Looking Back at the ANA Advertising Financial Management Conference

Every year, hundreds of media finance professionals come together to discuss emerging issues, benchmark best practices, and network with like minds at the ANA Advertising Financial Management Conference. With so many recent developments and conversations around the media ecosystem, this year was especially notable. Panels ranged from fraud in digital advertising and supplier diversity to the development of in-house agencies and navigating what’s next in an explosive media universe.

Nevertheless, it can be difficult to dive deeper into some of these notable topics in just a few days. That’s why we hosted a private dining experience for FastPay clients, friends, and partners to continue the conversation outside of the hustle and bustle. Hosted at celebrity chef Michael Mina’s restaurant Bourbon Steak, invitees had the opportunity to connect 1:1 while enjoying a 3-course meal, craft cocktails, and hand-rolled cigars.

“The ANA AFM Conference is one of the few conferences that include both media and finance professionals so we wanted to utilize this time to facilitate meaningful conversation and learn directly from our client’s experiences. It was a great opportunity to alleviate some concerns and discover ways we can better adapt and support industry professionals,” said Rich Rosenzweig, East Coast Regional Director at FastPay.

As a longstanding sponsor of the ANA AFM, we were happy to be a part of this year’s discussions. Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth to see us! We hope to see you again next year.

      

What’s in your political tech stack?

FastPay recently facilitated a roundtable discussion titled “The Political Tech Stack” at this year’s Campaign Tech East in Washington D.C. With so many technology providers in the market, we wanted to gain a better understanding of the products and features agency leaders look for in a partner, so we brought together a group of political media experts to discuss their key components for a tech stack.

Moderated by Theresa Mueller, VP of Political Payments at FastPay, we examined some of the most sophisticated political campaigns to discover how agencies are leveraging modern technology to accelerate their operations. Not surprisingly, agency leaders prioritized the following in their go-to tech solutions: easy integration, trusted customer service, extensive data, and remote accessibility.

With many agencies still relying on legacy systems, integration is one of the biggest considerations when adopting new technology. If systems are non-compatible or have a multitude of layers, departments can be left dealing with various platforms and logins that only hinder efficiency. It’s important to make sure your tech stack is adapted to flex and grow with new demands. Does it connect with my current Quickbooks? Is there technical support or onboarding? These are just some of the questions experts recommend looking into.

Whether a campaign is in the planning process or execution phase, efficiency is critical every step of the way and the right technology is key to success. Check out this interview with Theresa and C&E’s Shane Greer and learn how you can drive greater efficiency with your tech stack.

Reducing costs and making campaigns more efficient with electronic payments.

Reducing costs and making campaigns more efficient with electronic payments. Theresa Mueller of FastPay chats with C&E's Shane Greer.Partner video with FastPay

Posted by Campaigns & Elections on Wednesday, April 24, 2019

FastPay Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the AAPC Pollie Awards

  

Over 700 people gathered in Napa Valley last week for the 50th anniversary of the 2019 AAPC Pollie Awards & Conference.  With a commitment to helping leaders in political media, FastPay was a proud sponsor of the 40 Under 40 Awards ceremony and reception as well as the sold-out wine train excursion.

“It’s always a pleasure to spend time with our clients and watch them win awards. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than by taking in views along the Napa vineyards with a glass of wine!” said Theresa Mueller, VP of Political Payments at FastPay.

It wasn’t all about the wine and chocolate though, the days were jam-packed with panel discussions and insights from top leaders such as Joanna Burgos of OnMessage Inc. Burgos moderated a panel around women consultants in the workplace and national conversations happening around #metoo, as well as how women candidates have different campaign obstacles to overcome.

Other panel discussions explored the political industry’s off-year cash crunch, sustainable ways of reducing overhead, and the best TV advertising strategies of today. Not surprisingly, data shows that TV continues to be the lead media channel to drive voter awareness but the stakes are high as new digital and targeted strategies are introduced across the industry.

“As TV broadcast remains the dominant platform for reaching voters, it will be interesting to see how political campaigns evolve in such a competitive market to reach divided audiences, especially in the coveted 2020 cycle. We’re just excited to be a part of all of it,” says Rick Weir, VP of Marketing at FastPay.

Winning Big in Texas

Last week was very eventful for our clients and partners who attended the sold-out 2019 Reed Awards in Austin, Texas. Vying for bragging rights to coveted awards like the “Best TV Ad” and “Innovation in Media Buying” over 300 people came together in the heart of Texas hoping to win big.

