NativeAdVantage 10-Q2BA:

(10 Questions 2B Answered)

What do you do best?
What makes you the best?
Biggest success?
What are your aspirations?
Most challenging moment?
Favorite Motto?
Favorite People?
Favorite Places?
Favorite Products?
Current Passions?

Featured NativeAdVantage:

Andy Weir: Author of "The Martian"

John Philipson: VP, Six Senses Resorts

Tom Sito: Chair of Animation, USC Film School

Elizabeth Wynn: Broker, Sotheby's RE

Leonard Greenhalgh: Professor, Tuck-Darmouth)

Ryan Blair: NY Times Best Selling Author/Entrepreneur


Featured NativeAdVice:

Shai Reshef: Founder of University of the People

Paul D'Arcy: SVP of Indeed

Susan Hatje: GM of Mandarin Oriental, NY

Dan Laufer: Co-Founder of RentLingo

Hilary Laney: President of Tri-Digital

Greg Marsh: Co-Founder of onefinestay

Omar Qari: Co-Founder of Abacus

Gabriell Weinberg: Founder of DuckDuckGo

Stacy Rauen: E-I-C of Hospitality Design Mag

Jon Gray: CRO of HomeAway

Joe Speiser: Co-Founder of

Ben McKean: Co-Founder of HungryRoot

John Boiler: Founder/CEO of 72andSunny

Wayne Pacelle: CEO of The Humane Society of the US

Tom Guay: GM at The Sagamore Resort

Dr. Alejandro Junger: Founder of The Clean Program

Rob Flaherty: CEO of Ketchum

Neil Thanedar: Founder/CEO of LabDoor

Andy Grinsfelder: VP of Sales/Marketing, Delaware North Resorts

Laura Frerer-Schmidt: VP/Publisher of Women's Health

Avi Steinlauf: CEO of

Kathy Bloomgarden: CEO of Ruder Finn

Gabriel Flateman: Co-Founder/CTO of Casper

Mark Bartels: CEO of StumbleUpon

Bill Hagelstein: President/CEO of RPA

Adam Singolda: Founder/CEO of Taboola

Jonathan Plutzik: Proprietor of The Betsy-South Beach

Jessica Scorpio: Founder/VP of Marketing at GetAround

Ralph McRae: CEO of Leading Brands

Warren Berger: Bestselling Author

Liz Kaplow: Founder/CEO of Kaplow Communications

Dave Girouard: Founder/CEO of UpStart

Dave Asprey: Founder of BullectProof Executive

Douglas C. Smith: President of EDSA

Val Difebo: CEO of Deutsch NY

Guido Polito: CEO of Baglioni Hotels

Doyle Graham, Jr.: CEO of Valencia Group

Oscar Farinetti: Founder of Eataly

Angelo Sotira: CEO of DeviantART

Ali Khwaja: CFO of Safecharge

Zach Erdem: Proprietor of 75 Main

Jim Beley: GM of The Umstead Hotel

Alexis Gelburd-Kimler: Proprietor of West Bridge

Elie Georges: Proprietor of Hotel San Regis

Kalen Caughey: Founder o VOKE Tab

Michael Friedenberg: CEO of IDG

Donna Karan: Founder of DKNY

Edward Nardoza: Editor-in-Chief of WWD

Scott Dadich: Editor-in-Chief of Wired

Rhona Murphy: Former CEO of The Daily Beast

David J. Pecker: CEO of American Media

Lilian Roten: VP of Swissotel Hotels

Kenny Dichter: Founder/CEO of Wheels Up

Joshua Tetrick: Founder/CEO of Hampton Creek

Paul James: Global Brand Leader of The Luxury Collection

Dr. James Wagner: President of Emory University

Amy Thompson: President of ATM Artists & Management

Neil Gillis: President of Round Hill Music

Brett Matteson: President of Columbia Hospitality

Jonathan Reckford: CEO of Habitat For Humanity

Phil Harrison: President/CEO of Perkins+Will

Chef Bill Telepan

Tony Horton: Founder of P90X

Beth Weissenberger: Co-Founder of The Handel Group

Michael Fertik: Founder/CEO of

Dana Cowin: Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine

Bob Proctor: Chairman of Proctor/Gallagher Institute

Dennis Turcinovic: Owner of Delmonicos

Vittorio Assaf: Co-Founder of Serafina Restaurant Group

Shafqat Islam: Co-Founder of Newscred

Matt Williams: CEO of The Martin Agency

Bruce Rogers: Executive Chef at Hale & Hearty

Caleb Merkl: Co-Founder of Maple

Candy Argondizza: VP of Culinary at ICC

Neil Sazant: President of The Sagamore

Matt Straz: Founder/CEO of Namely

Terry Couglin: Managing Partner of Marta/Maialino

Andrei Cherny: Co-Founder/CEO of Aspiration

Ronen Nissenbaum: Managing Director of Waldorf Astoria NY

Patrick Godfrey: President of Godfrey Q

Sarah Berman: Founder/President of The Berman Group

Michael Schwartz: Owner of Genuine Hospitality Group

Stephan Aarstol: Founder/CEO of Tower Paddle Boards

Peter Shaindlin: COO of Halekulani Corp.

