WIA Profile: Audrea Mata
Each month, industry news media organization XBIZ spotlights the career accomplishments and outstanding contributions of Women in Adult. WIA profiles offer an intimate look at the professional lives of the industry's most influential female executives.
How did you get into the business?
I was an active participant on Stockroom’s Kinkwire Forum for a time. I made a few connections there that resulted in an interview. I was at a place in my career where I was ready for something totally different, and adult definitely fit the bill. What began with some basic office work quickly morphed into my ultimate role there as marketing manager. Taking the position of director of business development for Wasteland was a natural progression from that.
What prepared you for what you are doing now?
Every job that I’ve held over the last 25 years has incorporated sales and marketing in one form or another. When I was with Macy’s I wrote a 50-page customer service proposal which went on to become the guidelines for customer service requirements for Macy’s West cosmetics. When I was in property management, supervising 1,100 units in two states, I was responsible for everything from hiring, and managing staff to developing relationships with outside vendors, to creating and directing all of our advertising. With Stockroom, I built a network of adult B2B relationships and a deeper understanding of the alt. sexuality consumer’s interests and needs, all within the context of the BDSM and fetish marketplace. I think that everything that applies to mainstream marketing applies to the adult industry and I leverage all of my 25 years of experience in what I do every day for Wasteland.
What do you see as the challenges of working in the adult online business? How do you overcome them?
I think there are many challenges. This is after all, the Internet, and not only are our products here but so are our relationships. We handle the vast majority of our business relationships online and text is not always the best medium for good communication. I think our trade shows are critical for the face time we get and as an opportunity to further our partnerships. That said, I think that the biggest challenge right now is the morphing of the industry itself. Adult is not only reeling from the impact of an economy in recession, and the shift of sales away from DVD format, but also relearning how to leverage traffic in a tube dominated Internet. I think all of this raises the barrier of entry from what it was and forces us to innovate. We need to reconnect with our customers, and realize that if we want them to open their wallets, we need to deliver an experience worth paying for.
Does your work life affect your personal life?
Only in the sense that it’s very easy to get tied to your machine and lose track of time. You look at the clock and it’s 2 p.m. and the next time you look up you realize it’s now 7 p.m. and you still have a family to feed. I’m very lucky to have an amazing husband and incredibly supportive family that understands the time commitment involved in this sort of work, and pitch in to keep things at home running smoothly. I think that the travel involved in this industry would be very difficult without the support system I have.
Do you have a personal motto or mantra that you live by?
At the end of the day, all you have is your name. Essentially, integrity matters. I am the same person in my professional life as I am in my personal life and I see every single day as an opportunity to walk my talk.