ITA Spotlight: Agatha Rymanowska, Senior VP, Enterprise Operations, Conversant
Monday, March 26, 2018
Posted by: Gary Hotze
Agatha Rymanowska, Senior VP, Enterprise Operations, Conversant, @Conversant, @AgathaRyman
Agatha Rymanowska, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Operations at Conversant, shares her perspective on careers in technology and why it’s an exciting time to work in tech. Learn more about the wide array of job opportunities in the adtech and martech industry, and what makes Conversant a top place to work in Chicago’s tech community.
Tell us about your background. How did you end up at Conversant?
My family and I moved to Chicago from Poland when I was 15 years old. My interest in technology began as a senior in high school while taking computer graphics courses. I pursued programming in college and knew it was the right field for me after spending an entire weekend in the school’s computer lab (without even realizing it – time just flew by). That was the first of many weekends in the lab. There’s something gratifying about getting your code to work.
I graduated from Dominican University with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and business administration, and earned a master’s degree in computer information systems, with a focus on managing enterprise systems, from the Brennan School of Business at Dominican.
Throughout school and after graduation, I worked for a real estate finance company and managed the daily operations and IT business needs for clients in the Midwest. Eventually, I moved on to SmithBucklin, where I managed large technology clients that were associated with companies such as IBM, Boeing and HP.
In 2010, I joined Conversant (then Dotomi) as a Senior Client Integration Engineer. At the time, I had minimal knowledge of the digital advertising industry, but the prospect of working at a company that was driving so much innovation was incredibly appealing to me. I was the fourth person to join the company’s growing Client Integration team and quickly dove into launching some of our largest accounts. I also helped to establish many innovative initiatives, including starting the first offline buyer campaign and establishing our data onboarding practices, which are still used by Conversant today.
Tell us about Conversant and the company’s approach.
Conversant is a digital media company that delivers personalized advertising to consumers across all their devices. We work with brands and agencies to ensure every interaction a consumer has with an ad is relevant and unique.
Conversant was acquired by Alliance Data in 2014 and is the digital media arm of Epsilon, another Alliance Data company.
Our approach is built on four fundamental tenets, which must work together for effective personalization. Conversant’s relationship with Epsilon strengthens each of these tenets.
1. Identity: Conversant provides a comprehensive view of 200 million real people. Each person’s online and offline activities are aligned to a Core ID, which is built on a foundation of verified transactions. The IDs strengthen over time as we continuously match them to 120 million transactions and 200 billion online interactions every day. Our precisely-aligned identities and 96% matching accuracy drives an unparalleled level of stability and longevity; our clients stay connected to 80% of their audience on online channels, and nearly 100% of them on offline channels. Their advertising spend becomes more efficient because they won’t waste money by messaging the wrong person.
2. Personalization through data: We offer customization with complete, actionable views of millions of consumers. Using our Core IDs as the basis, we attach years of real-time and historical data to build Core Profiles across 7,000+ person-level attributes. We understand consumers based on years of their transactions, web browsing behavior, offline activity, video views, emails, survey responses and beyond. This in-depth knowledge allows us to personalize every interaction and ensure that it reaches each in-market consumer in the best channel, with the most personally relevant content, at the most optimal time and frequency.
3. Optimization through machine learning: Conversant’s self-learning machines register hundreds of billions of streaming inputs, billions of times daily. They then optimize output and optimize again, in a continuous, controlled loop, more than a trillion times daily. Every time consumers act, across all channels, we learn from it. This constant learning allows us to make intelligent decisions about who to message, what to say, how and when to deliver marketing, and when to hold back – fueling smart, efficient one-to-one conversations. Our continuous machine learning gives our clients a long view of millions of consumers as their tastes, needs and categories change. As a result, they can reach their customers with personalized marketing only when and where they’re likely to act, with real-time optimization that ensures clients are achieving their goals.