August Cardona: Founder/CEO of Epicurean Group

Nick Kenner: Co-Founder of Just Salad


Greg Abel: Co-Founder, TailFin

My NativeAdVice:


Greg Abel’s career began in advertising at McCann-Erickson and Fitzgerald+Co in Atlanta, then jumped to the digital space, with digital marketing mega-consultancy US Web/CKS (later marchFIRST) where he helped to develop digital strategy and online user experiences for a range of consumer brands. In 2002, Greg cofounded Tailfin, which has grown into a diverse, award-winning marketing and creative services agency. In his spare time, Greg is an avid (or maybe “rabid” is a better term) Atlanta sports fan and a single-engine airplane pilot.

How did you get into the industry?

Oddly enough, I am probably one of the few people that actually went to school, majored in advertising and then went and got a job in advertising.  When did the ad bug bite? Probably back in high school – I was editor of my school paper and though I loved to write, I didn’t really have the patience for long-form. Ads can still be a great creative outlet, but they have to be quick and to the point – that suits my pace just fine. Plus, there’s nothing quite as fun as really connecting with an audience, changing a mind, bending a will.

Any emerging industry trends?

It’s not a “breaking news” trend, but it’s one that here to stay – the complete integration of measurement in all shapes and forms in marketing. A heavily data-driven approach to marketing has some real merits in helping identify targets and really delve into perceptions, so we rely on a lot of data points to make decisions and guide work. That said, we’ve also seen clients become “blinded by data.” The numbers overtake all logic, experience and intuition to a point where brand messages get washed out and generic. Sometimes people in our industry become so focused on the real-time, right-now data that they forget what and why they are measuring in the first place. We trust data, but we also believe in common sense and expertise when it comes to how we steer brands.  

Any industry opportunities or challenges?

The continuing ascent of social media has uncovered an opportunity for many of our brands to find a more authentic, active and natural voice. Brands that connect with consumers in a way that feels real and truly shared can build enormous affinity – and can insulate and recover from missteps and mistakes. Even so, it takes a lot of guts and tenacity to get it right – if you are serious about being social with your brand, you have to dedicate to making that brand feel as human as possible, which means consistency of voice and a natural volume of conversation (in this case, content). Above all, you have to find ways to get users to respond and you need to respond in kind. This isn’t advertising, this is a conversation.

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?

We’re in a work hard, play hard business, so inspiration almost always comes from two places – the people and the work. Marketing and advertising attracts a lot of kick-ass personalities – creative, smart, curious, funny, diverse, intense – so you are exposed to a lot of energy and plenty of different perspectives. That people mix keeps things from getting stale in the day-to-day. As for the work, like any “creator” there’s a great sense of satisfaction when you can step back and look at a finished project and say “that was great, that was smart, that was original.” Hitting measurable goals and getting client accolades are great, but that sense of team accomplishment is right up there in terms of what motivates and drives us to the next day. As for a future vision for the business? We want to continue to find more and more “fun” clients to work on – brands and projects that give us opportunities to flex our brains, push a boundary or make a real difference. If we’re having fun, it never feels like work.

What's next for the Business in the near future?

We continue to grow current clients and bring in amazing new partners, which drives the main change in our business – adding new people. With new people come new possibilities, directions and opportunities – they are the keys that open the doors for positive change.

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?

We need to get better at telling our own story. Like many marketing shops, we can sometimes be the “cobbler’s children with no shoes.” It takes discipline to treat yourself like a client – to look in the mirror, self-assess, then put a plan in motion (with real deadlines) to create and promote your own brand.

Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)

We caught the economic downturn of 2008 about a year later than most industries, and it was tough. We had clients that just couldn’t maintain, so we had to really tighten our belts. As cliché as it sounds, we operate a lot like a family and everyone did what they could to ride the storm out – we even had folks volunteer to go from full time to half time. In the end, we came through with very few injuries and went to work to rebuild.

Ideal experience for a customer/client?

For us, an ideal client really only has to have two components – trust and smarts. A killer product, a healthy budget and a sense of humor doesn’t hurt, but we can do great work with just about any client who knows what they’re doing and is confident enough to trust us to help them get where they want to go.

How do you motivate others?

(EXAMPLE: Tell us about your most effective techniques or strategies for inspiring and encouraging those that you work with)

I think there are two pillars to motivation – lead by example and be generous with feedback, positive or negative. There’s a huge difference between being the boss and being a leader. Leaders are out front, pulling oars alongside everyone in the boat, and that’s inspiring. As for feedback, most people’s biggest fear is just not knowing where they stand. We try and keep communications open, honest, constant and consistent. And we make it a pretty damn big deal when people go well above and beyond.

Career advice to those in your industry?

Follow Gretzky’s motto – “You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.”  Risk is necessary for reward, and there’s always some value, some learning, in failing. Yes, losing stings – but a sting is temporary and in the grand scheme of things not all that painful. Win a lot, lose a few – just don’t get boxed in by fear losing to the point that you never have a chance to really win.