Editor’s note: “Media Spotlight” is an ongoing series where we interview a wide range of professionals that make up our growing office. From traditional media to digital strategists, you’ll gain insight into the experts who make up Media Works team. This week, we interviewed Ashlea Wolcott. #MWSpotlight
How long have you worked in media/advertising?
I’ve been working in media for nine years. I started at a full service agency only three weeks after college graduation.
Who has been the biggest influence on you in the Media field?
My biggest influence in the media field has been my college professor and advisor, Dr. Jung-Sook Lee. When I was struggling with my Business degree and searching for another career route, Dr. Lee inspired me with advertising and media planning. She taught me how to use my business mindset in a more creative way. I developed a new passion for advertising. I loved Towson University’s Media Planning class so much that before I even graduated, I decided to pursue a career in the field.
If you could pick one campaign you’ve worked on that you are most proud of, what would it be, and why?
I am most proud of my work on the MASN Sports Tune-In campaign. When we first took on the creative development of this dynamic digital campaign, I worked with the rich media vendor, the publishers and the internal agency teams to identify dynamic creative capabilities and limitations. We needed to streamline the serving of display ads that changed throughout the day, based on the time of day. Our teams really came together to develop a strategic plan, and this campaign kicked off my technical expertise in digital advertising. This was the first account that I became client-facing, due to my extensive knowledge of the creative workings, and my insightful analysis of the campaign performance.
How has the Media industry changed since you have been in the business?
The Media industry, specifically the digital media industry, has drastically changed since I have been in the business. We used to evaluate a publisher by their site traffic and audience demographics. We negotiated the rate, placed the order, trafficked one set of ad tags and reported on basic impressions and clicks.
Now we’re living in an age of programmatic and automation. We have different ad servers for different ad units. We use multiple tags based on audience attributes, creative message and technical capabilities. Our reports still include impressions and clicks, but they’re focused on post view and post click activity. We’re also devoting more time, money and resources to fighting ad fraud and blocking risky content.
Name one Medium you use every day that you couldn’t live without.
I can’t live without my mobile device. My synced calendars are the only way I can keep an organized schedule. I take photos and record videos every day, which means I’m constantly cleaning out my storage to free up some space. With that newly freed space, I download apps that also help me stay organized and connected. My phone is also a lifesaver when I need to occupy my son for five minutes.
What advice would you offer to someone looking to get into the advertising industry?
The media industry changes rapidly. In order to get ahead, or even stay afloat, you can’t be afraid to ask questions. Be curious and dig deep into research and analytics. Look past the obvious and be insightful. Ask “Why” and “How”. Show your confidence. Try new things and take some risk.