Award categories included:  

  • Bootstrapped campaigns
  • Direct mail
  • Campaign branding and field
  • International
  • Digital
  • Grassroots
  • Television
  • Spanish language, newspaper, radio and phone calls

“As a multi-year Reed attendee, it was such an honor to be able to sponsor the event this year and support the recognition of the best campaign professionals in the industry. I don’t think people realize all of the work they do behind the scenes to make campaigns come to life,” said Theresa Mueller, VP of Political Payments at FastPay

But more than just an awards show, the event provided the political community with a unique opportunity to connect for a couple of days, share insights, talk shop, and of course, have some fun. And as the headline sponsor, we were determined to make that happen.

“We know campaign season can be emotionally and physically draining for our clients so the Reed Awards gave us a chance to recognize all of their hard work and celebrate the wins right there with them,” said Rick Weir, VP of Marketing at FastPay.

Congratulations to all of the winners. We hope to see you again next year!

Welcome the Newest Member of the FastPay Family!

We’re full steam ahead this year, and we’ve been busy hiring some pretty great people. One we want you to meet is Theresa Mueller, the new VP of Political Payments.

Coming from the media buying world, Theresa isn’t a stranger to the complexities of payments, especially when it comes to political media. Unlike traditional media, political agencies are required to pre-pay to ensure media will run as scheduled which means printing, scanning, and overnighting with FedEx® to meet last minute deadlines.

But these challenges are what entices Theresa – finding efficient solutions for political agencies. Already in her short time since joining FastPay, she’s seen clients directly benefit from the platform.

“I’ve seen the FastPay technology in action, and it works even better than I could have imagined. The platform is solid, reliable, and makes life so much easier for AP departments dealing with the quick pace of political ad buying,” said Theresa.

Theresa isn’t just all business. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, traveling to new places, running around D.C., playing midfield in her local Women’s soccer league, and spending time with her fiance.

Join us in welcoming her to FastPay!

Global Tech Platform Secures $25M Facility With FastPay

We’re happy to announce that in just three months FastPay secured a $25M facility for a global ad tech platform.

Unlike venture banks, we understand the ongoing challenges of lengthy payment terms and do not penalize companies for working with tier-one companies. We lean into what others label ‘risky’ and instead take a data-centric approach to approving credits, ensuring you can continue to grow and scale your business. 

“When you have a thorough understanding of the space and know how agencies and brands interact, you can begin to offer clients custom flexibility and availability. When our clients succeed, we succeed,” said Maytal Shainberg, SVP of Business Development and Origination at FastPay.

With diversified capital sources and ten years of experience, FastPay has already secured the movement of more than $5B in the space, helping media and technology companies access facilities as high as $100M and freedom from the ‘other guys.’

The [FastPay] Circus is in Town

What happens when you get FastPay employees from London, San Francisco, New York, D.C., Boston, and Los Angeles together in one room? A FastPay circus…also known as FastCon.

But FastCon is more than just a gathering of wild animals. It’s our annual convention for FastPay employees to get together, bond, strategize, and solidify goals for the year ahead. But in order to do so, we had to find the perfect space, outside of the office, to inspire innovation and creativity. The result…a VR arcade, of course.

So with a world of virtual mazes, flying games, and escape rooms awaiting us, we got down to business and envisioned FastPay’s future in the world of FinTech. After many hours of thoughtful conversations with leadership, brainstorming sessions with fellow peers, and motivational talks with industry experts we left the room feeling inspired and ready to take on 2019.

And while there’s a lot of exciting opportunities in store for us this coming year, one thing remains the same… our mission. Our mission to, not only, provide the best service to our clients but to also reduce the friction between suppliers and buyers within the complex media landscape.

Some may say this is an ambitious mission. But just like the circus has a room full of ring leaders, tightrope walkers, and unicyclists; we have a company full of innovative thinkers, problem solvers, passionate creatives, and multi-talented employees that perform awe-inspiring acts everyday… now it’s just a matter of pulling off the greatest show on Earth.

So right this way, Ladies and Gentlemen, watch as FastPay takes on the tech-nifying year of 2019.

2019: The Year of Tech & Mindfulness

Let’s face it, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is far from the picturesque Vegas scene we all see in our colleagues’ Instagram stories. Replace those fancy drinks and fun VR excursions with jet-lag, long lines, three hours of sleep, stress filled meetings, and missed calls from work and then maybe, just maybe, you’ll have a better idea of what CES looks like.  

But here at FastPay, we don’t sugar coat things… We know what it’s like at CES for our clients, channel partners, and potential prospects within the space. The media buying season is always on and new, emerging trends in both consumer and advertising technology are so rampant it’s hard to stay ahead of the game.

