Presented by AdMonsters and Folio:, the Top Women in Media Awards were created to celebrate, inspire and bring together the women who make Publishing a dynamic community. Each year, an elite group of women who have made a lasting impact on their brands, organizations, and markets are recognized for spotlighting the diversity and progress within the industry.
This year, Leela Fallah, Director of Publisher Success at Blockthrough, has been named an honoree in the “Up and Comers” category. As she heads out to New York to be recognized among industry peers, we sat down for a quick chat to talk about her journey in ad tech, her advice to others, and what she does when she’s not helping clients succeed.
The interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Q. You’re clearly a role model for women in the media and publishing industry. What’s your advice to others who aspire to be top achievers?
My main advice is to trust your instincts and your potential. It sounds like a simple concept but, in my experience, the more conviction that I have had in my own existing abilities and potential to learn new ones, the more successful I’ve been. I think it’s important to take stock of the skills and talents that you possess so that you’re more confident when you face new challenges. I also think a lot about what I know in the present and what I had to do to get to this point. It’s important to recognize that you don’t learn everything overnight and trust your ability to level up over time. No one knows everything, all the time—so I think it’s really critical to have faith in your own ability to take risks and then figure things out along the way.
Q. How did you get your start in ad tech?
I started off as a client services coordinator at Index Exchange several years ago. That was a great experience and I had some amazing teachers. I honestly found the role by chance but the time I spent there gave me the opportunity to touch upon the many different parts of the customer experience, including analytics, support, and even marketing. So I gained a very broad perspective of what a customer journey can be like and what are the different things involved in building one. Having that experience also gave me a very holistic view of what a career in customer success and client experience could be like.
Q. Tell us a bit about your role at Blockthrough?
I lead our Publisher Success team, which has a number of incredible individuals. Our team is responsible for representing our company externally with our customers. We help them leverage our product with the intention of exceeding their goals. Internally, the team serves as project managers for cross-departmental initiatives that support the customer journey. So, when I think about my role, it’s about optimizing experiences. I try to ensure that my team has everything they need to be successful in supporting our customers and also iterate processes to see where we can improve collaboration and make things better. On a day-to-day basis, I try to champion decision-making with empathy because I think that’s critical to building good experiences.
Q. What’s the culture at Blockthrough like?
It’s pretty amazing! More than anywhere else I’ve worked, we’ve really been able to maintain a very close-knit culture, and that’s even despite how quickly our team has been growing. I love that we’re united in our mission to build a better Web and challenge each other to be better but we also take time to celebrate our wins. I think that’s just been an amazing experience overall for me. A highlight for me was the brownie-making competition we just had. It was so fun but what I liked the most was hearing everyone’s different ideas for how they can make their brownies unique with different ingredients, like fruits, marshmallows, and alcohol. It’s the little things like that that make Blockthrough such a great place to work.
Q. What do you like to do when you’re not helping clients succeed?
I really like to spend time with my friends and family. That’s what’s most important to me. But as far as hobbies go, I really like to run and stay active. And I also really like to cook. I guess those are two hobbies that go hand-in-hand because I always have an appetite because I run a lot.
While you're here...
Did you know that the average publisher loses 10-40% of their revenue to adblocking? What you may not know is that adblocking has largely shifted to ad-filtering, with over 250M users allowing a safer, less interruptive ad experience to be served to them—in turn supporting their favorite sites and creators.
Blockthrough's award-winning technology plugs into publishers' header bidding wrapper and ad server to scan ad creatives for compliance with the Acceptable Ads Standard to activate this "hidden" audience and generate incremental revenue, while respecting the choice and experience of ad-filtering users.
Want to learn more?