The Transformation Series: Nick Sagginario
Getting my feet wet
It was 2011 when I got my first taste of the digital marketing industry. As a sophomore at West Virginia University, I had no clue that digital marketing meant anything beyond serving ads while I skimmed through photos on Facebook, but I soon learned about the world beyond the ads when I began working at a performance marketing agency during my summer internship on Long Island.
After graduating in 2013, I knew more than I did in 2011, but was still green by industry standards. I took a role with CBS Interactive and received a crash course on the publisher side of the business, and began visualizing where my skills and strengths fit into the marketing landscape. The role even allowed me to relocate to Detroit at the beginning of 2015, where I managed digital advertising portfolios across the automotive industry.
After leaving CBSi in December of 2015, I went back to NYC and entered the programmatic space at Rocket Fuel, a former adtech company. In December of 2017, I met up with an old colleague at a happy hour, and she told me amazing things about the company she’d just joined. She also said that they had an opening on the Client Success (CS) team, so I decided to check it out and go for an interview. Sure enough, in January of 2018, I joined VideoAmp.
When I initially met with VideoAmp, I was pumped about how young and hungry the company was. VideoAmp was scrappy, agile, and ready to take on anything. My first year was filled with early mornings and late nights. But every minute paid off — in 2018 we saw a 700% increase in revenue. You don’t come across that kind of growth often or easily.
Aside from the revenue, the company itself — which had about 15 people in the New York office when I started — began to hire. Today, we’re over 60 strong in New York, which is proof that you truly get back what you put in. Now, I’m not going to say every day was easy, but it was because of the difficulties we worked through that has made the ride even sweeter — a ride, two-and-a-half years later, that I am still proud to be on.
What I liked most about my role on the Client Success team was the ability to nurture and grow client relationships. The last thing you want when bringing a client in is to work with them once and never see them again. As a CS Manager, it’s only when you take the time to invest yourself in your clients’ success that you are truly able to understand your clients’ needs and issues on a more technical level. Once you have that level of understanding, you can guide them in making better decisions and help them meet their business goals. Helping clients find efficiencies while growing the VideoAmp business was one of the most rewarding aspects of my experience.
Time for a change
About six months into my time at VideoAmp, I started thinking about how I could apply this type of relationship-building to the publisher and partner side of our business. There is so much potential for growth as our industry narrows its focus on measurement. I saw Business Development (BD) as a combination of partner relationship building and foreseeing the increasing shifts in the advertising landscape as a whole. I spoke to my manager at the time and made the transition from Client Success to Business Development, which was amazing. It feels great to be at a company where I am fully supported in making changes that are important to me as a professional and individual.
I’ve been on the BD team for just over a year now and time has flown. My managers and teammates are some of the most intelligent and inspiring people I’ve had the pleasure of working with. They push me to think about things in different ways and to continue growing. The saying goes, “you should never be the smartest person in a room,” and I can honestly say, that with these guys, I always feel like there’s so much more to learn and strive for.
Putting my priorities in order
On a personal level, a lot has changed from when I first started at VideoAmp to now. In the beginning, like most recent grads, I was getting caught in a cycle of long workdays, happy hours, and entertaining clients. Rest and a healthy diet were not at the top of the list. But VideoAmp helped me find the balance and tools to create better habits. VideoAmp’s focus on making time for fitness with company-sponsored workout classes multiple times a day, six days a week, helped me create a better work/life balance. The competitive elements of these classes helped me a lot because I’m the type of person who does what it takes to win.
For the first VideoAmp fitness competition I participated in, NY employees were able to pick a partner outside of the company to participate with. I completely changed my lifestyle to put myself in a position to win, which included cleaning up my diet, reducing those late-night beers with friends, and getting enough rest during the week.
We were judged in different categories across class participation, fat loss, and muscle gain. In the end, the sacrifices paid off as my partner and I ended up winning the “Teams” portion of the challenge. During the 12 weeks of that challenge, I decreased my body fat percentage by 8% and added over 5lbs of muscle.
But the best part was the charitable element — winners were able to choose a cause to donate to, which meant a lot to us. Since then, I’ve participated in three other company fitness competitions and have been a captain of two team competitions, including our current summer team challenge — shoutout to Clean Jerks and Mile Far Club!
Even now, with all that’s happened in 2020, I still feel the continued support from VideoAmp — both personally or professionally. Being home during COVID-19 can make boundaries in the workday hard to define. It’s a testament to the organization’s “employee-first” mentality that there is still so much importance placed on making time for mental and physical health while working from home. VideoAmp has managed to stay true to its values and continues to support all of us to stay healthy and productive through this time.