The PulsePoint team is committed to recognizing all of the amazing work that our clients do to improve health outcomes for the world’s population. That’s why we are kicking off a special series dedicated to highlighting our all-star clients who have gone above and beyond to execute successful campaigns that foster a healthier world. Continuing our Trader Hall of Fame series, we have nominated a true programmatic leader and proponent, Imtiaz Khondaker, Senior Programmatic and Social Manager for Bayer.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Imtiaz Khondaker and am excited to share why he made our Trader Hall of Fame list below.
Imtiaz’s Journey to Programmatic
He’s a rockstar trader today. But all good things come at their own time and pace. And Imtiaz traces his pathway to programmatic back to humble early roots in media. After earning a university degree in finance and marketing and dabbling in auditing jobs, Imtiaz entered the media industry with an entry-level agency position in 2015, as an affiliate marketer. But it wasn’t until he segued to the media-buying space in 2017 as a Programmatic Trade and Affiliate Coordinator with Ask Applications, he says, that he “pretty much loved it and never looked back.” Back then, Imtiaz was taken under the wing of his mentor Erica Hawethorne, Executive Director of Digital Media Strategy at Bayer, and soon after found himself in a new role as a programmatic trader. Erica told him she thought he’d enjoy programmatic because there’s so much to learn and it’s so technical, says Imitaz. And she was right.
Even back then, he says, he definitely saw programmatic as the way forward, “just by knowing about some of the early stages of the achievement it can create, and the efficiencies in driving click-through rates and visit rates.” By 2020, he joined InTouch Solutions in his first official programmatic role with a pharmaceutical company.That’s also when he first started working with PulsePoint.
Since late 2021, Imtiaz has headed up programmatic efforts for Bayer, the first pharmaceutical company to bring their digital marketing in-house. Compared to agency work, he says, he enjoys the autonomy of his new role with the company–including the ability to be quick on his feet and manage his own budgets and campaigns in a way he wasn’t able to do before.
Imtiaz’s Favorite Part about Working with PulsePoint
Imtiaz first started working with the PulsePoint team during his years at InTouch, where he ran the company’s first campaigns on the PulsePoint platform. He credits his PulsePoint contacts (Malcolm Halle and Zach Rice) with helping him build campaigns he would never have imagined possible to achieve, he says. At times, when he ran into hardships–his budget being suddenly cut, for example–and he felt at a loss for what to do next, Imtiaz says he leaned on the PulsePoint team, calling the company a “rock” to his campaigns.
“They really stepped in, came up with alternatives and showed me what was possible. And anytime I’ve made any suggestions on platform advancements or enhancements, they’ve been there, too,” he says. He appreciates PulsePoint’s optimism about making things happen and accommodating the needs of his campaign, says Imtiaz.
We’re happy to help, Imtiaz–so please keep your feedback coming so we can keep improving the platform for you and help you continue to reach your lofty goals.
Imtiaz’s Advice for Someone Starting Out
Programmatic is a fast-paced business, but it’s okay to ease your way into it. With all the channels, knowledge and action around programmatic, says Imtiaz, expect it to take a few months to wrap your head around everything. And just keep in mind that it’s totally normal to feel overwhelmed–and try not to feel the pressure to rush things, he advises.
“Programmatic is actually really simple when you understand it, so learn it slowly,” he says. “Nobody’s expecting someone to turn into a programmatic expert overnight. It’s something that gradually happens.”
And remember, Imtiaz says–because programmatic is constantly evolving, it’s a constant learning process, too. “It’s an ever-changing industry where there’s always nuances, there’s always challenges, and there’s always more and more opportunity.”
What to know if you want to work with Imtiaz
While you don’t have to feel the pressure to rush the learning process in programmatic, Imitaz stresses that staying organized is a key factor for performing well in the business. “It’s simple but challenging to stay disciplined and consistent,” he says. But those who do, see the rewards.
Imtiaz’s Favorite Part of his Job
Being tapped into what’s happening behind the scenes thanks to the knowledge gained and maximized through the technology of programmatic gives Imtiaz a real rush. “It’s just so fascinating, because there’s so much that’s happening that not everyone is aware of,” he says.
And for all the highs that come with being one of the people who really understand programmatic, Imtiaz says, it’s seeing his efficiencies that are his favorite aspect of the job. “The aim of every campaign I run is how can I make it more efficient without compromising the volume of impressions or conversions and clicks,” he says. “You’re helping guide the AI in making decisions, there are so many levers you can pull.” And seeing the result in pulling those levers reflect in your company’s success is the most fulfilling feeling, he says.
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