Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Marketing the Marketers: Maria Shcheglakova, PubMatic on sustainability and evangelism

NDA has launched a new series on NDA, Marketing the Marketers, talking to the marketing and comms leaders behind the success of our leading companies. Next up is Maria Shcheglakova, Marketing Director EMEA, PubMatic.

What exactly does your job entail?

I head up the EMEA Marketing team at PubMatic, an independent technology company delivering digital advertising’s supply chain of the future. My responsibilities span the full spectrum of marketing tactics, from corporate marketing strategy, brand development, and reputation management to sales enablement, events, and communications across EMEA.

From a strategic perspective, my focus is to ensure we communicate and evangelise the value propositions of our solutions to our customers and prospects as well as to the industry at large.

Over the past year, I’ve also taken an active role in developing and supporting PubMatic’s sustainability efforts. In order to do this to the best of my ability, I completed a Cambridge Course in Sustainability Business Management which has empowered me to make sustainability an actionable, ongoing project for myself and the team.

What campaign or piece of marketing/communications are you most proud of in your career and why?

I’m proud of the work we do with the Women in Programmatic network. But for me personally, I’m particularly proud of stepping forward into the limelight and joining a panel last summer ‘Bridging Advertising’s Post-Pandemic Gender Gap’. With more companies now having returned to the office, it’s more important than ever to ensure that working parents aren’t left behind. I’ve been incredibly lucky to be part of a company that actively supports parents but, unfortunately, not everyone has a positive experience in the workplace when entering parenthood.

To enable future leaders to progress and remain in the industry, during the panel we’ve collectively shared our experiences in a variety of ways to ensure that new parents have the support necessary to progress, and have a voice.

Who has been your biggest inspiration in your career to date and why?

I’ve been very fortunate to work with some of our industry’s most amazing leaders – Rhys McLachlan, Jana Eisenstein, Emma Newman and many more. But the person who has been the biggest inspiration comes from outside advertising and technology and it’s Afdhel Aziz, founder and Chief Purpose Officer at Conspiracy of Love, a B Corp-certified global purpose consultancy that helps Fortune 500 companies like Adidas, Red Bull, Microsoft, Mondelez, AB Inbev use culture and technology as a force for good.  

Afdhel Aziz is an expert on purpose, conscious capitalism, and social entrepreneurship and a fantastic author. He is one of the most inspiring leaders in the global movement of business as a force for good. Afdhel is the co-author of Good is the New Cool: Market Like You Give a Damn, a provocative manifesto that helps brands ‘do well by doing good’. Despite only meeting him for a brief period of time, the conversation we had helped me really refine my focus on sustainability and purposeful marketing.

What is the biggest challenge in your sector and how is your company helping to address it?

Climate change is by far the biggest challenge we face today, and it’s something that is too big for any one company to fight on its own. We need to approach the current crisis by holding not only our own businesses, but also each other, more accountable. Part of PubMatic’s role in this fight is our commitment to helping publishers succeed which has been the company’s mission since it started in 2006. Today, this means building the digital advertising supply chain of the future one that prioritizes transparency, efficiency, and performance, as well as sustainability.

As we have matured as a business, we have built a fully owned and operated global private cloud. This not only reduced our cost of operations, but also reduced the compute resources required to run our business. The alignment of the operational efficiency benefits with an improvement in our environmental impact was a win-win. Last year, we announced that all of our global data centres are now powered by 100% renewable energy. This demonstrated true progress in deploying operational efficiencies that align with our commitments to drive sustainability in the advertising ecosystem. And it is just the first step in our journey to operate a more sustainable business.

Last year, we announced our partnership with Ad Net Zero, an organization committed to reducing the carbon impact of developing, producing, and running advertising to real net zero by the end of 2030. PubMatic is a member of the organization’s Global Group, the committee working to roll out Ad Net Zero’s initiatives internationally. We also engaged with peers across the country to streamline efforts to calculate and curb carbon emissions from advertising.

There remains a tremendous amount of work to be done, and we look forward to partnering with our peer companies drive change.

What is the biggest opportunity in your sector and how is your company helping to make the most of it?

Building responsible media ecosystem. To put this into context, global technology companies have proven that they are the ones that bring connectivity and innovative technological solutions to those in unserved and underserved populations across the globe. Big tech has helped us all get and stay connected, informed and up to date.

But, more can and must be done. It is not good enough for an enterprise to focus simply on efficiency or improving customer experience. They must shift their attention and efforts to social innovation to have a positive impact on society and environment. Digital technologies are powerful tools that enable economic growth.

There are multiple challenges on the global agenda – the UN has identified no less than 17 areas for attention ranging from poverty to the world’s oceans. The media industry is taking steps to decrease its environmental impact, become more diverse and inclusive, and develop and support responsible journalism. If businesses and individuals in the industry can focus on these areas the industry can move towards a responsible media model, the impact of which will influence consumers and sector suppliers alike.

How important, and why, are the following in helping your promote your ow company:

The press

We absolutely would not be able to market our business without quality, editorially-led content. I really love the industry news pieces and trends overviews and deep dive analysis of different themes/industry problems. We’re lucky to be part of an industry where journalists and editors have put in the time and effort needed to become true experts in their own rights and it’s this level of expertise that means that all of us can turn to trade media titles to help us to learn and grow.


Over the past 18 months, I’ve been reminded just how powerful we are as an industry when we come together in person at events. But with so many events on the calendar it can be tricky to make the best use of your time.

To keep myself on the right track, It’s important to I really scrutinise look at event agendas and prioritise my attendance and participation based on the things I can really launch myself into. By doing this I make sure that I take in a broad range of content, hear from all corners of the industry, and stay up to date with all the exciting stuff that’s going on.