‘Adjust’ing in life — Gratitude & Learnings from my first job in MarTech / AdTech

Vineet V. George
8 min readJan 29, 2024
A new journey, Jan 2022

After a decade or so of varied experiences that included selling books, doing an MBA across three countries, working in the world of cloud, and finally building a new business unit with Google Maps Platform, I took a career break in 2021. Phew.

The sole aim of the break was to figure out where I wanted to head next. (and also spend some time riding a motorbike across the country because, well, why not).

There were various options on my plate, from entertainment to tech (SaaS, Product Companies and others), from automobiles to agri-tech. In the end, the stars aligned and I began a new journey in the world of MarTech/AdTech.

MarTech, short for Marketing technology and AdTech (short for advertising technology), refer to an exciting domain of advertising & marketing tools, platforms and technologies that have been developed for marketers with various goals. One of the primary ones being to optimize ad spend or marketing spend.

These platforms include ad networks (Google, Meta, Applovin etc., analytics tools (Google analytics, Amplitude, Mixpanel), engagement platforms (MoEngage, WebEngage, Clevertap), Customer Data platforms (Segment, Adobe, Salesforce) and many other tools.

Out of these amazing platforms and organisations, I got to work with an organisation which works in the unique space of mobile measurement & analytics. Also known as mobile measurement platforms or MMPs.

MMPs lie in the very middle of mobile app marketing – they help connect the dots for marketers and help answer the very crucial question, ‘where am I spending my money and where am I getting my marketing returns from’?

So basically, working with a Mobile Measurement Platform, gives us a deep view of the entire marketing stack because MMPs connect to every other tool in the MarTech stack.

This was a truly exceptional sales experience for me because of the completely new space I was in, working with a German organization and working in a diverse & truly global team, in a post-Covid world.

Safe to say that in the last two years here, I have had the experience of a lifetime. I’ve worked with people from around the world, partnered with over a 100 startups, mid-sized companies and large enterprises. As a team we’ve worked with 1000s of app marketers (and apps of all sizes) helping them reach their audiences more efficiently and effectively. It’s been a roller coaster ride full of fun, and excitement.

Over these two years, I’ve learned a lot and I am grateful for a lot. I’ve tried to capture a few of these learnings here.

Mentorship and Paying it forward

On my first day at work, I was introduced to my direct manager and my mentor who was also the head of partnerships for the APAC region. This is a great practice, now followed by many organizations. This helps support new employees in getting up to speed with their role, connect better with the team and get to know their organization better.

Little did I know that this journey of mentorship & support would continue throughout my time at the organization, right up to the very last day of my time there.

Both my mentors, were industry veterans and had been with the organization for quite a few years. Even though they knew the ins and outs of the product, the team and the industry, they never let their immense knowledge come in the way of my own learning.

They guided me well but at the same time, encouraged me to do things my way. This gave me a lot of room to learn through my own experiences and gave me an open ground to make mistakes and learn from them. Every time I fell, they were there to pick me up, get me back on my feet and give me the push I needed to get back on track.

A good mentor is someone who guides the mentee but at the same time, gives the mentee enough space to create their own path, and grow through their own experiences. Great mentors are also open to learning from their mentees. They create a safe space for their mentees to grow, share feedback and be themselves.

My mentors were extraordinary individuals who also taught me a very key lesson of life — humility and staying grounded.

I am grateful for their leadership, their mentorship and their friendship.

The Cool Colleagues

I began working with this organization in 2022. It was post-covid but at the same time, the world was still taking baby steps in getting back to the ‘new normal’. Our regional team was also a baby, ready to expand, ready to grow and take on the world of MarTech. While we were all working remotely, over time we forged deep bonds, and camaraderie that extended beyond our job roles.

Our core customer-facing team was composed of sales, inside sales, solution consulting/implementation and customer success. Each of the functions was led by a global lead with a very flat structure regionally. This gave all of us a level playing ground where we could experiment, play to each other’s strengths and implement strategies to keep building market share.

Each of us were ‘experts’ in our own domains but at the same time, owing to the nature of the engagements, we collaborated and worked together on various projects, together. This led to team-based learnings and allowed us to get deeper on-the-job insights into how different functions performed. It also gave us perspective on how we, in our own role, could positively impact other teams through more considerate actions. (As simple as making sure that a colleague was marked in an email or was part of a crucial meeting).

There were tough times, challenging partnerships & deal cycles, and difficult situations that we navigated together, as a team.

