AdExchanger’s Kelly Liyakasa On AdTech, Buzzwords and Donald Trump

By Veronica Herico

This is part of an ongoing Q&A series from Eastwick’s Ad Tech practice. Every month we will be profiling advertising and digital media influencers to get an unfiltered glimpse or their professional and personal lives. If there is someone you’d like to see us profile, please email

1. What led you to cover digital media and advertising? What initially interested you about it?

Well, the honest truth is that I was recruited, covering marketing and enterprise technology prior. I was quickly thrown into one of the most challenging, yet exciting beats I’ve ever had the opportunity of watching.

2. The ad tech space has become increasingly more congested. How do you see this playing out?

It’s interesting. I’d say it depends on how you define congested. I’d almost suggest the opposite, that it’s become highly consolidated. Or at least that’s what I’ve seen in my focus area of digital video. In the span of a year, I saw close to 10–15 platforms get acquired, absorbed or otherwise rebranded in some capacity. It’s a pretty wild time.

3. What innovative company do you feel the industry should be watching right now?

It would probably be politically incorrect for me to say “Uber,” despite its changing life, as I know it, so I’ll throw a bone to I’m endlessly fascinated by any company willing to take on the big commerce incumbents (publicly) and massively complicated world of logistics, fulfillments, orders, payments, delivery, distribution and marketing services. I’m sure I’m leaving something out.

4. Can you predict the buzzwords for 2016?

I’m not a fan of buzzwords, believe it or not, but the “skinny bundle” is appearing in marketing materials everywhere. I think the coast is finally clear on “phablet.”

5. What’s something people may not know about you?

I once profiled Donald Trump and his many golf courses prior to tech reporting. In the freak chance he wins the presidential election, I can say I interviewed the president.

Kelly Liyakasa is Associate Editor at AdExchanger, covering commerce, video, TV and marketing tech. She can be reached via Twitter @KellyLiyakasa

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