Audience Buying, Humanizing the Industry: A Chat with Cadreon’s Erica Schmidt

In this special edition, I am pleased to have interviewed Erica Schmidt, the newly-appointed Global CEO of Cadreon. In a wide-ranging interview, we learn more about her new post and her contributions to the market overall.

Erica, a big congratulations on your newly appointed post. The topics of #MeToo and #TimesUp have been in the press and on a lot of folks’ minds in recent weeks and months. You were an early signatory on #TimesUp. Can you expand on your thoughts as to what’s happening in the space, or more broadly within your new post and IPG.

ERICA SCHMIDT: I’m very pleased and proud to say that I was one of the first signatories amongst many, in a really distinguished, highly-regarded group in terms of advertising. All of the activity is not just about senior leadership and gender equality, but also about how we foster and develop diverse and inclusive workplaces. Everybody knows the more diverse and inclusive an organization is, the more successful they are.

I sit on the Women’s Leadership Network, an IPG diversity and inclusion endeavor. We’ve gotten some great momentum, and it inspired the Cadreon team to form the Impact Group. All of these initiatives take time, energy, fastidiousness, and I’m really excited to see what happens with #TimesUp in advertising.

That’s fantastic. I had no idea that the agency’s been so proactive. Congratulations on that.

ES: Thank you. This is a business imperative and I feel an incumbent responsibility to demonstrate leadership on that subject matter and continue pushing the envelope as much as I possibly can while also doing my day job.

Tell me more about your new day job and what you’ll be focused on as Global CEO of Cadreon.

ES: I’ve expanded my responsibilities across Cadreon. As you probably are aware, Cadreon was the first to market in the early stages of RTB, which we now call programmatic. I created a new vision for Cadreon to have data-driven marketing and audience buying be part of our core capabilities – it’s central to the DNA of Cadreon. We believe in the long-term viability of audience-based buying as a specialized business unit.

We have moved upstream in terms of making sure that programmatic and the value of data is at the forefront of all client media plans and briefs. This enables us to drive real business outcomes on behalf of our agency partners and clients. Right now, it’s about ensuring consistency at scale, equipping the worldwide Cadreon organization with the right offers, the right articulation, the right resources, and the right product to continue the longevity and the viability of the business.

IPG has always been an agency that’s differentiated itself and been ahead of the market in many ways with audience-based-buying. Can you talk about how IPG has continued to differentiate, or will continue to differentiate, themselves from others in the market?

ES: Our data and analytics capabilities underpin all of our client offerings. IPG continues to invest in this space, with Arun Kumar [IPG’s Chief Data and Marketing Officer] and his organization spearheading these efforts. One of the core products that differentiate us is our Audience Measurement Platform.

We’re in a much different place because we truly have the ability to do the assessments of who are the most meaningful audiences for our clients; plan against that in a channel-agnostic, screen-neutral, audience-first approach; and then syndicate those audiences as best as we possibly can across all possible formats. Where that really packs a powerful punch is in addressable television.

How does AMP come into play for addressable TV?

ES: Addressability has been a part of digital for quite some time. The evolution of AMP and what is happening in the addressable TV space is really quite significant. It is laying the groundwork for a complete and utter transformation in the television planning and buying ecosystem.