Eric Porres Boards Sailthru as Chief Marketing Officer

The personalization and retention marketing leader adds seasoned marketing executive to its C-suite to continue hyper-growth

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sailthru, the leading provider of email and personalization software for the world’s top ecommerce and media companies, today announced that Eric Porres has joined the company as Chief Marketing Officer. With over 20 years of experience in global marketing leadership, Porres brings further expertise in revenue growth, acquisition diligence, international expansion and initial public offerings to the Sailthru executive team.

Most recently, Porres served as Chief Marketing Officer of Rocket Fuel (NASDAQ: FUEL), where he was responsible for all marketing and commercial insight activities contributing to Rocket Fuel’s revenue growth from $46M to over $408M in three years. During his tenure at Rocket Fuel, Porres grew the marketing team from four to more than thirty people in an international group supporting over 22 offices in ten countries. He was part of the management team through Rocket Fuel’s IPO and part of the diligence team for the [x+1] acquisition.

“Over the last 18 months Sailthru has steadily transformed its leadership and operations teams. As we continue to grow and satisfy the demand for modern personalization in ecommerce and publishing, the missing link has been a seasoned marketing executive who has experience on a global scale,” said Neil Lustig, Chief Executive Officer, Sailthru. “We sought out a proven leader, with the experience we need for today and for the years ahead; a growth executive who has been on the proverbial ‘rocket ship’ before and has a proven track record of increasing value and differentiation for technology companies in markets worldwide. We are excited to have Eric at the helm of our marketing organization to have him further the success we have been experiencing since 2008.”

“For too long marketing investments have been pointing at the wrong end of the funnel. Marketers acquire, acquire, acquire, but then treat the unwashed masses the same. As a result, the 80/20 Pareto Principle no longer applies, and the disparity is even more stark for media and ecommerce companies: 90 – 95 percent of ecommerce revenue and publisher pageviews come from just 1 – 10 percent of consumers,” said Eric Porres, Chief Marketing Officer, Sailthru. “A personalized and relevant experience between a person and a brand increases lifetime value and reduces churn. I’m excited to join Sailthru because our customers trust our easy and flexible technology solutions that make every interaction unique and profitable across their email, website and mobile applications, which are three of the most powerful retention marketing channels on earth.”

An entrepreneur himself, Porres founded several businesses and consultancies before he joined Rocket Fuel, including Underscore Marketing, a fully independent, full-service digital marketing and strategy agency; Pericles Consulting, a ‘pop-up’ strategic political marketing firm that executed digital marketing programs for presidential and senatorial campaigns; and Classelist, online software for managing school class lists. He also served as the Chief Marketing Officer for Lotame Solutions, a marketing technology company, where he oversaw the research and insights practice, as well as led business and product development for the company’s core data management platform technology for publishers. Previously he held management positions at Time Inc and Porres graduated from Duke University and is an investor and advisor for several startup companies.

About Sailthru

Sailthru, the leading provider of email and personalization software for the world’s top ecommerce and media companies, is driving a major shift in how companies engage with their individual customers and optimize their revenue opportunities. Sailthru-powered 1:1 relationships with consumers drive higher revenue and reduce churn for more the world’s most innovative publishers, including The Economist, Business Insider, and Thrillist, and the world’s fastest growing ecommerce companies, including RentTheRunway, JustFab, and Alex and Ani. Founded in 2008, Sailthru is headquartered in NYC, and backed by an exceptional group of investors, including Benchmark, RRE Ventures, DFJ Gotham, Scale Venture Partners, and AOL Ventures.

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Ad agency founder, former ad-tech CMO, and 15-year digital marketing veteran completes executive staff

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. (February 29, 2012) – Rocket Fuel, the leading provider of artificial-intelligence advertising solutions for digital marketers, today announced that Eric Porres has joined the company as Chief Marketing Officer. Porres has over 15 years experience in the digital marketing industry, where he has founded several companies and held executive roles at leading agencies, brands, and technology organizations.

