Catherine's Circle: Kristin Frank, President, AdPredictive


Author: Catherine Tabor

I’m thrilled to introduce Kristin Frank, the President of AdPredictive, as our latest contributor to Catherine’s Circle. Kristin has been a force in media for over 2 decades and has been honored as Variety's Power Women of NY, one of the Most Powerful Women in Cable, and the Top Women in Digital: Corporate Visionary Award.

Before joining AdPredictive, Kristin was an Executive VP at Viacom, most recently as the Chief Operating Officer for MTV. She is also on the Board of Directors of Brightcove, Gaia, Cornerstone Capital and AdPredictive. She previously served on the Board of Directors of Gaiam before completing the sale to Sequential Brands in July 2016.

Catherine: You’ve been in media for over 23 years and have recently been quoted as saying the industry is at a crossroads. How do you think data will impact the future of media?

Kristin: Data doesn’t lie. I often tell our clients, some of the largest media companies, retailers, travel companies, etc.; we are entering the era of “I know” versus “I think”. The CMOs of tomorrow are already thinking this way. Instead of gathering data for data sake, they are truly digging into the strongest first party and partner data to understand a few critical elements: Who their customers are and how best to engage with them; in order to drive consideration and purchase, but ultimately, loyalty.

These CMOs are moving away from the “Black Box” mentality. The Black Boxes, or proprietary data technologies offered from many companies have hindered CMO’s ability to get to the heart of their customers, understand how their marketing is working or not working, and how their marketing is specifically impacting their business.

Customer centricity is what these CMOs are seeking to create and it all starts with seeing and controlling  the strongest ID-based data to understand who their customers (or audiences) actually are; and, most importantly, the insights on how to build the marketing programs that drive the strongest business outcomes.  

This is what we do for our partners.

Catherine: You spent twenty-three years at Viacom! You could have gone anywhere when you left. What drew you to AdPredictive?

Kristin: It’s interesting that what drew me to Viacom to begin with was my fascination with software and media. I loved my time at Viacom, but last year, I knew it was time for a change. I was volunteering with TechStars in NYC, mentoring entrepreneurs and the President introduced me to fellow mentor, Dan Carroll; serial entrepreneur/CEO/Founder of AdPredictive.

AdPredictive’s tech and Dan’s approach to the market won me over immediately. From my days on the media side of the industry, I immediately knew he had built something I hadn’t seen before and I wanted to be part of it. I joined the Board, and less than a year later, I joined the company as its President, focusing on operations, sales and marketing.

Catherine: We work with national retailers and QSR brands. Any advice for them as they consider working with smaller tech companies like Sparkfly or AdPredictive?

Kristin: While at Viacom, I knew that in order to leapfrog our competitors, I had to be open to outside companies. Countless vendors pitched me over the years; but there were several who brought game-changing solutions. These companies, who quickly became deep partners, are usually easy to spot. First, they talk about how to affect business outcomes, not meet vanity metrics. They tend to understand how to work within larger, matrixed companies. They are nimble, moving with velocity and focus that oftentimes put larger companies slightly out of their comfort zones. This is critical.

These partners bring a wealth of digital experience and help larger organizations: retailers, QSRs or even media companies, experiment with new ways to drive revenue, create deeper customer engagement, fortify their brands, or drive resource or business efficiencies.

Treat these companies as partners and find ways to incorporate them into your planning and testing.

Catherine: What’s the best piece of career or life advice you ever received?

Kristin: Be an advocate for your employees, and yourself.

Catherine: You were recently chosen as a Top Mentor for Comcast:Techstars. Why is it important to you to pay your mentoring experiences forward?

Kristin answer: If you have the opportunity to positively influence someone’s life or their business, why wouldn’t you?

Catherine: Do you have a quote or philosophy that guides your career decisions?

Kristin: “Work for the White Space.” It’s reflective of what I have done career wise; I focus on transformation and opportunity. At Viacom, I created new businesses and products like LOGO, Always On, etc. for unserved market segments. As a board member for publicly traded and private companies, I take the same stance. Cornerstone is reinventing Impact and Capitalism. Today, as the President of AdPredictive, I’m helping the company create the customer intelligence platform of the future.

Catherine: What can we do to support more women in media and leadership?

Kristin: There is incredible untapped power of pairing a seasoned leaders with young talent. It accelerates all sorts of outcomes, including shared learning and growth, which can expand perspectives and experiences. In turn, this can create exposure and access to new opportunities and expanded networks for both.

Catherine: As a tech startup president, how do you approach your day to day?

Kristin: Velocity and focus. Those are my new normal. How to create more with less, fast, and with laser focus on impact.

Catherine: How do you define a win?

Kristin: At AdPredictive, our customers are at the center of all that we do, so winning means we are succeeding for them. It’s that simple. We win if they win.