Stephanie Geno, VP, Brand Solutions
The global spotlight is shining bright on women's stories and experiences, so we wanted to continue our Women to Watch series with insights and expertise from our Vice President of Brand Solutions, Stephanie Geno. Stephanie recently joined the Innovid team to help the world's top advertisers enhance their video marketing strategies in more places-efficiently using data to tell the stories that most resonate with their audiences.
Stephanie has a wealth of experience in media and martech, having held positions in business development, product development and more at Starcom MediaVest Group, Performics, and The Abundancy, where she was client lead for both creative, media, and martech for clients such as U.S. Cellular, Marriott, LVMH, Walgreen's and Molson Coors. Stephanie is also a co-chair for the Denver chapter of Women in Wireless, which is a leading international non-profit organization that connects, empowers and inspires female leaders in the mobile and digital space.
Never having a dull moment, Stephanie will be attending SXSW, moderating Brand Innovator's Women in Marketing RoundTable with marketing leaders from top global brands on March 10. Before she ventures to Austin, I was lucky enough to ask her a few questions to find out what makes her tick and what advice she has for women in the martech industry.
What inspired you to work in the tech industry?
I truly believe in the power of marketing personalization and have seen data-driven strategies drive amazing results across my experience in the media, creative, and consulting sides of this business. From the onset of my career technology has been a driving force behind my ability to deliver smart, effective, and scalable solutions.
What do you love most about your job?
I'm very results oriented so working with brands to create solutions, implement them, and see tangible results is extremely fulfilling. Technology is amazing, but it's an incomplete solution without the right strategy and operators to deliver against that strategy. I also love being surrounded by driven and talented people who are pushing the marketplace and leading innovation within the video landscape.
Your home base is in Colorado-what is your recipe for success for working remotely?
I think these are best practices in general, but are increasingly important as a remote employee:
- Know your goals - There's a certain amount of autonomy that comes with working remotely so it's critical to align on goals and objectives to ensure you're staying on course with the company's needs.
- Have a dedicated workspace - I find it helpful to have a clear boundary between work space and home space so I have a dedicated home office to keep me focused on work during business hours.
- Build local community - It's important to have regular face-to-face interactions and build a sense of community. I do this through working from a shared office space a few days a week and participating in relevant local industry events. Most recently I've teamed up with Women in Wireless to launch the Denver chapter and connect with other women in marketing and technology in the Denver area.
- Avoid multi-tasking - Too often these days, people are on their laptops or phones in meetings and not actively participating. As a remote meeting participant, it's even more critical to stay engaged in conversations.
- Be accessible - Communication is key and I am always available via Slack (even nights and weekends) to make sure the lines of communication stay open. Video conferencing through Zoom also helps with staying connected to the broader team.
What is the most important thing that brands can do to stand out among the competition?
Fragmentation has created many challenges for marketers, but I think that to be truly effective, brands need to embrace fragmentation and find new ways for their video messaging to reach and truly resonate with their viewers. This includes creating more personalized messages with data-driven video and then scaling that strategy to all devices-including OTT-as well as social channel and owned sites.
In your opinion, which brands are excelling in video marketing?
In terms of success-I feel that brands are excelling if they are using everything at their disposal to be impactful with their audiences and then scaling what works. For example, Chrysler has been leveraging data-driven video at scale for several years now, which involves using their first-party data to update messaging in their videos to be hyper relevant for their viewers. This helps fit their brand story into the context of their viewers lives, rather than trying to push one, general story en masse.
What advice do you have for women who are just starting their careers and want to break into the tech industry?
Be bold and unashamed to break down doors and build connections. Too often women are over-prepared and under-confident. It's critical to match your confidence to your competency. Seek out other strong leaders, female and male, who are willing to invest in your growth. Build collaborative relationships and learn as much as you can. There are so many great organizations that provide mentorship and coaching to women looking to break into the tech field, so don't be afraid to put yourself out there and ask for help when needed.
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