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Cadreon’s Erica Schmidt: “Data is Transforming the Media Ecosystem”

In a September 2016 interview with MediaVillage, Erica Schmidt, Executive Vice President, Managing Director of Cadreon North America, commented: “In a world where audiences are ahead of the advertising expenditure in terms of time spent and dynamism, an evolution of planning and buying media is gaining momentum and will continue to do so.”  A year later, Schmidt reinforces her message: “Clients are continuing to get smarter around data and as the data ecosystem transforms, we need to be further out in front to meet our clients’ needs.”  A priority she points to is an ongoing transformation in the way digital advertising is activated and how digital models are integrated into linear TV optimization.  “As we gain more insight through advanced data and are able to integrate that data into media decisions,” Schmidt explains, “we’re managing client digital activation under the Cadreon umbrella to deliver channel agnostic inventory — managing frequency, duplication and performance, whether it is acquisition or attribution, to define the best value. We’re doubling down on what we have done and responding to a maturing data ecosystem.”

Cadreon is IPG Mediabrands’ ad tech unit, responsible for developing programmatic technology solutions.  It operates in 68 markets with a focus on leveraging technology to deliver comprehensive, high-performing programmatic solutions in a widely disparate technology landscape.

Schmidt acknowledges there is “noise in the ecosystem around trading desks and programmatic, viewability, transparency, fraud and brand safety. Some have weathered the storm better than others.  “We’re focused on being flexible and defining our vision of the future,” she says.  “It’s more than buying banners, buttons, using data and automation, and building further trust in the ecosystem.  We need to rise above the negativity in the space and put skin in the game.  We need to unlock more value and benefits for clients by embedding data and automation into the planning systems.”

Schmidt, who began working in digital media with a focus on search marketing in 2000 and spent several years working in London with iProspect, joined Cadreon in January 2015 to lead its North American unit.  She says she wasn’t surprised “that Cadreon was focusing on working with the investment community through the Mediabrands divisions, engaging with their investment leadership.  It was fruitful as a line of sight to advertiser investments related to digital, but it also meant there was not a strategic construct to define why Cadreon should have a direct relationship with clients.  I identified it was important to move upstream.”

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