IAB Rising Stars: Carat’s Cristina Viscasillas on excelling in the new while loving Excel

The IAB SEA+India Programmatic Committee returns in 2019 with its search for the industry’s brightest talents behind the technology. Find out how these passionate practitioners got started, the secrets behind their success and what they are doing to drive the industry forward.

For Cristina Viscasillas, experiencing the new is key to keeping her going and each day in programmatic is never the same. From building out programmatic capabilities for Carat’s blue-chip accounts, improving local market optimisation strategies to creating regional frameworks, the senior programmatic manager works to help clients shape their digital vision and transform their businesses.

Marrying her technical knowledge with her determination to deliver the best for her clients, Cristina proactively offers alternative solutions when it comes to concerns such as brand safety and viewability. “She has driven solutions and processes to facilitate clients learning and understanding of programmatic media buying which made it easy to grow our programmatic investment in APAC,” shared Marta Barrera, senior sales manager at MediaMath.

A rising star in the field, Cristina believes that her success is not hers alone. “The best work gets produced when there is a full sense of collaboration and acceptance of different ideas,” she shared. “It makes a significant difference when everyone is fully briefed and aligned to the common objectives. This makes the execution team more invested in the campaign’s success and encourages collaboration with others to find the best solution to achieve that business goal.”

What did you want to be when you were younger?

I was drawn to a career in psychology before adventuring in the world of media advertising. I’ve always been very curious about user behaviour, how powerful it is and how it can be influenced by different techniques.

What is one thing you wished you had known before starting your programmatic career?

I learned about programmatic from the supply side, in an Outstream SSP called ADman Media. Back then, I had no visibility into how agencies were trading so I wish someone had shown me what the buy side is like. It would have saved me a few headaches!

In no more than 5 sentences, describe what a typical work day would look like for you.

There is no such thing as a typical day in my role and that’s the beauty of it! One day I can be falling in love with Excel and its Power Pivots; and the next day, I could be brainstorming with how programmatic fit into an e-commerce strategy for a specific local market.

Phrase or word you never want to hear again.

“Programmatic doesn’t work”.

There’s still a lot of misconception on programmatic being talked about as a single channel and getting evaluated on its success in the wrong way. Programmatic is just a way of buying. If it did not work for you, evaluate which strategies or channels worked or did not work. The possibilities are endless!

Biggest pet peeve at the workplace?

The aircon is always set too strong, I’m always freezing!

What is one thing you look forward to changing in the industry?

It might be a bit idealistic to say, but it would be great to see platforms collaborate more in order to build a brand safe, fraud-free and reliable industry rather than building walled gardens. The launch of Open Measurement SDK or Ads.txt are great initiatives that I’d like to see more of.

How do you predict programmatic will change the future/evolve?

I believe that Programmatic will expand to more and more channels, formats and devices. We’re seeing this trend with some digital OOH placements and Programmatic TV becoming a reality in some markets – and this is only the beginning!

Secondly, data will be at the very heart of every buying decision, thanks to AI and machine learning powering that will allow platforms to buy in a hypersegmented way and across highly efficient segments for clients.

Last but not least, results! We will be able to measure results across the online and offline world and determine the real campaign effectiveness beyond the classic online metrics. This will then give advertisers powerful insights about their consumers which will help them shape their business on a broader level.

How do you keep learning in a fast-changing environment like programmatic?

It’s definitely not easy, there’s a lot going on! If I have the time, I will attend sessions or training from the industry. When time is tight, I will keep up with articles online or by having conversations with colleagues or friends from the industry.

The IAB Rising Stars initiative is led by IAB SEA+India.

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