Over time we also coined the phrase #oneteam — growing together, working with each other and focusing on ‘one’ goal. This interdependence instilled a lot of confidence in me as I started my career in this entirely new industry, and couldn’t be more thankful for the support the different individuals shared.

A key takeaway that I am most grateful for is that whenever we are in a conundrum, or feeling down or feeling lost, one of the easiest ways to get back up is to do something positive for the team — taking on a task for a team member, creating some collateral or cheat sheet that the team could benefit from or just sharing a deal story that helps others around us learn from our mistakes.

Each of us focused on adding those small positive drops in the ocean, that added up to long term camaraderie and a great team atmosphere.

Tech & Sales Lingo

While we were always a small team, we managed many customers among us, and given the core nature of the platform, our tech, support and client engagement teams were always on their toes. Our teams would manage many queries, on a day to day basis. Solving for our customers was (and is) core to our engagement model.

As is true for most SaaS (Software as a service) organizations, an integral part of the engagement model is the tech and support team. And most tech support teams, across organizations, stay away from the usual limelight.

What we believed in and always knew was that our tech & support teams are our backbone. Once a client is onboarded, their success was highly dependent on the expertise and attitude with which our tech engaged with the client.

Customer queries, issues, new product implementations, team training, managing internal & external stakeholders, ensuring SLA upkeep — the list is endless. And hence, the mental & emotional bandwidth that a tech support rep brings to the table is immense.

And while a lot of us, in sales, also go through a lot of ups & downs, we do get recognition and live in the limelight. Tech teams may go unnoticed but their roles are equally, if not even more, impactful.

I learned a lot from them. Working with our technical account management and support teams gave me better perspective of my role and how I could be better at what I do (sales and the initial expectation setting with prospective customers). Listening to and understanding their view points has always helped me become a better ‘seller’ and might I say, a better human being too. Always grateful.

An Organization built on a really cool culture

This was my first time working for a European organization. And more specifically, a German organization. Growing up, many of my friends and I were big fans of German automobiles. Our mechanical and automation engineering courses focused a lot on German methodologies and engineering fundamentals. Hence, I was personally quite excited to work in a global German organization. I had imagined it to be strict, disciplined and rule-bound.

Well, all I can say is that I was quite pleasantly surprised.

Our workplace was the epitome of ‘cool’. Team structures were flat, autonomy was not a theoretical concept but a practice instilled in each of us. We owned each of our roles and we had so much room to work on ourselves, our strategies, take the support of global teams and at the same time feel responsible towards our goals.

Yes, there were processes and rules and these helped streamline multi-team engagements in a positive that helped protect individual spaces and to ensure high productivity of teams. There are always clear boundaries between professional and personal spaces, we always respected each other’s time and we also learned a lot about working within guidelines for engaging with varied teams.

When managers, colleagues and different teams supported each other’s personal as well as professional goals, it created a cohesive environment of growth for everyone.

Our customers

Sales teams spend the most time engaging with customers. In our case these were app marketers. Each app marketer had their own goals, vision for their apps (and websites) and means & ways to attain those goals.

We worked across countries, industries, across different verticals, sizes and teams. This varied experience brought with it tremendous learning, both technically and psychologically.

Technical learning because each app is different, and each marketer thinks differently. From branding to performance marketing, from specific metrics to broad results, marketers come in all shapes and sizes. Most importantly, in most cases, marketers are the most creative people in an organization.

As a seller, this was paradise, a place where you could learn so much — right from the qualification process (aligning with the goals, pain points, and use-cases), the deal negotiation process (again, use-cases, features and pricing) to the post sales onboarding process — It was always exciting to go deeper into ‘what the customer wants’.

And as is true for most SaaS and B2B sales processes, the final deal closure is just the beginning of the partnership. Through our engagements, we learned so much and built so much trust, depth and vastness of technical and marketing knowledge, it was overwhelming, to say the least.

Secondly, psychologically we learned how to manage different personalities, different teams and different types of situations. Again, coming together as a team to do this, was an exceptional experience.

All in all, these experiences were magical, and I couldn’t be more grateful. As a sales guy, working in different fields, while the products, services and industries may change every now & then, the fundamentals of what an organization stands for and works towards, builds long lasting relationships within as well as outside the organization.

Cheers!

Always a fan!

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Vineet V. George

A sales and consulting professional who enjoys writing about things that are close to his heart.