Media All-Star: Steve Minichini

President, interactive marketing, TargetCast tcm, mashed up online and offline into one planning practice

Probably best not to tell Steve Minichini something isn't possible. TargetCast tcm's president of interactive marketing has built his career on the conviction that if the best tool or the right strategy doesn't exist yet, he can find a way to create it.

"I love that I have the ability, everyday, to think what can we do differently," he says. "It's pretty easy to stay energized knowing that each day brings a new opportunity and you can create anything."

Minichini joined TargetCast in 2010 through the acquisition of his digital media firm Triumph360. While TargetCast previously offered digital services, Minichini said, the merger helped push the company to the leading edge of interactive advertising. "It really helped the agency to bring online and offline together in one kind of planning practice instead of two separate entities," he says. Since his arrival, he has developed a trio of digital tools that give clients a leg up in purchasing media, monitoring social media, and changing display marketing on the fly.

These innovations have led to real results. Last month, early episodes of AMC's zombie horror series Walking Dead earned record ratings (and a renewal) thanks in part to TargetCast's integrated campaign for the show. "Steve is energetic. He is creative. He is inspiring. He is inventive," says Steve Farella, TargetCast's CEO, who first worked with Minichini at Jordan McGrath Case & Partners in the early 1990s.

Minichini's entrepreneurial bent is also a bonus for clients who say he offers a fresh eye on problem solving. "Steve helped us rethink our digital media strategy, evaluate a number of different ad networks and exchanges, and optimize our ROI across types of placements and networks," says Paul Leonard, vp of brand marketing for Expedia.

Just a few years after joining Jordan McGrath, Minichini says, he was hooked by the measurability and accountability of digital advertising, and knew that his future was online. As an early tech adopter, he recalls being among the first to use America Online and CompuServe and remembers playing an online checkers game with someone from China as his colleagues looked on.

"The graphics were horrible, of course," he says. "But just the fact that I was playing that guy was mind-blowing. We had a huge audience." –