Key facts:

  • In his role as CMO of Rocket Fuel, Porres will provide oversight for marketing operations for the fast-growing advertising technology company as well as create a research center of excellence for digital consumer insight.
  • He co-founded Underscore Marketing, a full-service digital marketing and strategy agency and helped expand the company internationally. He also co-founded Pericles Consulting, a ‘pop-up’ strategic political marketing firm that developed and executed digital marketing programs for Presidential and Senatorial campaigns, and is the founder of Classelist, a web and mobile platform for parents and schools.
  • Porres recently served as CMO of ad technology company Lotame Solutions Inc., where he oversaw its global marketing and insights practice areas, and led business and product development efforts for Lotame’s data management platform.
  • Porres held management positions at Fortune Magazine,, and LiveTechnology.  As a partner with Outrageous Media, he co-produced two of the largest Internet webcasts in history – Michael Jackson´s “What More Can I Give” concert in Munich in 1999 and Paul McCartney´s “Run Devil Run” concert in Liverpool in 2000.   He started his career as a business analyst with The Walt Disney Company.
  • As a leading authority in the online advertising industry, Porres served on the board of 212, New York’s Interactive Advertising Club, and is a frequent panelist, moderator, and contributor to industry conferences and publications such as AdAge, iMedia, and DM2 Events. Porres graduated from Duke University.
  • Rocket Fuel is growing at a rapid clip, and expects to hire 130 new employees this year in the U.S. and overseas. Porres will help Rocket Fuel make key marketing and market research hires, and provide his expertise in digital advertising platforms as the company continues to expand its operations and solutions footprint worldwide.


  • “Eric has a proven track record leading marketing at world-class ad technology companies, and years of agency experience running multi-channel advertising programs for global brands,” said George John, founder and CEO of Rocket Fuel.  “With his entrepreneurial spirit and deep operational expertise in digital advertising, we’re excited to welcome Eric aboard the rocket ship. His guidance will be invaluable as Rocket Fuel continues to expand internationally to bring our solutions to more major marketers worldwide.”
  • “Rocket Fuel is the only ad technology company I’ve ever come across that truly walks the talk and puts solving digital marketing problems at the center of everything they do – ensuring that advanced algorithms and predictive analytics aren’t just cool technologies, but generate outstanding ROI for their customers,” said Eric Porres. “They’ve put all the right pieces together—a balanced media, management and technology team, an unrivaled product, and a vision for the future of digital advertising that creates rational, predictable, and measureable results for marketers. It’s no wonder the company is the fastest-growing ad technology company in Silicon Valley. I’m thrilled to join the executive team.”

About Rocket Fuel:
Rocket Fuel is the leading provider of artificial-intelligence advertising solutions that transform digital media buys into self-optimizing engines that learn and adapt in real-time, and deliver outstanding marketing results from awareness to sales.  Over 400 of the world’s leading brands rely on Rocket Fuel to power their advertising programs across display, video, mobile, and social media. Founded by online advertising veterans and rocket scientists from NASA, Yahoo!, DoubleClick, and, Rocket Fuel is based in Redwood Shores, California, and has offices in eleven cities worldwide including New York, London, and Toronto.

Welcome to 2011!  It’s been a long time since I updated my blog, and I’m hoping to do so with greater regularity this year.  Without further adieu:

I belong to several email groups, virtual places where people can jibjab about topics ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous – and between wine and digital marketing, that more than covers the gamut!  From one list, one person queried the group for their thoughts on whether it is a good time to start an agency business.  As some of you know, a good portion of my adult professional career comes with a healthy dose of professional services, including:

  • A 2+ year stint at (may it RIP), from the days when it was 150 people and two offices to a public company (ACOM) with 17 offices and 1,400 people.
  • A year+ stint as a freelance partner/producer of webcasts for Outrageous Media, including global webcasts of Michael Jackson’s What More Can I Give? charity concert in Munich, Germany, and Paul McCartney’s return to the Cavern Club in Liverpool, England for his Run Devil Run tour.
  • Founding a digital political marketing agency, Pericles Consulting (4+ yrs)
  • Founding (3rd partner) a digital marketing agency, Underscore Marketing (7+ yrs)

(I left the agency business in late 2009 to join Lotame Solutions, Inc., and will share thoughts what I’ve learned in a later post. )

So, back to the question at hand, here’s my list of 8 reasons why it could be a good time to start an agency…if…

1) You don’t mind being a pimp. An agency business — like most services businesses — scales on human capital.  If you’ve never been a pimp before – selling people for time in exchange for money, and ‘taking in’ the profit margin between what you charge and what you pay – think about it carefully first.  Scaling human capital is doable but a tough business (see #2, #5).

