Editor's Note: What's on the minds of media planners? That's what our "Meet a Media Planner" series aims to uncover as we chat with media and search planners at agencies across the country. Today we're hearing from Amanda DeJourdan, a media planner for Mindshare in New York City. Amanda joined the agency two years ago, and now spends her days developing delicious digital, print, and TV strategies for Klondike, Magnum Ice Cream, and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. Thankfully, she says the on-the-job food cravings aren’t as bad as they seem to people on the outside.
Yahoo! Ad Blog: What would you say is the biggest concern for your clients right now, and how are you addressing it?
Amanda DeJourdan: Our clients are definitely concerned about being leaders in the digital space. So we watch different brands and platforms to see what leads to success, and we meet with different vendors, and of course keep up with the trades and tech news. We also have to keep up with what America is really interested in---whether it’s Honey Boo Boo or “The X Factor” or the presidential election.
YAB: Wait, Honey Boo Boo?
AD: I know. I just watched the Barbara Walters’ “10 Most Fascinating People” show, and Honey Boo Boo was one of the ten.
YAB: Aside from Honey, are there any trends you think are especially promising for your clients right now?
AD: I think there are a lot of innovative things you can do to drive engagement with mobile and gaming ads. I know some brands out there let users download free songs, play free games, or unlock information about concerts or their favorite performers.
YAB: Is there a campaign you’ve worked on where you would have liked to use that technology?
AD: The Magnum Ice Cream brand did some really exciting things this past year in partnership with the Billboard Music Awards. We were able to secure some great talent---like Justin Beiber, Usher, Jordin Sparks, Nelly Furtado, and Natasha Bedingfield---and we leveraged content across multiple platforms. We also got to test out some new opportunities in the digital space, which was really cool. It’s been great to watch the success of the brand since its U.S. launch last year.
YAB: What part of your job makes you feel the most satisfied?
AD: For digital campaigns, it’s really exciting to visit a page where you have a huge homepage takeover. When you see it for the first time it’s like Christmas! It reminds you of what’s possible in advertising.
YAB: What’s the most challenging part of your job?
AD: Definitely taking the huge number of options we have in the digital space and narrowing them down to a handful of sites. There’s just so much great content out there and so many great things that sites are able to do. Sometimes it’s hard to choose from what’s available.
YAB: When it comes to media planning, what do you think outsiders don’t understand?
AD: One of the big misconceptions is how many pieces go into creating a successful plan. It’s not just planning what sites to run on or what magazines to run in. It’s staying current on new technologies and sites and capabilities. It’s reporting on current campaigns and looking back at past performance. Building competitive reports, doing deep dives on your target, and also keeping up with the billing and budgeting. There are so many different pieces that make a campaign successful.
YAB: If you had a friend who wanted to become a media planner, what advice would you give him or her to prepare for what’s ahead?
AD: I’d tell them to make sure they have a passion for the industry. It is a lot of hours and work, so you want to be sure it’s something you’re willing to put energy into. You have to want to do the job.
YAB: What do you do to de-stress after a long day?
AD: I like to cook---and working on food brands is definitely inspiring. It’s fun to try out new recipes and then, of course, eat them and share them with friends. I just had a housewarming party and made Margherita paninis, and they were so good!
YAB: Your audience approved?
AD: Yes! I made leftovers for dinner the other night, and my roommate said, “Will you make me one, too?”