“Even in my twelfth year of attendance, I’m still amazed at how brands are reinventing the space with the use of integrated technology to engage with consumers in meaningful ways,” said Rick Weir, VP of Marketing at FastPay.

With all of this in mind, we knew we had our work cut out for us, which is why we hosted a Drybar event for select female leaders within the space to relax and unwind before the storm hit. Not only were these influential ladies able to get a blowout before important meetings, they also had the unique opportunity to connect and share insights into their ever changing worlds, something you don’t find at CES everyday…

FastPay Drybar at CES Post

“With the sensory overload that comes from CES, it’s difficult to stop and have a meaningful conversation so we wanted to create an experience where women felt comfortable enough to share their insights and advice with other empowered ladies in the space,” said Maytal Shainberg, SVP of Business Development and Origination at FastPay.

We are so happy we could be a part of the zoo that is called CES and connect with such amazing women! If there’s one thing we can all learn from this year’s CES, it’s that human connection can never be replaced.

Webinar Recap: Learn How Suppliers Can Optimize Interactions with Agency Finance

On Wednesday, FastPay participated in a webinar hosted by the BCCA… the media industry’s credit association, titled, “How credit can interact with agency finance departments more efficiently.”    

David Frogel, Chief Strategy Officer at FastPay, delivered the webinar to an audience of media suppliers covering some common issues and perceptions about media agencies. Frogel, a former COO/CFO of an advertising agency, shared with the attendees his insights on what goes on behind the scenes of an agency finance department and suggestions for media suppliers on how to optimize interaction with an agency. Specific supplier suggestions included:

  • Use EDI whenever possible
  • Understand how an agency treats duplicate invoices
  • Ensure invoices include critical header details, especially estimate and order
  • Consider payment portals and accept electronic payments
  • Explore solutions that streamline/centralize transactions
  • Pick up the phone!

The event concluded with Frogel’s thoughts on the future and Q&A from the audience.  

“I learned a lot about collaborative relationships between agencies and suppliers when I was a COO/CFO of an agency. It starts with willingness to change and considering industry platforms that will deliver greater efficiency and reduce friction for both parties,” said Frogel.

Special thanks to our friends at the BCCA… the media industry’s credit association for hosting this webinar. A full recording of the webinar can be viewed here.

FastPay Names Michael Wehner as General Manager and Senior Vice President of Payments

Media Industry Veteran to Define Payments Portfolio Go-to-Market Strategy and Drive Innovation

Michael Wehner SVP Payments

FastPay announced today that Michael Wehner has joined the company as General Manager and Senior Vice President of Payments. In this position, Wehner will have responsibility for FastPay’s payments portfolio, including managing sales, development, and growth, and overseeing expansion of solutions for media agencies and suppliers. He will be responsible for defining the payments go-to-market strategy and driving innovation through strategic customer engagements. Wehner began his new position as a member of the executive team in December, reporting to Jed Simon, CEO and Founder of FastPay.

Wehner joins FastPay from the Rubicon Project, a digital advertising infrastructure company, where he was Senior Vice President of Agency & Brand Sales. At the Rubicon Project, Wehner was responsible for building out the agency’s strategy and global team, while working closely with global buying partners. Prior to Rubicon, Wehner worked at Microsoft where he led the global strategy for Media & Entertainment, before moving to the company’s advertising division. Before then, Wehner held sales leadership roles at IBM and Yahoo. With more than 20 years of sales and business development experience in digital media, Wehner has a track record for driving revenue growth by delivering integrated technology solutions to media companies.

“Michael brings significant media industry expertise to FastPay, which will support the rapid growth trajectory of our payments portfolio,” stated Simon. “He brings the ideal background needed to understand the complex, ever-evolving media landscape. We believe his proven track record will help expand FastPay’s payment solutions in meaningful ways for both agencies and media suppliers. His leadership skills will help accelerate and manage FastPay’s tremendous current growth and growth potential.”  

“FastPay’s market potential is virtually unlimited, and I’m looking forward to helping the company bring its innovative solutions to the media industry, so we can offer clients greater payment speed, accuracy, and control over their payment operations,” said Wehner. “Today, U.S. media payments total more than $200 billion annually. The FastPay platform delivers the ability to automate a significant portion of those payments, while giving media companies more productivity and the cost savings they need to remain competitive.”

Raised in Rochester, New York, Wehner now lives in New York City. He holds a BA degree in Computer Science from the Rochester Institute of Technology.