Meet Marla Newman and MaryRay Lombardo: New sales leaders unlocking even more revenue for creators
For years, we’ve been growing a large, world-class sales team that brings in significant incremental revenue for you that you can't get anywhere else. In 2022, direct sales and unique partnerships generally made up 20% of revenue for most creators...
For years, we’ve been growing a large, world-class sales team that brings in significant incremental revenue for you that you can’t get anywhere else. In 2022, direct sales and unique partnerships generally made up 20% of revenue for most creators at CafeMedia. Our goal is to push that number higher over time, and it’s a huge focus for us this year.
To give some context, let’s start at the baseline of what CafeMedia and our competitors do.
These days, digital ad markets are highly automated and heavily run by systems built by different ad tech companies. We partner with the biggest and best ad tech firms to ensure our creators get access to the most ad revenue from those systems. Our competitors do this, although we’ve built the most ad code and systems to extract the most value for you — which means there’s already a solid foundation to build on.
Next, we negotiate exclusive deals with those big ad tech companies. And due to our scale and relationships, we can unlock special deals. These deals include everything from exclusive partnerships like Kargo or our first-to-market partnership with The Trade Desk — which gave us exclusive access to unique demand for six months.
The third layer of what makes us unique is our large direct sales team. It’s double the size of any competitor, so there’s a large, dedicated team selling you directly to advertisers in addition to selling programmatically.
All of those unique elements make up around 35% of your revenue — that you wouldn’t make anywhere else. And as I mentioned earlier, we want to grow that number even more in 2023.
To help us do that, I’m excited to introduce Marla Newman, our new Executive Vice President, Sales. Marla joins us from DotDash Meredith, where she was President of Digital Sales. Meredith publishes dozens of magazines like People and Travel and Leisure and many industry-leading websites we and our creators compete with, like AllRecipes, The Spruce and Investopedia. She has vast experience building and leading some of the best sales organizations at the biggest companies and helped to grow revenues year after year at companies including AOL, Microsoft, FOX Sports Digital, MTV Networks, and MSN.
Along with Marla, MaryRay Lombardo, who ran all of DotDash Meredith’s sales teams in the retail, food, and consumer-packaged goods industries — our most extensive set of advertisers — joined the team as Senior Vice President, Sales. Like Marla, she’s forged relationships with top brands and advertisers to drive multi-million dollar growth in revenue year after year. Before DotDash, MaryRay held roles at Omnimedia/Martha Stewart Living, Undertone, and CBS 2 in Chicago.
Marla and MaryRay join the team with a lot of passion and excitement for our incredible brands and creators. And they are excited to unlock all-new ways you and advertisers can work together. They have tremendously deep relationships with many of the world’s biggest advertisers and ad agencies and are already out talking to advertisers about the power of our creators.
They will continue to deliver everything we’ve already discussed, plus the opportunity to unlock more incremental revenue with new advertising partnerships that leverage your social presence, online sites, and brands. This will include everything from sponsorships, experiential opportunities, and product placements to elevated custom content and campaigns.
In addition to unlocking new advertiser partnerships for you, Marla has already brought on new sales team members and will more than double the size of our sales team by the end of this year.
You now have an even larger, expert team selling your brand and business — programmatically and through new advertising partnerships where budgets are bigger (which means even more incremental revenue for you).
CafeMedia is home to the biggest and best independent creators. In 2023, we’re ready to compete in an all-new way and capture even more of the multi-billion dollar share of revenues from traditional media and platforms.