Ad Age Collective members are the leading minds shaping advertising, marketing, and media. Our community includes tech leaders and founders of groundbreaking companies that specialize in advertising and marketing technology. We invite Collective members, all vetted leaders in their fields, to regularly provide their expert advice and opinions on the Industry Insights section of AdAge.com. Are you developing technology that shapes change in advertising or marketing? Would you like to share your industry knowledge with our audience? Apply now to become a member. Below, meet a few of the tech innovators who make up the Ad Age Collective. Each brings a different mix of talent, expertise, and industry knowledge to their professional roles — and to the Ad Age community.
Sujan Patel, Co-founder, Ramp Ventures
Get inspired by the raw energy that fuels Sujan Patel.
Sujan Patel is the co-founder of Ramp Ventures, and is active as the managing director, partner, or founder of several of its SaaS companies, including Mailshake, VoilaNorbert, and Pick. Ramp Ventures works with its partner companies on revenue growth, product management, and operations; Patel’s focus is on marketing, sales and partnerships. Patel also runs the US division of Web Profits, a growth marketing agency. He works six days per week, 13.3 hours per day, to allow time for all his business ventures. He produces six blog posts per week for various publications, creates weekly videos, and has sold over 40,000 copies of his e-book, 100 Days of Growth. Patel also produces a newsletter to share insights on digital marketing and sales. And he still makes room for working out, motorcycle and car racing, and skydiving.
Shereta Williams, President, Videa
Lead an industry revolution like Shereta Williams.
When Shereta Williams graduated from MIT, she started out in financial services. But shortly thereafter, she moved on to the first of several positions she’s held with Cox Television and Cox Media Group. At Cox, Williams accumulated industry knowledge and worked to strategize with executive teams as the internet began to impact traditional media in unprecedented ways. In the course of her corporate development work, Williams says, “the strategy for Videa began to take shape” — and she was perfectly placed to accept the role of president. Videa is an online marketplace for automated television advertising, developed and owned by Cox, that makes it easier to buy and sell local broadcast television advertising by automating the time-consuming parts of the sales process and making pricing transparent. As president of Videa, Williams aims to revolutionize the sales models that dominate traditional television advertising. In addition to her work at Videa, Williams serves on the board of IRTS (the International Radio and Television Society Foundation, a nonprofit that “brings together the wisdom and power of today’s leaders to train and educate the next generation of media and communication professionals through its many educational programs and diversity initiatives.” She is also a mentor for the Female Founders in Tech competition, and enjoys hiking and boating.
Allen Gannett, Chief Strategy Officer, Skyword
Release your creativity like Allen Gannett.
In 2012, Allen Gannett founded TrackMaven, a marketing analytics platform employed by big brands (like GE) and rockstar startups (like Mailchimp) used to power data-driven creativity. Then In October 2018, TrackMaven merged with Skyword, adding Trackmaven’s marketing insights to Skyword’s leading content marketing platform, making the company an industry powerhouse. Now, Gannett serves as the chief strategy officer for Skyword, where he employs his vision and creativity to steer the company toward innovation. Gannett’s not-so-secret passion is helping others access their creativity. He’s the author of The Creative Curve, a book that establishes four steps anyone can follow to unleash their own creative genius. Gannett’s process is based on interviews with billionaires, neuroscientists, and others, and proves that creativity is not only the purview of a select few, but is available to everyone. Gannett speaks at events such as SXSW, Inbound, IAEE, Digital East, TEDx, The Internet Summit, Collision, and dozens of others, sharing his insights on creativity and timing in business.
Rex Briggs, CEO, Marketing Evolution
Use research to create successful advertising campaigns like Rex Briggs.
Rex Briggs comes from a market research background; earlier in his career, he served as director of research for Wired Magazine, among others. Now (and for the past 19 years) he puts his skills in data-driven marketing to use as the founder and CEO of Marketing Evolution, Inc. Marketing Evolution’s ROI brain attribution and optimization software addresses the challenge of multi-touch attribution across all marketing channels. Its analytics are the most broadly independently validated in the industry. Briggs also shares his applied market research experience as the author of What Sticks: Why Most Advertising Fails and How to Guarantee Yours Succeeds, which offers insights based on the analysis of over $1 billion in modern advertising. This book explains why 47% of the advertising campaigns studied in the largest-ever global marketing research project didn’t work, and explains what you can do to guarantee that yours does. He is also the author of SIRF’s Up: Catching the Next Wave in Marketing, has been quoted in many other books, and has delivered a TEDx talk.
Tasso Argyros, CEO, ActionIQ
Use customer data to build your business like Tasso Argyros.
Throughout Tasso Argyros’s career, he has directed his technology expertise toward putting customer data to work. He founded Aster Data in 2005 and efficiently built it into a big data pioneer. When Aster was acquired a few years later by database leader Teradata for $325 million, Argyros stayed on for several years working with technology leaders in Global 2000 companies to help formulate their data strategies. In 2014, Argyros moved on to create ActionIQ, where he serves as CEO. ActionIQ’s platform helps help CMOs and CCOs to leverage their most valuable asset: customer data. The company works with big brands like Verizon Wireless, The New York Times, and Weight Watchers to generate growth in sales, engagement, retention, and lifetime customer value. In addition to his work at ActionIQ, Argyros invests in and serves as an advisor for startups Velos Rotors and FirstMark Capital. He has been named a Digital Marketing News 40 under 40 winner and a technology pioneer by the World Economic Forum, among other honors.
Brock Stechman, Co-founder, DivvyHQ
Tap into your entrepreneurial spirit like Brock Stechman.
After college, Brock Stechman took a job as a sales rep, but after just a year, he turned to entrepreneurism, and has been leading companies ever since. Stechman was the founder and CEO of Brockton Creative Group, a digital agency focused on content strategy and custom software development. When Brockton Creative Group was acquired after 10 years of operation, Stechman lost no time founding a new venture - DivvyHQ. DivvyHQ is a software tool that aims to simplify all aspects of the content marketing process: organizing, scheduling, strategy, and more. It provides features such as custom workflows, direct publishing to social media and other content channels, and analytics to inform every content campaign. DivvyHQ has been voted #1 content marketing platform for several years running by the Content Marketing Institute community. McDonald's, Mercedes-Benz, and National Geographic are among the many high-profile brands that use DivvyHQ to organize their team and content marketing efforts. In addition to his work at DivvyHQ, Stechman serves on an advisory board for the graphic communication department at California Polytechnic State University.
Are you a tech leader innovating in the fields of advertising or marketing? Are you ready to share your knowledge with the Ad Age community? Apply now to become a member of the Ad Age Collective.