Scot McLernon: President, Upstream Group

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DishyMix episode 25: Doug Weaver and Scot McLernon, Upstream Group on Training Digital Sellers, the Retention Crisis and "The One Thing You Need to Know."

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Scot entered the business in 1995, selling some of the web’s initial banners and interactive “booths” for the web’s first online and offline trade show titled “Web Innovation”. Since then his sales team leadership and unique advertising solutions have received numerous accolades throughout his career. He’s been branded pioneer, innovator and from time to time a maverick. Over the last 12 years Scot has built and led three different and very successful web advertising sales teams with the last two of those years dedicated to CBS Interactive. Scot’s sales teams have frequently been cited by Forrester for highest revenue per sales person, four years in a row while at CBS MarketWatch won “best business and finance site to advertise with” and have won the acclaimed ASPY award as Best Overall Sales Team on the web. (The ASPY group is made up of over 100 agency votes) Throughout his career Scot’s been touted as an industry thought leader and evangelizer that’s constantly pushed the webs advertising capabilities. In 2000 he introduced day-part advertising to the web. In 2001 he publicly (and controversially) de-emphasized the value of reported clicks in a campaign. In 2002 amongst the ad recession, McLernon created the At Work Brand Network - a group of like publishers and competitors built to rival the size and reach of the major portals. In 2003 he was a founder of the Seller’s Forum where twice-a-year over 30 of the top brands sales VP’s share and work out industry issues for a day in an open but moderated forum. In 2004 McLernon co-founded the Bay Area Interactive Group (BIG) which remains focused on educating and networking the bay area’s interactive marketing community. In 2005 after helping facilitate the sale and integration of MarketWatch into Dow Jones he took two months off to get reacquainted with his family. That two month respite was followed quickly by an offer to come back to the CBS family, this time to bring all seven properties within the CBS portfolio under one roof and one sales manager, now known as CBS Interactive. Since then Scot and his sales teams have brought to the web the re-launch of CBS news.com as a cable by-pass, CBS.com as an actual entertainment hub where one can view 13 network shows as well as original web only programming, and last but not least, what has now become almost an annual weekday work stoppage estimated nationally each year at approximately 3 billion dollars - the online streaming of all 32 college basketball games during the early rounds of March Madness. Despite all of the above, Scot’s greatest sense of pride comes from the hundred plus sales and sales operation hires he’s made that have held successful positions within the industry. Scot is a frequent speaker at industry events, writes occasionally in industry publications and is often quoted about various industry related topics. He’s an active board member of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), is a founding member of the Online Publishers Association (OPA), a founding Director of the Bay Area Interactive Group and sits on several advisory boards. Scot resides near the ocean in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. His interests are varied. He enjoys running, golf, tennis and mountain biking. His personal life and weekends are devoted to his wife, two children, black lab and small vineyard.