Call me Marty. And hello.
I am an author, digital marketer, ad agency alum, former management consultant, and programmatic advertising pundit. I was born in Zambia and moved too often, ending up in Michigan. I consider myself to be a Midwestern Gotham-manque. After college, I stormed NYC and was a fact-checker at Spy, reporter for Forbes, feature writer for pubs like New York, GQ and the New York Times.
My best-known writing job was as Head Writer for a program called Pop-Up Video on MTV Networks. We were nominated for a Daytime Emmy, and my mother has a picture of me and then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani. His tan is smoother.
After business school, I became a management consultant and published an irreverent memoir of that experience called House of Lies. This book later formed the basis of a Showtime series of the same name starring Don Cheadle as a highly stylized version of myself named Marty Kaan. It ran from 2012-2016.
You can see me on the right side of the stage here with the stars and producers of the show:
My second memoir was a send-up of self-help books called A$$hole: How I Got Rich and Happy By Not Giving a Damn About Anyone & How You Can Too. It was in development for years at Warner Bros. but never quite happened. However, it was a genuine best-seller in Germany, where I hope they caught the irony.
My most recent memoir is Bad Dog (A Love Story). Altogether less snarky and more emotionally satisfying — at least, to me — this book told the story of my beloved Bernese mountain dog, Hola, who taught me how to be a sober man by training me for our Canine Good Citizen certification. It too was in development (at NBC) for a time.
Professionally, I’ve worked on the analytics and measurement side of the digital advertising business since 2004, at agencies in NYC and Minneapolis. Currently, I’m a Research V.P. at Gartner, covering advertising technology and digital marketing analytics.
Much of my professional writing, which has won internal prizes (twice), sits behind the Gartner firewall. I’m also one of the firm’s most-read bloggers, and I contribute pieces from time to time to various worthy sites like the mighty AdExchanger.
My passions in life are modern ballet, particularly NYC Ballet and this person, and Bernese mountain dogs. I live in Katonah, NY with my wife, the singer-songwriter Julia Douglass, our BMD Jordan, and this rather dominating personality, Jerry: