You don’t have to be in the media industry to realize that the advertising world is changing exponentially. We are all impacted simply because advertising encompasses the world we live in today. Whether you are watching TV, playing games on your mobile phone, or listening to the radio, you are constantly trying to be reached by marketers who are hoping their dollars are hitting the right target audience. The tactics in which advertisers reach you constantly have to adapt based on new technologies that are introduced to the marketplace and the way people are obtaining their information and seeking entertainment.
The recent surge of internet/mobile is what sparked my interest to make the shift from the print industry to the digital world. It is important to emphasize that this is not a blog suggesting how advertisers should spend their dollars or on the state of the industry. It is simply my story of moving between industries and what provoked me to do so.
My first job out of college was selling print advertising (primarily newspaper). Just like other recent graduates, I fell into this position due to my eagerness to land my first “real job” and get my feet wet. In the beginning of my career, I was constantly confronted with the client objection, “but the newspaper is dying”. As this may have been true 5 years ago, it wasn’t nearly as true as it is now. While I hung in there and continuously dealt with rising paper costs, newspapers shutting down, decreasing circulation, and clients cutting their print budgets, I began to entertain the idea of moving to another advertising sector. For three and a half years I took the bus from New Jersey to New York twice a day. During this time, I sat back and watched as the number of commuters holding a newspaper, magazine, or book dwindled and was replaced by people using iPhones, iPads, and Nooks. It wasn’t a secret that the world was rapidly changing and I wanted to be a part of it.
As a young professional building the foundation of my career, I wanted to make sure I had the right skill set in order to be successful. While I learned invaluable skills and worked with life changing mentors during my time in print advertising, I was determined to start from the ground up and add online/mobile advertising to my repertoire. In December 2010, I handed in my buttoned up suit and four inch heels for a pair of jeans and flats to start my career as an Account Manager at WhitePages.com. What better way to get away from print than to join a company who had a campaign to “ban the phonebook”?
The past year and a half at WhitePages has been an amazing experience. I joined an incredible team and have learned more than I could have ever imagined. That being said, there were definitely some adjustments.
- Shortened turnaround time to get a campaign live. No longer do I have to reserve press time two months out and lose sleep over late creatives.
- If there’s an issue with the creative, I can do the most amazing thing: pause it until it’s fixed. It truly is a beautiful thing.
- Accountability- due to the ability to track performance you must monitor and optimize campaigns closely in order to ensure you are reaching client goals.
Looking back, I wouldn’t trade the experiences I’ve had, but I’ve proved to myself that sometimes you just have to trust your gut and enter the unknown to reap the rewards. I was able to join an amazing company that values their employees and fosters a collaborative environment in which we continue to learn and grow as a team, and for that I will always be thankful that I made the switch.