PubForum Profile: Zenith Optimedia’s Julian Zilberbrand

Zenith's Julian Zilberbrand on the New Role of Ad Ops

As we gear up for Publisher Forum Columbia Gorge, we shine the spotlight on a few seasoned PubForum regulars to get their takes on the changing dynamics of the industry. You can join the conversation at Publisher Forum. Register Now.

There’s a reason why you’ve seen Julian Zilberbrand sounding off at various digital media conferences across the country (including OPS and the Publisher Forum) and opining in every ad tech trade you can find. ZenithOptimedia’s EVP of Activation Standards, Insights and Technology has a great grasp on just about every ad tech facet, whether it’s a contentious subject like cross-screen measurement or something as seemingly banal as digital terms and conditions (spoiler: there’s plenty of debate and fiery opinions in the latter). 

As a young veteran of the digital media revolution, Zilberbrand has certainly witnessed ad operations rise from the darkest corner of the media company basement to respected voice in ad tech debates. In the video and interview below, he discusses marketers’ evolving approach to digital advertising and challenges in working with publishers.

Rob Beeler: What’s the number one thing publishers do wrong when working with you when making a deal?  

Julian Zilberbrand: I think the general misstep taken when looking to make a deal is a lack of research on you, your business or your client roster.  My best advice is to understand who we are, what we represent, who our clients our, their values and their goals (or at least ask the right questions) so that you can craft a deal that makes the most sense for both parties. 

RB: What’s the number one thing vendors do wrong?  

JZ: I don’t know that there is one single thing that I can point out.  Most of the partners we engage with are great and a pleasure to work with.  If I had to point out any one thing, it is what I mentioned in the previous answer.  Take the time to do your research so that you can look to develop a relationship that best fits the needs of the clients, or at least have a set of intelligent questions prepared to ask in order for you to have the right information to develop a proposal that will present the agency/client the greatest value.

RB: What’s the next big challenge you are taking on in 2014?

JZ: So many things can apply here.  I think the biggest challenge in general is to continue to innovate our own capabilities as partners for our clients.  Our goal as a business is to always provide the greatest possible service for our clients.  In order to do that it requires us to not only be on top of the media landscape but to help drive it through innovation in our thought, in our products, and in our services.