The Drum's 'Unsung Heroes' series is a celebration of the people in the industry who slog hard behind the limelight for their companies, brands and clients.
As they are seldom in the spotlight for their contribution to the success of campaigns, this is their time to shine.
Known as the 'PMP Guy' by his colleagues, Carlton de Souza is a publisher operations manager at Amnet, taking care of publishers' programmatic needs in the agency's premium marketplace. His only wish for his job? To unify different terminologies for the same products across programmatic.
Why is your job important?
As a publisher operations manager, I am the programmatic link between the client and publishers and vendors.
I am responsible for managing and maintaining Spectrum (Amnet's premium marketplace). This involves ensuring all the Programmatic Guaranteed deals and PMPs have been setup correctly, campaigns are running properly, troubleshooting to proactively prevent issues and expanding Spectrum; we are constantly adding more publishers to the product across the Southeast Asia region.
What is the hardest and stressful part of your job?
Keeping up with changes in the ever-evolving programmatic environment and determining the best approach to execute it via Spectrum.
Market understanding and programmatic growth differs hugely across various countries in Asia. This makes it challenging to create a uniform solution for the region. In addition, there is a gap between client requirements and publisher offerings, which we, as a programmatic agency, are constantly trying to fill. Finally, the rates that global publishers operate at, tend not to work in our region.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Programmatic is constantly changing and there is always something new every day. Also, the ability to work directly with different publishers and vendors on custom requests that test the boundaries of programmatic. At Amnet, we are completely agnostic with the partners that we work with; this helps us in having a thorough understanding of various tech and vendor offerings in the market.
First thing that comes to people’s minds when you tell them your job?
Among my colleagues, being the 'PMP Guy' and getting to attend interesting and fun industry events from the vendors and publishers we work with. On a serious note, people assume that just because we have deals in place, campaigns will run without any issues.
With family members, it’s still a puzzle. I’ve gotten as far as “It’s something to do with running ads on the Internet” which is quite an accomplishment.
How would you correct/explain to them what you do then?
I don’t explain anymore, I just keep it generic e.g. you know those ads you see online? I’m probably sending you some of them.
Is there anything you want to change in your job?
I would love to unify the different terminologies for the same products across programmatic. For example, different platforms and clients use different terms like – Automated Guaranteed Programmatic Guaranteed, Programmatic Premium, Programmatic Direct, Programmatic Reserved – which all simply mean a guaranteed buy via programmatic.
Which was the campaign that you worked on, that you are most proud of?
This would be a campaign from one of our regional clients who wanted to run a campaign across multiple locations in Asia and Africa. On top of having to coordinate with publishers in countries that I don't usually work with like in the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Kenya, etc.
I also had to work with advanced programmatic channels with are still in nascent stages in the Southeast Asia region like Programmatic TV.
Who is someone you want to emulate in your industry?
It may sound a little cliché, but it would be my reporting manager, Mandar Kambli. He literally seems to know everything. Have a 10-minute discussion with him on an issue and you will see his analytical approach encouraging you to look at it from a different perspective that makes it easier to find a solution.
His industry knowledge is more advanced than most I know and his passion towards his work is shown through his accomplishments here at Amnet.
If you weren’t a publisher operations manager, what would you be?
Well, being an avid sports fan, I would love to do something related to either football or F1. However, if my first job was not in the media, I would have probably been like any typical computer engineer who graduated out of India, working as a developer for one of the IT companies in India.