adMarketplace's newly appointed Vice President of Business Development Mary Young had great aspirations to become the president of the United States.
A world traveler, Young, who now runs adMarketplace’s search publisher growth strategy, brings more than 15 years of business development experience working with brands across the globe. She most recently spent three years and eight months at IAC Applications, four years and two months at Ask Partner Network, and six years and 11 months at AffiliateFuture.
Young learned about adMarketplace while at IAC and became interested in the company due to its ability to innovate outside of the legacy search engine. She also was attracted to their focus on privacy. “I started my career in the U.K. in affiliate marketing,” she said. “During the past few years there’s been an increase in protecting consumer data. That’s who I am.”
At adMarketplace, Young leads about two-dozen direct reports. Her goal for the year is to help brands and publishers directly reach consumers without compromising or sacrificing privacy.
How did a woman who wanted to become president of the United States end up making her career advertising and marketing? What follows are excerpts from the conversation, where we talk about her goals and perspective on advertising and marketing.
Inside Performance: What did you find different about adMarketplace?
Young: Their ability to connect brands with premium publishers without selling your soul or customers’ data to monetize the campaign.
IP: Did you begin your career in the U.K.?
Young: I actually was born in Costa Rica. I’m American and Costa Rican decent. My husband is British and that’s what led me to stay in the U.K. for about the five years.
IP: As you grew up in Costa Rica did you always want to go into marketing?
Young: I wanted to be president of the United States.
It was a difficult day when I discovered I couldn’t because I wasn’t born in the country. My daughter, however, since very young wanted to be president. It didn’t come from me. She just grew up waving that flag ever since she could speak.
IP: Why did you want to become president?
Young: It goes back to the reasons that make me concerned about privacy and user protection. I wanted to be an agent for change and make sure people are protected.
IP: What are some of the presidential attributes you might use today?
Young: I try to be a thoughtful and expressive communicator. It has become important to have an open mind and listen.
IP: What is the best piece of advice anyone ever gave you and from whom did it come?
Young: Someone once told me to make decisions based on hope and not fear. It’s fundamental to how I live my life. I try to be bold and live by what’s right and true, rather than think about what could happen if it goes the wrong way.
The other is to do what you can with what you have at the moment. Sometimes when you look at a subject too broadly it can become daunting. If you take the first step with the tools you have you will make progress.
IP: Would you provide the same advice to someone just starting in the advertising industry?
Young: Yes. I’m sure we’ve all had those moments of trying to explain to our parents what we do. It usually takes a few times. It can be daunting and confusing from the outside.
IP: What type of work-related thoughts keep you up at night?
Young: It’s usually because I had an idea and I need to write it down. I keep a pen and paper nearby. I get excited about innovation and tend to value creativity, and new ways to do something.
IP: How was it joining a new company during a pandemic?
Young: It was sort of a crazy time, but the team was very supportive. We went to work-from-home move quickly, but it was a bonding experience. We learned a lot about each other. The silver lining is if COVID-19 didn’t happen, I might not know my team as well personally.
It was humanizing to remember the most important things and values.