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Carving the Path: Innovative Tech Humans of 3Q

Published: May 3, 2022

Author: Phoebe Martell-Crawford

Creating a culture of innovation is central to our ideology at 3Q Digital. As an agency, we strive to think outside the box and break through the traditional way of doing things. Our tech team is a true embodiment of one of our core values, “Accept No Limits.” With access to established infrastructure, a depth of data, and a variety of clients, our tech team is poised to innovate on more than just the basics.

Senior Vice President of Technology, Feliks Malts and Senior Director of Data Operations, Eric Swanson are leading the charge in tech. Get to know more about them and what they do!

Headshot of Feliks Malts
Feliks Malts

Q: Tell us about your role at 3Q.

Feliks: I am the SVP of Technology at 3Q Digital and lead our Internal Technology (supporting all of the hardware, software, and infrastructure needs of the agency), Data Operations (implementation and management of data technology solutions and automated reporting and data products), and Platform Automation (process and program automation through various technological solutions) teams.

Eric: As Senior Director of Data Operations, I work with our Business Intelligence team, Data Transfer team, and Data Technology team to implement/manage technical products and services for our agency and our clients.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
Feliks: Outside of work, I enjoy spending whatever free time I have with my wife and daughter. The last 2.5 years haven’t been overly conducive to consistent “hobbies,” so I’ve taken advantage of what I could in spending time with my family.

Eric: I spend most of my time outside of work with my wife and two children. I currently hold the house record for the tallest lego tower.

Eric Swanson standing on mountain
Eric Swanson

Q: How does your personal life shape your interests and passions at 3Q?
Feliks: I tend to be a tech junkie, very interested in all of the latest personal tech as well as process and operational automation. A lot of what I experience and get excited about in my personal life often translates to relevant ideas that we come up with in my professional life at 3Q. Especially as it relates to identifying and implementing solutions that improve the lives and processes of my fellow 3Qers.

Eric: I am a process-oriented person who loves to find efficiencies everywhere I can. In my personal life, I enjoy home automation routines which are very similar to the development work I get to do at 3Q.

Q: Our rallying cry at 3Q is “Accept No Limits.” What does this look like on your team?
Feliks: Our team is full of people-pleasers, who accept no limits. We love when our colleagues bring us their challenges, ideas, and needs that power our roadmap of solutions. In turn, we execute that roadmap for the agency to solve those challenges and deliver on those ideas to make our colleagues’ lives easier, and their day-to-day more exciting.

Eric: Our team is constantly searching for and building solutions to problems we have identified. While the technology we have available to us is important, it is the people on the team who bring it all together and break down perceived barriers. We have a lot of tools in our toolbelt, and part of the fun has been the ability of the team to combine our diverse experiences to build many products and services that do not exist outside of our agency.

Q: What do you think has been the most interesting change in tech this year?
Feliks: While APIs have been around for a very long time, we’ve seen their prominence and adoption grow significantly this and last year, and is a very big area of focus for us as well, as a team. There’s literally an API for everything, from reporting to product and user management, and campaign management. Leveraging these APIs enables us to make our agency more efficient and automated, freeing up people who are already super busy to have more time to work on the “interesting” versus the “busy.”

Q: If you were to give one piece of advice to someone just starting their career, what would it be?
Feliks: The one piece of advice that I wish I was given when I started my career was that I had to pave the way for my career by leveraging the areas that interest me. The reason I say this is that we’re given the opportunity to step up every single day, and while doing “what we’re asked” will eventually allow us to progress in our careers, there are endless possibilities every day to leave our mark, and progress in our career by stepping up to the challenges that face our teams.

Eric: Find your passion. You’ll spend a significant portion of your time at work, so you need to find something that keeps you engaged. For me, when things have gotten difficult or stressful, I am always able to find joy in the process. Things like solving puzzles or creating something new is not for everyone. Be honest with yourself about what it is you want to be doing. Look for the confluence of your passions, your ability, and what the market is demanding.

Q: Creating a culture of innovation is central to 3Q. How does your team adopt this mindset?
Feliks: It tends to be easier for us to create and act on a culture of innovation because we’re well-positioned to deliver on it and execute the ideas we have to evolve and introduce new products and features for our team. With that being said, we strive to constantly improve processes and find opportunities to streamline the “workday” for our teams to allow for more opportunities and time to be strategic and work on more exciting things.

Eric: This starts with hiring forward-thinking individuals who are never satisfied with the status quo. The first part of innovation is having a vision, but we also need to know how to execute. This takes proper planning and the ability to create something new with familiar tools and concepts. One of the most valuable skill sets on our team is the ability to solve problems tomorrow that don’t exist today.

Q: Why should a tech person think outside the career box? A digital agency isn’t immediately obvious to tech/engineering talent that these kinds of roles are an option and why they should consider.
Feliks: Digital marketing is a continuously evolving industry, with new things to think about, solve for, and work on every day. For an ambitious and entrepreneurial individual, this creates an opportunity to consistently work on different challenges and work on other things often, preventing stagnation and burnout.

Eric: Our team is working in multiple, quickly changing fields. Technology and the digital marketing landscapes are rapidly evolving. We get an opportunity to collaborate with hundreds of companies in different phases of growth. In addition to this broad exposure, we have an opportunity to be intimately involved in process and product development decisions.

Q: How has 3Q promoted tech as an agency? Why is 3Q a leader in this space compared to other companies?
Feliks: We put tech at the forefront of critical areas of our operation, with a solid focus on repeating the repeatable and looking for ways to deliver efficiency to our teams. Everyone at 3Q is fully bought into this concept, and it has been a significant area of focus and investment for us.

Eric: Our leadership team understands the importance of technology to our colleagues and clients. They have invested in people and tools that allow us to deliver on our vision.

Learn about Qontrol, the proprietary predictive analytics and automated performance monitoring platform developed by 3Q’s tech team!

Interested in learning about open opportunities at 3Q Digital? Visit our careers page!

1 S Wacker Drive
Suite 2250

Chicago, IL 60606(650) 539-4124


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