Post Creator: Rosie Bartley

Finding Your Audience: Digital Advertising for Multicultural Audiences with Mark Walker, Direct Digital Holdings

By ICR | Podcast

Digital advertising has allowed companies to be laser-focused with their audiences, and that means a super-efficient, high-impact campaign. It’s an outcome that’s hard to argue with.

On this episode we sit down with Mark Walker, Co-Founder, CEO, and Chairman of Direct Digital Holdings, which trades under the symbol DRCT. Direct Digital Holdings is a digital advertising solutions holding company consisting of three subsidiaries: Colossus SSP, Orange 142, and Huddled Masses.

DDH provides programmatic digital advertising solutions with a specialization in reaching highly sought-after multicultural audiences and under-served middle market companies across the US. The company is at the forefront of dynamic and inclusive approaches to advertising, and in February of 2022, DDH became the ninth ever black-owned US company to go public.

Mark is an expert in strategic planning, management, and revenue generation for Fortune 500 companies, private firms, and startups. Prior to co-founding DDH, he directed business development for N R G Energy and served as COO at Ebony Media. Mark serves on multiple advisory boards and has written multiple research articles and case studies for Jupyter Research, Search Engine Watch, and the IAB.


  • Mark explains what DDH does (3:02)
  • The challenges and opportunities he saw when he was starting the company (3:53)
  • The meaning of end-to-end programmatic, and how their subsidiaries function together (6:01)
  • Mark explains why some of these audiences have been more difficult to reach (8:39)
  • The key industry verticals (10:23)
  • How Mark defines the middle market (11:23)
  • How DDH might benefit from the economic slow down (12:53)
  • Mark discusses DDH’s performance in 2022 (14:35)
  • DDH’s strong client retention (16:12)
  • Mark talks diversity and the management team (17:31)
  • Where Mark sees growth coming from in 2023 (18:50)
  • The economic power of the multicultural marketplace (20:04)


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