When Chip Met Meredith (And Helped Meredith Meet Others)

It’s not a love story between people -- mostly because Meredith is a business, not a person -- but Meredith Corporation’s new appointment of Chip Schenck as vice president of programmatic sales highlights the data love story marketers are collectively living.

Like a Hollywood love story, things have been moving fast in the programmatic space, and this appointment is the perfect example of how.

Not even two years ago, PubMatic was welcoming Schenck as their vice president of publisher sales, and a “vice president of programmatic sales” likely wasn’t even on Meredith’s radar.

But having an exec focused solely on programmatic in today's world seems like a good move on Meredith’s part. The company houses premium inventory and also owns agencies and marketing services, including MXM, the Meredith agency.

Agencies and brands have been making a push to be more hands-on with the programmatic media-buying process, so the move by Meredith to appoint a VP of programmatic sales is smart in that it helps them maintain a level of control.

“I will be working closely with all Meredith divisions over time, starting with Digital, Corporate Sales, and Meredith 360,” Schenck told RTM Daily. “As the business evolves, we can then look at any business unit within Meredith and see how we can bring programmatic and/or data-driven selling capabilities into play.”

There has also been chatter about how important it is to own and use first-party data, and this appointment might be a power play to do just that.

Schenck will report to Carolyn Bekkedahl, senior vice president of digital sales at Meredith. In the release announcing the appointment, Bekkedahl said the company hired Schenck because of his experience with “data-driven sales and programmatic media," both of which "have become such ... essential element[s] of brand marketing,” which drives home the points made above.

In the end, this appointment is less about “When Chip Met Meredith,” and more about the potential for Meredith to meet millions of American women, and shower them with "love" in the form of more personalized ads -- you know, to make them feel special and unique.

“First-party data is, at its core, the unique look at a publisher’s relationship with its consumers,” Schenck said. “Who they are, their interests, purchases, habits, and how they interact with the content or products of a publisher. Because each publisher’s relationship, and interaction, with the consumer is different, the first-party data generated only further enriches the view that a marketer has into what drives a consumer’s purchase decision.”

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