2) If you can embrace pimping, you can embrace pimping around the world. There are highly talented pools of foreign resources that are +6 hours ahead (of EST) that speak and write excellent English, have a potentially stronger work ethic than some US employees, and cost significantly less than US resources.  I do not recommend a services labor pool (technology is an exception) that you can’t speak with or have overlap time with during your normal course of business.

3) You emphatically reject the proposition of being paid on a commission basis. The commission model is DEAD.  Repeat…the commission model is dead.  The agency business is a services business and as such, each client engagement needs to be thought of on a project assignment basis (and yes, there are other models – % of upside, get paid hourly based on marginal personnel cost, etc.).  Let’s say you choose digital planning/buying as your forte, and you CRUSH the strat/planning part of the assignment which may eat up 40% of the time of your team, and hope that your commission on the media will pay for the planning time (+ implementation, reporting, etc.).  Then you find out that, for forces beyond your control — even beyond your direct client’s control — that budget gets sliced by 50 – 90%.  Suddenly, your margins get squeezed to just above Kelvin.

4) You can start with one client. The notion of starting your own thing without any existing business – while quaint – is a fool’s errand and one where you can eat up a lot of time/capital searching for that first client to keep the lights on.

5) You are willing to invest in technology that scales beyond human capital. Take your pick of vertical – search monitoring (something I helped build and nurture at a previous agency), mobile, ‘listening,’ BuddyMedia-lite, etc., almost anything you can point to where you can say “I built that, it’s proprietary, it scales with servers and not humans” is a critical requirement for the next successful digital agency.  While you don’t need to build it all, you need to build and stand behind something.

6) You like to sell. As one of my very best friend’s in this business told me once a long time ago, “the phone doesn’t ring on its own, you make it ring.”  You need to be out there selling, picking up the phone, and generating demand.  No matter how smart you are, or how smart you think you are, you still need to be the phone everyday and work your network, your extended network, and in many cases, cold call with a warm proposition.

7) Don’t front-load the business with Chiefs…hire Indians quickly. Compartmentalizing the work ensures that you have time to run the business (build the plane) while others manage the work (fly the plane), and some of that work can potentially be completed overseas (re: #2 above).

8 ) Cash is king. If you are in the media business, get paid up front for any new client assignment.  You pay a lawyer a retainer, and typically a good law firm asks for the first payment upfront and won’t do business otherwise.  So can you. If, as with my old company of < 20 people, we were able to get a multi-billion dollar company to pay for media and services within 45 days or less, you can too.  If you embrace this notion from the start you will save yourself inordinate amounts of time and money chasing fiscal phantoms.

If I had to do it all over again, there are definitely some things I would keep/quit/start from the get-go.  Hopefully the above provides some helpful tips for the would-be agency entrepreneur.

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Eric Porres Joins Lotame as Chief Marketing Officer

Digital Marketing Veteran to Educate Market on Value of Social Data

NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwire – December 14, 2009) – Lotame, the data-driven audience marketing platform that combines social data with audience insights to deliver greater marketing accuracy and audience engagement for brand marketers, today announced that Eric Porres has joined the fast growing company as Chief Marketing Officer.

“Eric will use his respected experience to explain, position, and demonstrate to brand marketers why social data revolutionizes their approach to online marketing,” says Andy Monfried, Lotame’s CEO to whom Mr. Porres will report. “He will be our leading voice to pioneer an evolutionary change in understanding the value of social data and its resulting return on marketing investment for brand marketers.”

One of those value initiatives is having Lotame included in the comScore Media Metrix advertising networks report, which will provide greater visibility into its social audience segments. “We are looking forward to including Lotame as part of our ad networks report,” says Lynn Bolger, EVP of Advertising Solutions for comScore. “As social media becomes a more integral component of digital initiatives, comScore is committed to providing the requisite digital market intelligence required to understand the reach and behavioral profile of important audience segments.”

