Ted Moon – Founder, Pathfinder Interactive

When Ted Moon founded Pathfinder Interactive, he brought with him brand building at a scale only a few have experienced.

Starting with a $100,000 ad budget, Ted built Sprint/Nextel into one of the largest marketing programs in the world.

Hear about private concerts with Dave Matthews to fireside chats with Bill Gates and why attribution is a necessity in today’s media environment.

About Ted:
Ted Moon has almost two decades of experience in digital marketing and has overseen multimillion dollar online media budgets for Nextel, Sprint Nextel, and Capital One.

He has leveraged this experience into successful and often record breaking campaigns for all Pathfinder Interactive clients, deploying cutting edge digital techniques while staying grounded in traditional marketing principles.

Ted gained his financial services experience with Capital One as director of online media, but it was the nine years of online marketing experience at Nextel as director of digital marketing. He started in 1999 with a $100,000 experiment.

That experiment and his focus on attribution and outcome measurement enabled Ted to build one of the nation’s largest digital marketing programs. And by 2008, his annual budget had grown to over $100 million a year.

Ted’s recognition includes being named a MediaPost Online Allstar. At Michigan, Ted was a co-captain of the men’s lacrosse team and he’s continued to give back by serving as a devoted mentor and lacrosse coach for the last decade.

Ted lives and breathes outcomes, both on and off the field, and that’s why I’m excited that he’s agreed to join me in the studio today.

Key takeaways:
[1:00] I introduce today’s guest, Ted Moon, and ask him about how he came to be where he is today.

[7:18] Ted touches on the innovations that occurred in the past decades and how social media and paid advertising drove huge change in the industry which might make it seem that marketers today are less inclined to do new things, or more risk-averse.

[9:38] The innovations of the past having become a part of the everyday playbook, Ted finds that his team’s expertise has shifted from a consulting perspective to more of a partnering relationship with clients on their day to day operations.

[12:45] “Game experience” for Ted was garnered both in his professional and personal life since he has been coaching Lacrosse for decades; he shares how that experience is brought over into the work he does with clients.

[18:18] Coach Moon shares some of his biggest marketing and measurement lessons, including the massively important role attribution plays in media plans and strategy: the goal is always a team goal, it’s not just the one player.

[24:36] If a marketer only ever looks at the one highest-scoring medium, they will be missing out on some critical KPI that will lead to poor decision making in terms of budget allocation.

[27:32] Having made the case for how important it is, Ted highlights the levels at which something can happen to prevent an advertiser from using attribution:

1. They don’t know it exists

2. They haven’t budgeted for it

3. Internal politics

[30:06] Ted places a minimal proportional budget structure in terms of attribution and discusses the importance of having the intel to know where to put your resources.

[34:57] Ted touches on who could benefit from its use; for the most part, attribution has been used by acquisition marketers who have more transactional KPIs, however, Ted sees brand marketers having a use for attribution as well.

[41:25] I ask what Ted knows that no one else knows!

[42:34] Ted shares the story of an exclusive partner summit at Microsoft.

Be sure to tune in for the next episode and thanks for listening!

Connect with our guest:

[email protected]

Ted Moon on LinkedIn
Pathfinder Interactive on Facebook

Mentioned in this episode:

C3 Metrics
Pathfinder Interactive



“I think there’s still a lot of change year-over-year in our business, but the rate of change has slowed from about 15 years ago when paid search and social were first coming on to the scene.” — Ted Moon

“Everything in life kind of cross-pollinates; there are some concepts I get from coaching that I use in the business world and vice versa.” — Ted Moon

“People around me — both clients and my team — say attribution is my favorite ‘A’ word!” — Ted Moon

“Without attribution, it’s like flying without a compass or trying to evaluate players with the wrong stat sheet.” — Ted Moon

“Attribution looks more and more like it’s going to become a way of life for marketers.”
— Ted Moon

“Attribution is the new mixed-media model, except it’s a mixed-media model on steroids because I can go back and look at the whole pathway.” — Ted Moon