Online advertising is at the nexus of media, technology, finance, and privacy, and it’s a product that you encounter every single day, but what PM lessons can be gleaned from AdTech? Join Rob Hazan, Senior Product Director from Index Exchange, as he guides us through a history of digital advertising and product management lessons learned along the way.

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On Why You Should Be Opinionated and a Problem-Solver

One of the first PM lessons that take center stage is to have an opinion, especially when it comes to solutions. When we butt up against a problem, we don’t want to be reminded of that problem or given even more problems to consider — we want a solution! People don’t mind if you are opinionated, as long as you focus on the solutions, not the problems.

“Present a list of solutions whenever you identify a problem and highlight the one that you favor in particular. Build a good strong rationale and business case for it.

The one thing that I’ve done very consistently and I think the right way to be an opinionated PM is strong opinions weakly held. So what I mean by that is you should come into every conversation with a perspective with a point of view, even a strongly stated one, but you should be willing to let anyone change your mind quickly. … What I found is that people are willing to forgive a lot if your intuition is good and if you can move decisively. And I think the way to build good intuition. The way to show that you can take decisive action is to have a strong opinion, but allow yourself to be swayed by new information easily.”

On How Total Addressable Market is Good Motivation

By using TAM (total addressable market), we can paint a picture of what we get as a reward for solving a problem. One of the big PM lessons from the presentation was that we want solutions to problems in order to be successful, but we all want some type of reward for solving this problem.

“If you can generate a reasonable estimate of the total addressable market and a realistic assumption around how much of that market you can capture with your product, you have a relatively straightforward way of estimating the reward.”

On Why One of the Key PM Lessons is the Product of Digital Marketing Matters

The landscape of digital marketing has changed so much from that first AT&T banner ad in October 1994. Now we have exchange bidding, multiple locations for digital marketing, and more changes on the way. What it comes down to for the ultimate PM lesson is project managers can turn complexity into simplicity. 

“The takeaway is doing your best to adjust delivery of the content to the right level for your audience.

What does history teach us about this the most modern of digital advertising problem spaces? Publishers will be very protective of their precious digital supply, just like they were on the web, dealing directly with advertisers for fear that programmatic In other words, real-time biddable supply will erode the value of their inventory. I think they’re worried that it’ll drive prices down. 

In the end, I also predict that savvy publishers will use RTB (real-time bidding) to their advantage, offering buyers better prices, and concurrently selling out more of their supply than their competitors. And this will eventually drive everybody to need to adopt this, this technology.”

About the speaker
Rob Hazan Index Exchange, Senior Director, Product Member
About the host
Brian Root-Bernstein Angi, Senior Director of Product Management

Brian is currently Senior Director of Product Management - Consumer Experience at Assurance IQ. Prior to that he was VP of Product & Design at Huckleberry, working on using data and automation to eliminate the complexity from small business insurance. Before that, Brian was Senior Director of Product Management at Fundera (acquired by NerdWallet), Walmart Labs and Amazon. Brian moved (back) to NYC in January 2020, and continues to experience everything this city has to offer.

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