Day in the Life: Matthew Smith, Senior Manager, Advanced Solutions
Matthew, our senior manager of advanced solutions, takes us through a typical day in his life.
Magnite’s Day in the Life series dives into the various people and teams that make up the world’s largest independent sell-side ad company.
How would you explain what you do to someone outside the industry?
My role is comparable to a sales engineer or an ad tech consultant where, ultimately, our end goal is to make every single ad impression relevant across every medium. I’m looking to provide bespoke solutions for buyers to spend their money effectively and for media owners to have the controls and efficiencies to maximize their yield and user experience.
How did you first break into ad tech?
I’d spent a few summers in college with Major League Baseball at their headquarters in New York, where I was originally exposed to ad tech for the first time.
Later, I started my career at SpotX after graduating from Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in marketing and a focus on computer science. I started out with our Advanced Solutions Group, which was leading SpotX’s break into the connected TV space at the time.
How does your department/team help support Magnite/Magnite’s clients as a whole? What other departments do you facilitate the most?
Our team interfaces with nearly every part of our organization, internally and externally. That gives the Advanced Solutions team a strong look into the flows and trends of the entire ecosystem. We interface with agencies, server-side ad insertion and content providers alike. So generally, your role within Advanced Solutions determines how much time you spend with each department.
Our team is a part of the commercial team. But, individually, I spend a lot of time working alongside our Demand Facilitation, product and partnerships teams.
What does a typical day at Magnite look like for you?
One of my favorite parts about working for such a dynamic team is that my day-to-day life often looks different depending on the week. It’s filled with a mix of internal and external innovation discussions with pipeline and current partners.
When I’m not in meetings, I spend a lot of my time troubleshooting publisher-side. I also work directly with our international clients in JAPAC, spending afternoons and nights liaisoning with them due to the time change. Additionally, I continue to look at opportunities for Magnite to grow outside of the partnerships that we have today.
When I’m in the office, once I’m done with a majority of my daily responsibilities in the afternoon, you can probably find me playing a quick game of pool with my Magnite buddies.
Talk about a recent project that you’re proud of yourself/your team for accomplishing.
I’m definitely proud of the efforts that have come from myself and the Advanced Solutions team when it comes to addressable television.
The work we’ve done on the addressable linear front brings in new partners and brings one-to-one addressability into traditional cable and satellite environments. This year we’ve launched with several new linear partners that have provided an additional medium for our buyers to delve into. It allows brands and agency partners to expand their audience-based buys and incremental user reach.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
My team and the other Magnite teams that I work with on a daily basis. I interact with a very bright group of individuals that not only help me grow my knowledge of the ad tech ecosystem but also inspire me to work harder every day and continue to grow Magnite as an organization.
Additionally, it is exciting to lead key initiatives internally, including partnership launches like Project OAR and OpenAP.
Do you have any advice for people looking to learn more about ad tech/your particular department?
Ad tech can be very confusing and overwhelming when you first jump into it. You have to grow your acronym glossary by 10x.
It’s beneficial for folks that are new to ad tech to dig into every partner, contributor and role in the ad tech workflow, from how a server-side ad insertion (SSAI) vendor works to stitch the final ads into an end user’s stream, to the role of an ad server, SSP and DSP.
It’s definitely an industry that you can get siloed in. I think it’s really helpful to understand the full end-to-end process to see how every single piece of the puzzle fits together.