissa Marks, Sr. Manager, Marketing Science
Melissa Marks is an experienced Marketing Scientist who is passionate about delivering quantifiable value for her clients. Over the past 5 years she has worn many hats across various customer success focused organizations. She has had the opportunity to work with talented individuals at high growth, innovative tech companies and enjoys the fast pace of the ever-changing media industry.
As a people-first organization, we go the extra mile to provide our Vampers with the ability to grow through championing talent and remaining adaptable to individual needs. Our Transformation Interview Series explores how our people have been able to thrive within their roles and transform both personally and professionally. In this first installment, we sit down with Nicole DeRose to find out more about her journey at VideoAmp.
Tell us about your background before joining VideoAmp and your initial role with the company?
I started my career at a performance marketing agency, working on the digital media team. This agency gave me hands-on experience with programmatic, direct response type of buying. It was a great place to start my career and I wouldn't be where I am now without my agency background but I always knew I eventually wanted to go into sales and after 3 years, I was ready to make my next move!
That led me to my first sales role at a high impact, creative shop. In this role, I had little to no selling experience but I was hungry and passionate so they took a chance on me and for that, I will forever be grateful. After about six months, I was approached by a former colleague about an Account Executive position at VideoAmp, where I would be covering a massive holding company, one that VideoAmp had never touched before. The most exciting part was that I was able to start from the ground up to build a brand new book of business with only six months of sales experience. VideoAmp trusted me with taking on this huge book, and I dove in head-first.
How has your job evolved since you joined the company?
Originally, it was very time-intensive, and I was just one person managing a massive holding company along with a few other independent, smaller agencies. It was exciting when I started to see success after just a few first months of being on the job. Closing a large number of Fortune 500 clients was a thrilling experience as we distinguished ourselves above the competition every single day.
Describe a significant professional challenge that shows how you've helped grow the business and grow professionally?
Before the last three weeks of my first quarter at VideoAmp, I was stressed until I managed to secure a massive deal, which I had initially lost to a competitor. One of the reasons I think we won the business was because despite not getting the deal done initially, I continued to engage with the client and treat them in the same way as I had before. I was building a rapport with them, which ultimately led to us being given a second chance. Before, I had closed a few smaller deals, but nothing as big as this. It was then that I began to fully understand the importance of customer service.
I hit my goal in the first quarter, and that's the moment when I got the confidence to tell myself, "I'm going to crush this," which was thrilling and was a significant factor that led to being promoted to a Senior Account Executive position.
How did the management team at VideoAmp help you to grow from being an individual contributor to being a director of your own team?
After about ten months of being at VideoAmp, I was promoted from Account Executive to Senior Account Executive and realized the company wanted to build a team around me. Allison Felter, the current SVP of Account Sales, played a vital part in my growth. She challenged me and put me in positions where I was out of my comfort zone. Having a mentor who trusts you to make executive decisions and encourages you to throw yourself into any situation gave me the confidence to go out and meet with that VP or SVP. She gave me the confidence to go and crush those meetings on my own without relying on her.
The startup tech environment is challenging -- you need to be self-sufficient and be an individual contributor. But it's easier knowing that Alli is always going to be there to support me. Her ability to push me, trust me and put me in situations where she felt I would succeed ultimately allowed me to grow. Her confidence in me gave me the confidence to go out and win. From Parksey to Ross to any team member, we have an open-door policy at VideoAmp anytime you need guidance. It's definitely a transition to go from individual contributor to having a team of two, soon to be four, but having this support has been so vital for me to grow in my position.
How has the addition of your team members helped your role to grow?
As Michael Parkes, VideoAmp's Chief Revenue Officer, once told me, it's difficult moving from being an individual contributor to becoming a coach. While I still contribute individually, now I'm also onboarding my team members to the Dentsu business. The difficult part is trusting someone to take on your business, and then being able to support them every step along the way. That's where leadership training becomes helpful because you learn how to navigate through those challenges. This company is growing so quickly and with every new person we hire, there's a new process and new materials to understand. It's a lot all at once, so the ability to have leaders out there that care for you is very impactful.
What's been your favorite thing about being a manager so far?
Seeing my team succeed has definitely been the most gratifying part. I have watched them grow from their first pitch to now. Seeing their growth professionally and personally has been the most compelling aspect of this position.
How has VideoAmp's overall culture influenced your growth as a professional?
Everyone here cares so much about your growth. Between Darren and Mary on the Marketing team, Hari and the Product team, everyone is here for the long run, and having that support has helped me grow overall. The leadership team at VideoAmp does a great job of making sure that all teams are collaborating and working toward a common goal to help ourselves grow as individuals.
When I talk about VideoAmp to people, the one thing that is so important to me is career growth. Prior to VideoAmp, I hadn't felt the opportunity to move up within my organization quickly. At VideoAmp, it's not a question of whether or not you're going to be promoted to the next level. If you are doing your job, if you are hitting the numbers, if you're going out on those meetings, you will be rewarded and I think that's special about VideoAmp. It's something that you don't find elsewhere.
Nicole DeRose, Regional Sales Director
Nicole DeRose is a burst of positive energy that always puts her customers first. As an experienced seller at VideoAmp, she is committed to delivering quantifiable value for her clients and has a strong passion for data-driven tech solutions that are shaking up the industry. Over the past 5 years, she has had the opportunity to work with highly talented individuals at high growth agencies and innovative tech companies and thrives in the ever-changing media landscape.