4. Return on marketing investment (ROMI): We take a holistic approach to our clients’ marketing investments and partner with them to optimize both sides of the equation – revenue and marketing investment. Even as clients invest in internal teams and other marketing resources, we work with them to maximize their efficiency and performance. This collaboration gives our clients peace of mind that their marketing dollars are spent wisely and that their performance is continuously being fine-tuned for efficiency across all their marketing investments.
What does your role in Enterprise Operations entail?
I oversee all U.S. operations at Conversant and our affiliate marketing arm, CJ Affiliate. My team provides operational and technical solutions for clients and consists of 100+ associates, including engineers, campaign operations managers, technical specialists, and other roles.
We support the entire client “lifecycle” from start to finish. This holistic support entails providing pre-sales support, integrating clients into Conversant’s platform, ensuring optimal data onboarding, setting up and launching programs, providing ongoing technical assistance, and building automation and infrastructure tools.
Technology, automation and innovation are at the heart of everything we do. Our goal is to continually scale and enhance Conversant’s technology to drive the best possible outcomes for clients.
What do you enjoy the most about working in technology?
By working in Operations, I get to be involved in every aspect of the work Conversant is doing on behalf of our clients. Developing and executing successful programs that drive incremental results for our clients is extremely rewarding. There’s always a new challenge to tackle and opportunities to build a new solution.
Working in technology involves using both sides of the brain. I enjoy solving problems and technology allows me to do that. It’s my outlet for creativity.
There’s a common misperception that technology jobs only entail sitting in front of a computer and writing code. In reality, there’s a wide range of roles and opportunities out there, and they involve a variety of skills and aptitudes. You can be a technical expert and a strategic advisor all in one. Technology is always dynamic and never boring.
What types of job opportunities does Conversant offer for tech professionals?
The tech opportunities at Conversant are endless. We offer a vast spectrum of roles available for professionals at all levels, specialty areas and skill sets.
The Engineering and Technology team is comprised of software engineers and data engineers who develop next-generation solutions that drive incremental growth and revenue for our clients. Their code allows Conversant platforms to make decisions in milliseconds, billions of times per day. They leverage many areas of computer science and computer engineering to tackle problems and push technology forward.
The Analytics team turns Conversant’s data into action, developing optimization, measurement and insights that help Conversant's platform perform at its best and demonstrate its effectiveness. Conversant’s platform captures immense, rich data sets that are accurate and actionable, which presents many opportunities for professionals who enjoy solving problems through big data analytics, applying their solutions and measuring the impact.
Within Analytics, the Decision Sciences team brings intelligent, automated decision-making into Conversant’s platform and products. This group is comprised of PhDs who are the foremost authorities in their fields. They build Conversant’s self-learning machines and make extensive use of artificial intelligence and machine learning.
The Enterprise Operations team brings it all together and launches our solutions to clients. This is a client-facing team that onboard clients onto Conversant’s platform, ensures we have the right data in support of their marketing goals, and sets up and launches their campaigns/programs. They perform pre- and post-launch quality assurance (QA) to ensure superior execution and provide ongoing client support. The team also leads the design and implementation of rich operational processes that span several teams. Working in Enterprise Operations is unique in that it allows an associate to marry their technical expertise and business/client focus all in one role.
Given the nature of Conversant’s business, all teams have opportunities to work with technology and automation tools in some capacity.
How would you describe Conversant’s culture?
Conversant’s culture of innovation is inspiring, if not intoxicating. Across the organization, we are encouraged and empowered to constantly challenge the status quo, and continuously improve and automate processes. This allows associates to focus on developing innovative and creative solutions that drive meaningful outcomes for clients and enable Conversant’s differentiation in the marketplace. Our company mantra of " automate to innovate” starts at the top with our leadership and is felt everywhere within the organization.
Conversant Culture: It's All About the People
To learn more about technology careers at Conversant, visit the company’s Careers webpage: https://www.conversantmedia.com/careers.