Editor’s Note: This Q&A is the first installment in an occasional blog series where Innovid interviews leading media strategists about their take on the future of the advertising and media sector.
Katie Driggs is VP-Director of Media at FerebeeLane. She went to college with the goal of getting into the advertising business. She started her career at Erwin Penland, as a media planner, which played to her strengths in math and economics, and she’s been on the media side ever since, with a stint at Hill Holliday before joining her current agency six years ago. In the Q&A below, Katie shares some of the key lessons she’s learned in her career. She is also Adjunct Professor-Media Management in Brand Communications at Clemson University.
Innovid: It's two days after Halloween. What are you most afraid of when it comes to media strategy?
Katie: Not having clear goals on what to achieve and not being able to tie results to KPIs. The first sets you up for failure from the start. The second will doom a campaign even when it performs well against other measures.
Innovid: What are you most afraid of as a human being?
Katie: Spiders – I hate them! I’m fine with snakes, which most people are afraid of, but a spider, with its eight legs, is terrifying.
Innovid: What attracted you to media strategy?
Katie: You have your audience, your goal, and your budget. Make the pieces fit. Consider the shapes, patterns, and put it all into place for the best client outcomes — using the parameters you have.
Innovid: Do you think that there's a level of creativity necessary in building a media plan that's comparable to the creativity in developing the ads themselves?
Katie: Absolutely. That's a big soapbox of mine. I tell people that I am not artistic, but I am creative. And you can be creative in media planning. I like combining creative themes and creative messaging with the media placement. For example, a client’s campaign was designed to showcase the various locations and services they deliver. Visually, part of the creative was a geographic map with pinpoints of the locations, communicating that they're in more places than you think. The media plan included a partnership with Waze, using sponsored pins on the map, which aligned strategically with the creative.
Innovid: How has strategy changed as media has become more fragmented?
Katie: As the digital landscape has evolved, media planning has become more audience-based versus channel-based. It's more about determining who the audience is and where they are, then finding them in every place they are versus buying the media channels we think they use. It’s 1:1 rather than 1:many.
Innovid: What is your approach to measurement and campaign optimization?
Katie: It all starts with the KPIs of the campaigns and measuring each channel against the goals. If we're starting to see certain platforms, devices, or channels performing really well — and of course, we can see all that in digital — we'll make recommendations to shift the media investment. We're constantly looking at performance and making adjustments and not setting it, letting it run, and seeing what we get. We make sure that the client is getting the best out of their campaigns that they can.
Innovid: In media, what’s one technology you could not do without?
Katie: Ad serving for sure, because it provides consistent measurement across digital channels and feeds into our analytics platform for visualization, illuminating insights that then feed into future strategies. It allows us to look at reporting in near real time, without having to manually calculate it all. It is critical; it allows us to react in real time, making any necessary adjustments I alluded to earlier.
Innovid: What would you want a dream technology to do to help you in media strategy?
Katie: Being able to plan, buy, serve, and measure everything in one place on an apples-to-apples basis, across all media channels. The more you can place all media into one platform and be able to assess the entire investment mix — that would be the ultimate in investment optimization tools. It just would make life so much easier and more consistent.