Mr. Porres was a founding partner of Underscore Marketing, a fully independent, full-service digital media agency launched in 2002. He helped build the team into a recognized Inc. 5000 company and expand its presence internationally. Mr. Porres is also one of the founders of Pericles Consulting, an online political marketing firm that developed and executed online marketing programs for Presidential and Senatorial campaigns across the country. Earlier in his career, Mr. Porres held management positions at AOL Time Warner,, and LiveTechnology, and as a partner with Outrageous Media produced two of the largest Internet webcasts in history, Michael Jackson’s “What More Can I Give” concert in Munich, Germany in 1999 and Paul McCartney’s “Run Devil Run” concert in Liverpool, England in 2000.

For two years Mr. Porres served on the board of 212, New York’s Interactive Advertising Club, most recently as its Vice-President. He is an active investor and advisor to several start-up companies and a frequent panelist and moderator at leading industry events. Mr. Porres graduated from Duke University.

“Lotame built an excellent reputation in social media, and with almost two billion daily points of social data rendered in our taxonomy of human behavior, it’s a great foundation for our path forward,” says Mr. Porres. “For marketers, we are able to answer fundamental questions like: ‘Did I reach my intended audience?; Did that audience engage?; Did I have brand impact?; Do I have a model of engagement that makes sense?; and Do I have insights into what my audience does online beyond content consumption?’ Aided by our technology and publisher partnerships, we will deliver against these objectives.”

In addition to his responsibilities as Chief Marketing Officer, Mr. Porres will lead Lotame’s brand research and insights initiatives.

Lotame ( integrates anonymous social media activity data (such as blogging, uploading, posting and sharing) with intent, interest and demographic data in order to generate actionable marketing insights and waste-free audience delivery. This cumulative effect results in stronger consumer engagement and better campaign results for its brand, agency and publishing partners. The privately-held Maryland and New York-based company is backed by funding from Battery Ventures, Emergence Capital Partners, Betaworks and Hillcrest Management.

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With the recent news that Twitter got ‘popped’ at a billion dollar valuation, I got to weigh in–albeit briefly–on the subject in a Business Week article from Stephen Baker:

There’s a perception that Twitter will have a grip on the real-time Web, which connects customers to brands.

So what was I talking about?  Well, there’s a notion in marketing circles that Twitter is the ‘first hop’ on the information superhighway of what’s ‘en vogue’ now, and that stream of real-time consciousness is made more prescient by the never-ending-friending/following phenomenon that’s unique to Twitter.  Therefore, marketers have first look at what’s hot or not, what’s new or through, and that is valuable for market research, product feedback, trend analysis, etc.

However, a billion dollars is a ludicrous sum and I cannot justify that valuation, not at least until Twitter starts earning revenue of its own and shows a path to break-even.

In AdWeek, Brian Morrissey presents a good write-up of the analysis of social networking data and its implications.  He asked me to comment, and what made it into the article was:

Many ad buyers are maintaining a “test and see” approach, since it’s unclear whether behavioral data derived from online social networks will supercharge ad performance or merely provide incremental improvement. “The jury is still out,” says Eric Porres, a partner at New York digital agency Underscore Marketing. “Hypothetically, it makes a lot of sense.”

This was just a small part of our conversation. Suffice to say, it’s more than just hypothetical.  Social networking data presents an extraordinary trove of untapped potential for marketers to tap into active human interests (vs. the passive experience of consuming web page content).

Cover story of Business Week by Stephen Baker, author of The Numerati.

What do these relationships [Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn] say about us and the people in our networks? Companies armed with rich new data and powerful computers are beginning to explore these questions. They’re finding that digital friendships speak volumes about us as consumers and workers, and decoding the data can lead to profitable insights. Calculating the value of these relationships has become a defining challenge for businesses and individuals.

It’s a great article and worth your time.  Read it here.

Hi, today I was interviewed by Scott Hoffman (of Lotame) on Blog Talk Radio along with my Underscore Marketing partner, Tom Hespos.  You can have a listen here.  Enjoy!

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