A key theme for PubMatic and the industry as a whole in 2020, has been “leading through change.” As part of this, we have asked colleagues for how they have put this mission into practice in their personal and professional lives this year. Moving into 2021, we can be sure that the world will continue to see change and our industry will continue to evolve. We hope that these insights will help you lead through whatever changes come your way.
Jana Friedman, Director, Events Marketing at PubMatic, gave us a window into her experiences adapting and leading during a pandemic, how she continued to create value in her career and personal life, and maintained partnerships with colleagues and customers.
For Jana, resilience is a recurring theme, and she’s seen it arise again and again among colleagues. “Everyone has kept productivity up,” she says. “I’ve learned our customers still want to interact with us, and want to learn and have fun.”
Jana also reminds herself to inject some fun into the work day even with her desk just steps from her couch at home, which makes it difficult to unplug as work days bleed into one another. Balance is key. For Jana and many others, hours of Zoom calls each day makes one crave in-person contact. She emphasizes that no matter the weather, she makes a point of exercising and getting fresh air regularly to break up the workday.
PubMatic pivoted to virtual working and learning without fretting and hand wringing. “We didn’t pause too long to consider our options,” Jana says. “We dove head first into the virtual world. We took one of our strongest in-person brand extensions, PubAcademy, and made it into a series of virtual webinars.”
When conducted in-person, PubAcademies are part conference, part cocktail party, and a forum for thought leadership for the adtech industry. The global event teams quickly became webinar experts, learning a new platform very quickly with little time to practice. Alas, virtual PubAcademies were implemented without any hiccups.
Jana says attendees provided a lot of positive feedback – more than 600 registrants attended a recent U.S. event. As a virtual event, the company has been able to increase its frequency and expand the global footprint.
“We jumped right into virtual client entertaining, too,” she explains. “While it’s not the same as sharing a meal or meeting for drinks, our commercial teams are still able to build and deepen relationships with customers. And the customers seem to appreciate the personal attention and opportunity to socialize.”
While the shutdown brought the upsides of personal and professional flexibility, Jana says that overall, challenges abound. Events, conferences, roundtables, dinners, client entertaining have all been virtual. Events and meetings are a means for brand building and relationship building. As we know, necessity is the mother of invention, and PubMatic rolled out a gifting program to energize the pandemic-weary. Customers could select from a range of different gifts and charitable donations, allowing for a more personalized experience.
After working from home for eight months, Jana says she feels an almost stronger bond with her colleagues. “We took for granted the camaraderie in the office kitchen, the ability to drop by someone’s desk with a question,” she says. As a company, we’ve done so well with keeping in touch. When we’re on the other side of this we will have a lot to be proud of.”