Our ‘Profile: A Day in the Life of’ feature takes a look at some of the global professionals working across performance marketing. It aims to shed light on the varying roles and companies across the flourishing industry. This week we head to New York to speak to the chief executive at Maxifier, Denise Colella.


Denise Colella

Job title and company:

CEO, Maxifier

In one sentence, how would you describe what the company does?

Our goal is to make sure digital advertising is working and performing for our clients, including publishers, networks and trading desks, so they can maximize their revenue and yield.

What are the company’s unique selling points?

We’re one of the few ad tech businesses that have developed a solution specifically to address the performance challenges of high value, premium inventory. Many of the technologies and investments we’ve seen over the years have been focused on lower value inventory.

Our technology not only gives total insight into campaign performance, it also drives optimization by providing actionable recommendations for every campaign. These can be quickly implemented to ensure each campaign continues on track to deliver to its goal – whether this is direct response or branding focused.

Last year, and it will be the same for this year, viewability has been a very hot topic. However, the challenge is how to take viewability reports and action that with data to improve campaigns and hit the buyer’s required percentage. We can work with any of the approved viewability vendors to make their data actionable so you can easily optimize to a viewability metric.

Within the last year, what stands out as the company’s major milestones? 

In 2014 we successfully launched ADMAX TRADE, which expanded our capabilities to support audience and performance optimization within marketplaces. ADMAX TRADE supports advanced buy-side optimisation for RTB inventory and is being used by trading desks and networks, a departure from our traditional target audience of premium publishers who use our ADMAX product to optimise their guaranteed inventory. We’re seeing rapid adoption in the US, France, Spain, Switzerland and Brazil, and have just signed our first direct advertiser client.

Duration in current role:

13 months.

Where are you based?

I’m based out of New York but leading an international company. I spend a great deal of time traveling within the US and across Europe and Asia.

Previous performance marketing-related companies you have worked at:

I started my ad tech career at DoubleClick in Asia where I was helping develop and localize their technology to help drive performance advertising in a number of different markets, working in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Australia. I also headed up Right Media internationally – both pre and post-acquisition by Yahoo! – building the global footprint across Europe, Asia and South America, as well as educating the markets around the concept of automated trading.

What are your main job responsibilities?

Running and managing the business today while planning the strategy for where Maxifier needs to go in the future. The best part of my day is spending time with clients as they embrace new technologies to further their business.

Take us through what you get up to on a typical working Monday:

Assuming I am not on my way to the airport, as a marathoner, my day starts around 5 a.m, running the streets of South Amboy with my dog, which helps clear my mind for the week ahead and gain some valuable thinking time to muse over current business issues. On the train to Manhattan I typically catch up on my emails from Tokyo, before internal management meetings commence. As my morning is afternoon in Europe, I’ll check in with my teams in London and Samara, Russia. After that it’s a mixture of client-related activity, dealing with Board requests, reviewing numbers, performance and pipelines, making sure I know what’s happening for the week ahead and where I need to be.   

What top three websites can you be found browsing during your lunch hour?

Business Insider, AdExchanger and my Facebook running groups (but not necessarily in that order)

What are your top three tips for someone looking to get their hands on a job like yours?

  1. When you first become CEO, listen more than you talk. 
  2. Hire wisely, build a strong team and work with good people you can trust – this is essential for any business but especially an international one with remote offices.
  3. Keep up to date with what is happening in the industry, especially on the client side. Ad tech changes quickly, but your clients problems are more important to understand than other vendors’ latest developments and conquests.

Career-wise, where do you see yourself in three years time?

In an industry like ours where predicting the next six months proves challenging, that’s a really hard question. I’d like to think I’d continue to be leading Maxifier by ensuring what our business offers remains relevant and of value to our clients.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?

I once competed on a Japanese game show and won a spatula.