Growing Up: The Rise of Media Whiz – CEO Jonathan Shapiro Speaks Out

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girlglass.jpgADOTAS editor and owner spent a few minutes getting to know Jonathan Shapiro, a man whose career has profoundly influenced the rise of the internet revolution through its infancy and stands ready to determine its more mature direction, purpose, and continuing evolution.

Background

Jonathan Shapiro is Chief Executive Officer of MediaWhiz Holdings, Inc. (MediaWhiz), a leading online marketing firm. MediaWhiz delivers a fully integrated solution for brand advertisers, direct marketers and publishers by leveraging its suite of marketing services to achieve measurable results. Services include affiliate marketing, lead generation, email marketing, list management, display advertising, text link advertising and search marketing. Mr. Shapiro is overseeing the integration of MediaWhiz’s suite of marketing services, as well as leading the development and launch of new and unique services that take advantage of MediaWhiz’s broad service offerings capabilities.
Previously, Mr. Shapiro was Chief Strategy Officer for DoubleClick, where he was in charge of setting strategy and overseeing M&A. As Senior Vice President of DoubleClick’s Abacus online division, he created DoubleClick’s data strategy and oversaw development of new online targeting products and services. Originally, Mr. Shapiro joined DoubleClick as a Vice President for the company’s Internet Advertising Network. Most recently, Mr. Shapiro was President of Lillian Vernon Corp., responsible for the management of the company and its subsidiaries. Prior to that, he worked with ZelnickMedia and Ripplewood Holdings on their acquisition of Lillian Vernon Corp.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Shapiro was a Specialist in McKinsey and Company’s Interactive Multimedia Practice, where he developed the Firm’s expertise in Internet businesses. He also worked for McKinsey and Company as an associate, focusing on media and entertainment, and as an analyst specializing in data systems and corporate finance. Prior to rejoining McKinsey as a Specialist, Shapiro ran United Media’s Internet business featuring The Dilbert Zone; the site, a top news, information and entertainment destination, was launched in 1996 and was one of the Internet’s first profitable businesses.

What fuels your efforts in your current position?

I’m having the most fun I’ve had at any job. I think three factors are contributing to my happiness here. First, I work with a great team. It always makes working more fun to enjoy the people you spend your creative energy with. Second, we are inventing something new. Third, we are having success. It’s more rewarding if you are succeeding and I think we are doing just that.

What is unique about MediaWhiz?

We build custom marketing tools that perform for both advertisers and publishers. I am excited about our Adnet and Text Link Advertising products. TLA is a “supercharged” static text link display ad that goes far beyond traditional text link ads because of the technology that invigorates it.

Can you comment a bit more about what makes the TLA technology so exciting to you?

TLA is the leader in the text link advertisement and related services space, providing an automated, comprehensive marketplace for advertisers and publishers. TLA is recognized for having the broadest and fastest growing network of advertisers and publishers, a user-friendly platform, and a high degree of flexibility in ad type and placement. TLA will continue to operate under the Text Link Ads name, with continued leadership from its existing management team.
“We are thrilled to be working to bring this new service offering to our thousands of publisher and advertiser relationships, while also being able to cross-sell MediaWhiz’s existing services to TLA’s growing client base,” said Jason Cohen, co-president of MediaWhiz. “Adding TLA’s recognized expertise in text link advertising is a perfect fit with our strategy of creating one of the broadest platforms of online marketing solutions to meet the diverse needs of our advertisers,” noted MediaWhiz co-president Yannick Tessier.

When did the TLA acqusition take place?

Back in November of 2006.

What direction are you trying to take MediaWhiz as a company right now?

MediaWhiz is an online marketing company delivering an integrated solution for brand advertisers, direct marketers and publishers by leveraging its suite of marketing services to achieve results. We want our services to include affiliate marketing, lead generation, email marketing, list management, display advertising, text link advertising and search marketing. MediaWhiz are deliver 3 million monthly leads to over 3,000 advertisers through our database of about 100 million consumer email addresses and relationships with around 10,000 publishers.

Where did you get the initial money to run MediaWhiz?

Private equity firm Lake Capital (www.lakecapital.com) first invested in MediaWhiz in August 2005. Through acquisitions and organic growth, we have established our position as a provider of integrated marketing.

Can you describe some of your other initiatives like Monetizeit?

Monetizeit is a leader in online performance-based marketing services with a specialization in lead generation for the financial, consumer and healthcare market verticals. Monetizeit offers its advertiser clients a fully-integrated solution that provides all of the necessary services to execute their marketing campaigns online. Monetizeit plays an integral role in working with both advertisers and publishers to balance advertiser cost, maximize publisher payouts, and ensure advertiser application quality.

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