Employee Spotlight: Maria Martinez Diaz
October 31, 2023
Maria Martinez Diaz recently joined the New York office as a Senior Director of Enterprise Sales. With 15 years’ experience in go-to-market across cybersecurity, adtech and martech, she’s an exciting addition to the team. Below, Maria reflects on the risks of digital advertising, what attracted her to working at Sourcepoint, and shares some career advice.
What attracted you to working in privacy?
As you know, I started my career at a media agency, wound up at an adtech company, and then spent five years working in cybersecurity. As I was considering my next role, I knew I wanted to continue on in the Trust & Security space.
One thing I learned about security from my time at Human — a cybersecurity company — is that the more you try to make a system secure, the more risk you introduce.
It got me thinking about how digital advertising is inherently risky. There is so much interconnectedness. Seemingly no matter what you do, there are constant points of potential data leakage and third-party risk. And yet some of the largest companies in our economy are driven by digital advertising revenues.
It became clear to me that security programs need to become much more sophisticated to address these issues and will also have to focus more on external flows of data. As I worked through the challenge, I kept looping back to privacy tech.
Adtech, cybersecurity, privacy for digital advertising. It makes sense why you were drawn to Sourcepoint.
Absolutely. Sourcepoint was founded by Ben and Brian, who were at Admeld together (acquired by Google) and have deep backgrounds in adtech. They understand the privacy risks of the ecosystem on a granular level, and that’s why it makes sense that they’ve founded a company to close those gaps. I’m really excited to be working with solutions and people that are at the forefront of these issues.
Do you remember the first time you understood what programmatic advertising was?
Yes, it was when I was still working at a media agency. I was a media supervisor at the time, and really enjoyed working with the technology vendors. At some point MediaMath came in to present and I thought, huh: It’s like a financial market, but for ads. That’s when I started understanding how ad networks work and how MediaMath was trying to disintermediate ad networks. That said, most of us weren’t really knowledgeable about how ad networks were built and how they managed to drive performance.
At the time, I had one client who was very performance based. We were testing various networks and I realized that the high-performance ad networks were essentially DSPs. I thought, OK. This is what the industry is evolving towards. Shortly after that, I went to Dataxu [a DSP, later acquired by Roku].
What got you interested in security?
I had spoken to Michael Tiffany at Human back when they were first doing market research for the product that would eventually become MediaGuard. I was intrigued by the problem they were trying to solve. A year later, Michael put out the first ANA Bot Baseline Report about bot fraud in digital advertising. Once I understood just how bot fraud functioned, it was incredibly frustrating. It really felt like a personal attack on an industry that had given me a great career.
I love that. You had a passion for the mission and the product. That must have made you a very effective salesperson!
What I love about enterprise sales is the process of building strong relationships with customers and helping them solve critical problems. When you’re working on something like cybersecurity or privacy, there’s a lot of education to be done. It’s really fun to watch the lightbulb moment with clients and it’s very fulfilling to help them find the best path forward.
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Ok, this advice came from an incredible CRO, Melissa Goidel. I was 24 years old and I was telling her about a potential career move over lunch. She literally put her fork down and looked me straight in the eyes and said: “Don’t pay your dues twice. You have skills that you can leverage to grow.”
I’ve never forgotten that. It’s such great advice, especially for women. Similar to how women are more likely to wait to apply for a role until they meet 100% of the requirements, women also tend to be more willing to take lateral moves in exchange for learning additional skills. But it’s okay to be confident in what you know and take a risk.
One final, very important question: Tell us about your dog.
Her name is Goldie Fawn and she’s a Chihuahua-Papillon mix. I adopted her in Texas. Despite my best efforts, I have quickly become obsessed with her. She’s just the sweetest little dog and her favorite thing to do is run full speed in the park.
Thanks, Maria! Interested in joining our team? Check out of Careers page.
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