The year is 2012, and Lorenzo Moreno is planning his next career move. The veteran sales leader has no shortage of options, but he’s determined to take his time and find the perfect fit. He’s impressed by the Trade Desk (TTD), whose technology platform enables brands and media buyers to create, manage and optimize data-driven digital advertising campaigns at scale across all channels and devices.
Moreno’s a bit wary of working in the startup world again, but he has a good feeling about TTD.
“I had mostly worked at startups and wasn’t interested in trying a new one,” said Moreno. “But the role seemed challenging, and everyone I met was super smart and had a vision I agreed with. I took the job and have never looked back.”
When Moreno joined TTD as Senior Director of Business Development seven years ago, he worked out of a small New York office. Fast forward to today and Moreno is based in the company’s fast-growing Los Angeles office where he oversees sales and development initiatives as GM of Business Development for the Southwest region.
We recently caught up with Moreno to learn more about how his career has grown at The Trade Desk, the impact he’s been able to make on the company and what’s next.
You joined The Trade Desk in 2012, bringing 10 years of sales experience with you. What made you want to join the team?
At the time I had just gotten laid off, which in retrospect was a massive gift because I had the time to devote myself to what was next. I had over 40 phone interviews and 20 in-person interviews. I was able to quickly discern the companies that were mostly smoke and mirrors from the ones that had real promise.
Two things about The Trade Desk really impressed me: their thoughtful, intelligent answers to my questions and the fact that they were one of only two companies that gave me a demo of their platform.
TTD entered a massive growth stage shortly after you joined the company. How has your career grown as the company has scaled?
When I started, there were maybe eight of us in the New York office, and maybe 25 or so in the company. Now, our headcount is over 1,200 and over $2 billion was spent on the platform last year. From the beginning, we’ve very much stuck to the idea that buying intelligence should exist as close as it can to the client.
Our biggest challenge has been getting agencies to just take that first step. Media buyers are already the most sophisticated buyers in the world, and giving them this new toolset only makes them more so. I was able to apply a lot of the lessons I learned in New York to the LA market.
We’ve heard TTD gives team members the opportunity to find their own place in the company. How have you experienced this?
The Trade Desk is very much a believer in hiring smart people, giving them thorough training and then letting them loose to contribute wherever they can. We strive to build a place where every idea is valued and everyone can contribute. It helps that we hire some of the nicest, most humble people who also happen to have Type A personalities.
I’ve also seen people’s roles evolve since I joined the company. You may start as a trader, but you could very easily end up as a product manager, or start in sales and end up in talent acquisition. TTD can grow with you in whatever direction your career takes.
The Trade Desk is very much a believer in hiring smart people, giving them thorough training and then letting them loose to contribute wherever they can.”
Joining a young and fast-growing tech company gives you the ability to more clearly see the impact your work makes. How has your work helped TTD grow?
Being in sales, I have immediately seen how my activities make a contribution and impact our bottom line. As I’ve grown with the company, however, my contribution has become more about how I can help others be successful. It’s so much more satisfying, and it’s also how we scale. We’ll never reach our full potential as managers if we don’t teach 10 other people how to do what we do.
We've talked a lot about past and recent growth — but there's still more to come. What excites you most about the future?
We are at the beginning of a multi-year transformation that will eventually impact all of advertising. It’s never been more exciting because we’re finally starting to see the complete customer journey from first impression to final purchase. Attribution is a big part of what we’re working on, along with connected television.
Consumers, especially those in younger demographics, are changing the way they watch TV, moving from a coaxial delivery-based method (cable) to WiFi. That’s great news for us because that makes the question of, “How are my ad dollars working,” much easier to answer. We are in the beginning stages of all of this, and it’s an exciting time to be in this industry.