Throughout my life people have asked me what I do for a living. When I answer that I work for an integrated marketing company, people usually ask, “Is it like an ad agency?” I respond, “Yes, like an ad agency, but more.”
Then, people usually ask if I “think up the ads”; to that question, I simply respond, “No.” Next, people ask if I “deal with the clients”; to this, I respond, “Sometimes.” And THEN, the inevitable question is asked: “So what, exactly, do you do?”
Good question. I help clients market their products by defining their target audiences and recommending ways to reach them. I try to answer the question, “Who is really going to buy this product/service and what media vehicles (TV, radio, online, outdoor, or social media, etc.) will deliver the advertiser’s message in the most compelling fashion to get the target audiences to take action?”
So, how do I do it? Basically, I combine an analysis of a lot of research and a dose of understanding about the customer’s “journey to purchase” with a little, old-fashioned, educated guessing. This combination gets refined and optimized as the campaign progresses and we learn more about its performance.
Why do I do it? That’s an even better question. It’s an interesting job where I get to work with a variety of personalities, learn about many different industries and tackle client challenges. Since media options are always changing, the need to be curious and keep current is required. In addition, being good with numbers and being a bit of a people person is helpful, too.
Is it as exciting as concepting an ad or writing a headline? Probably not. But remember, no advertisement has ever been seen by a consumer without a media plan behind it. As a huge contributor to any campaign’s success, I’m proud of what I do, even if nobody really understands it.
So, when my parents last went on vacation, my mom called to say, “Honey, can you suspend your father’s subscription to the Wall Street Journal while we’re away – you deal with newspapers and stuff, don't you?" I answered, “Yes, that’s the type of stuff I do.”
Mary Jo Sobotka | VP Integrated Media Strategy