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March 7, 2018

85: Susan Vobejda finds a home at The Trade Desk

This week on “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Susan Vobejda, chief marketing officer at The Trade Desk, the fastest-growing demand-side platform (DSP) agencies, aggregators, and their advertisers can use to manage their digital campaigns.

Vobejda’s career started in finance, but she quickly made the leap to advertising — confessing that advertising seemed so cool to her that she thought it was something she would do without getting paid — beginning at Leo Burnett as an account supervisor. From there, she moved on to stops at Gap Inc., Walmart, Bloomberg, and Tory Burch, among others, before landing in her current role at The Trade Desk.

During the course of her conversation with Alan, Vobejda touches on many topics, but perhaps most interesting was her discovery of just how special the people and culture at The Trade Desk are.

She and her team were in Ventura, California, for a planning session in December of 2017. While there, they were forced to flee from the Thomas Fire, the largest wildfire in modern California history. She relates how her team — with help from others at The Trade Desk via the company Slack — pulled together to find their way out of the affected area. She describes it as “a tribe in action,” and goes on to say, “It has bonded me to this group of people in a way that I could never have expected.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

  • Vobejda traces her career path from the world of finance to CMO of The Trade Desk: “A crazy spiderweb career.” ([1:17])
  • Making a list: What led Vobejda to The Trade Desk. ([3:34])
  • Vobejda on team building: Prioritize talent and build for succession. ([8:15])
  • Vobejda: “Data and technology are tools for marketers that they can use in unprecedented ways to reach and engage customers.” ([11:51])
  • Vobejda’s take on programmatic. ([13:48])
  • Vobejda talks about an experience during her first three months at The Trade Desk — literally a trial by fire. ([17:24])
  • “It’s all about the customer” — Vobejda examines the common truths across the industries she’s worked in. ([22:24])
  • Vobejda’s leap from finance to advertising and the lesson it taught her: “You can make anything happen.” ([23:39])