It feels like years ago that one could traverse the open air, two story Santa Monica office Advertise Purple calls home without being sent home by security. In reality it was about two months ago.
And yes, while it hasn’t been that long, we certainly miss each other. It’s not a coincidence that last week we were listed as one of the nation’s Best Workplaces by Inc. Magazine for the second straight year. This place is like a family.
And I honestly don’t think it would be that far off base to suggest one of the members of the Ad Purp team we likely all collectively miss most is Manny Serfaty. Sure, we have all kept in touch virtually but Manny brings a positive and endearing energy to the team that’s just better IRL.
A long time team member and account director, he’s responsible for some of our best client campaigns and has molded some great account managers in the form of his direct-reports. He’s a key leader and one of the reasons this team is so successful.
Manny is a Los Angeles native, attended Loyola all-boys high school here in LA and afterward USC. The man is truly loyal to the soil and like many of his classmates, he stayed in Southern California to start his career.
But anyway, let’s dive right into it.
Q: Briefly tell me a little bit about your background and upbringing here in LA.
A: My family is from Caracas, Venezuela, but I was born and raised in Los Angeles and don’t have any plans of leaving.
Q: You’ve been at Ad Purp for a while now. How did you end up here and what was your original role?
A: At USC I studied International Business so I applied to an agency that managed international brands and the rest is history. As far as my original role, I was the 20th member of Advertise Purple and a full-time Account Manager.
Q: How do you explain affiliate marketing to people (maybe family) who don’t know what it is?
A: Affiliate marketing is the pinnacle of marketing – merchants only pay when a sale is referred from an external website. Brands no longer need to spend exorbitant amounts on marketing with no guarantee of return.
Q: How has your career progressed during your time here?
A: The better question would be “How has it not progressed?” From the time I started to today, I have grown tremendously as a person and as an employee simply because Advertise Purple has given me the resources and environment to do so.
Q: How has Ad Purp itself grown as a company since your time here?
A: When I first started, Jonathan Moisan’s door would swing open and hit my desk, so spatially a lot has changed. But in all seriousness, this company has grown leaps and bounds in just the 2 years I have been here, and I think we are only going to keep growing. We consistently grow month to month and it’s exciting that I have a front-row seat for it.
Q: What about the Ad Purp leadership team do you think works best?
A: The culture is what makes Advertise Purple Advertise Purple. No matter if it’s your first day or tenth year, you are treated the same and with open arms. The second thing I love about Advertise Purple is how available upper management is – if you want to get coffee, pick their brain, or just discuss strategy to climb the ranks at Advertise Purple, they are always available. Never does fear come into employees’ minds when the CEO, VP, etc. walks through the door, only smiles and fist bumps.
Q: Who are some people in your life who have inspired you?
A: Not to be corny, but my mom and dad. They came to this country not knowing a single person and created a life that enabled me to get a quality education. What more could I ask for?
Q: You have people you manage who rely on you for support. How do you go about delivering feedback and holding people accountable?
A: I simply just Skype them. I trust my team and they trust me so any time they have feedback for me I know its in my best interest to listen to them, and when I have feedback or need to hold them accountable, they know I am asking them in their own best interest.
Q: How has COVID-19 been for you, not just from a work sense but also just adapting to this new normal?
A: It’s bittersweet. I miss the routine and seeing my coworkers, but it is also nice not to have to commute in LA traffic.
Q: What about the affiliate space makes it work even during a pandemic to drive revenue for clients?
A: What makes affiliate work/generally appealing is that again, you only pay if sales get driven to your site. There isn’t flat-fee risk in affiliate and that’s why these companies continue to reallocate their media spends to this channel.
Q: What are some of your long term career goals?
A: My long term career goal is to be at a company where I enjoy coming into work every day. I am lucky enough to have found that in Advertise Purple.
Q: Looking back, what is some advice you’d give to someone coming out of college or looking to get their career started?
A: If you fail and get rejected from two or twenty job interviews, everything happens for a reason. Don’t get discouraged and don’t settle.
Q: Would you ever leave LA? If so, where would you want to live?
A: Yes, my plan is to retire in Montana or Wyoming on a farm with a river in the back to fly fish in. Other than that, I’m not leaving.
Q: What’s the first thing you’ll do when quarantine lifts?
A: Watch a Dodger game.
Q: Who is the best ping pong player in the office (besides yourself) and also the worst (of the people who play actively)?
A: Best player in the office after me is probably Matthew Wong, he puts some nasty spin on the ball. The worst player is Mike Barron, Head of Sales.
Thanks, Manny. Really appreciate your answers. Can’t wait to be back in the office soon!