Editor's Note: Media planners play a vital role in digital advertising … so who are they, and what do they think about? That’s what our "Meet a Media Planner" series aims to find out through chats with media planners at agencies across the country. Recently, we caught up with Angie Polanco, a digital manager for Mindshare in New York City. With a background in market research at Forrester, Angie brings a unique perspective to her current role. At Mindshare, she handles demand-generation media planning for SAP enterprise software and is delighted to put research findings into practice to help grow her client’s business.
Yahoo! Ad Blog: You were in market research before diving into media planning. Has that background helped you in your current field?
Angie Polanco: When I was on the market research side, I had a lot of interaction with high-level executives, and my position was very client-facing. At an early age, I had access to vice presidents and directors, so I learned quickly how to approach them in a polished way, while acquiring marketing knowledge in a fast-paced environment. Then, going headfirst into media planning, I was able to transfer those skills into working with my client. It’s helped me manage a variety of different personalities and relationships, think quickly on my feet, and use my qualitative and quantitative research skills to educate my client about new methods of marketing.
YAB: How do you explain media planning to people outside of the industry?
AP: People seem to think I create ad logos or copy, or design websites. I try to explain that SAP uses relevant content to engage with online users based on their business needs. For example, we offered SAP’s target audience a thought-leadership whitepaper on Big Data to entice them to learn more about the enterprise company and, in turn, discover the benefits of SAP’s HANA solution. We’re capturing information that we hope will directly impact SAP’s sales. I try to explain the job specifics in this way, but I think it goes over people’s heads.
YAB: Which new trends or tactics do you think are particularly valuable for your clients?
AP: Leveraging brand advocacy is very important. Most consumers and business decision-makers would rather listen to their peers for advice on a certain product than be convinced by a marketer to make a purchase. For instance, it’s really important for SAP to have its existing clients saying, “This SAP solution works for me. These are the problems that SAP has solved to help make my business more efficient.”
YAB: Which digital channels offer the most benefit for your clients?
AP: I’m a big fan of integrated media. TV is still strong in the marketplace, but it’s important to create an overall presence so you’re reaching consumers no matter where they are. In terms of digital, mobile is huge. If you're traveling to work and have a business question, you're probably going to search online with your phone. We don’t know when someone is going to be ready to make a purchase, so it’s critical to have an always-present campaign that surrounds our audience at all times. Plus, consumers and business decision-makers don’t “swim in lanes” when it comes to media. They aren’t only influenced by display ads or TV commercials. So it’s a matter of making sure your media campaigns are robust and touch all channels.
YAB: When things get chaotic on the job, what to you like to do to get away from it all?
AP: I’ve been a dancer since I was about two years old, participating in everything from ballet to jazz to tap. It’s something I’ve kept at throughout my life. Dancing is a way for me to refresh and get a burst of new energy to start the next day. So I take classes a few times a week in different styles, like contemporary, modern, and Latin ballroom. It’s good exercise and the perfect way to de-stress.