Welcome to the Blood, Sweat and CPMs Podcast presented by Freestar.
Our hosts, Jeff Kudishevich and Andy Forwark are here to add levity and provide helpful pointers for anyone navigating the world of Ad Tech. Each episode, they will go through the top threads from the Ad Operations Subreddit and give their take on each hot topic of the week. They will also interview thought leaders across the industry to get their perspective on what matters most to them. Follow along on our Blog for show notes and associated links to each episode. Enjoy!
Shenan Reed (Loreal) on work-life balance | Thoughts on Slack apps, viewability optimizations, and 3rd party cookies
In this episode, Jeff and Andy discuss their go-to Slack apps, viewability optimizations, and where to stay updated on 3rd party cookies. Later in the episode, Jeff and Andy speak with SVP, Head of Media at L’Oréal, Shenan Reed about being a board member for Miss America and Pinterest and her thoughts on work-life balance.
Listen to the episode on Spotify, now!
About Our Guests
Advertising Executive, digital media entrepreneur and public speaker, Shenan is a highly sought-after thought leader, regularly presenting at major advertising and digital media industry conferences. Her insights and opinions have been cited in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, AdAge, MediaPost, Huffington Post, AdWeek and Women’s Wear Daily. Her deep understanding of advertising, media and analytics has mandated her inclusion on several advisory boards including Pinterest, AdLedger, Namely, Teads and Style Coalition.
A strong advocate for developing the next generation of female leaders in her industry Shenan was selected by AWNY as a Changing the Game Winner in 2016 and an AWNY Working Mother of the Year Honoree 2015. She has been a judge for the Stevie Awards for Women in Business as well as an award recipient and proudly serves on the Board of Trustees for the Miss America Organization. As SVP, Head of Media for L’Oréal, Shenan is responsible for elevating the quality of consumer connections for the L’Oréal USA brands. Shenan resides in Bronxville, New York with her husband, two children and their beagle Pebbles.
Find Shenan on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shenanreed/
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I don’t want to advertise on that content I want to advertise on great content because my theory is advertising, when done well, is a service to the consumer. I want to show up in places where she is contained, enlightened, engaged, excited, and I want to give her creative that also speaks to that.
Welcome, welcome, welcome.
Thanks, everybody, for joining us. This is another fantastic episode of the Freestar presents Blood, Sweat and CPMs podcast. I’m your host, Jeff Kudishevich. And I’m your co-host, Andy Forwark. And we got a great show today. Just a quick rundown of what we got on tap. We have our fantastic conversation with Shenan Reed. The head of media over at Loreal was really good and she gave me some good tips to try to get this white patches out of my beard, if you recall.
And then we also obviously have our reddit add up threads of the week. And we have a little tradition around the US that is going to be a few days after this podcast comes out. Little thing called Thanksgiving.
Love to hear what you guys do over at the Forwark residence for Thanksgiving every year.
And let’s not talk about covid, please. Just just Thanksgiving now. Just Thanksgiving. So just give me a good Thanksgiving. You know, there’s not there’s traditions here, but we also kind of mix it up every year. But one thing that we’ve found that works pretty darn well is we get one of those turkey breasts, not the full turkey. I know. Hold on. Hear me out. But we just get a breast, all right? And we throw that guy on the smoker after it sits in a sailine bath for, I don’t know, a couple days.
And then we throw that thing on the smoker and let it cook and and that thing comes out tasty.
Just one just one turkey breast. Andy, is that enough to feed these, you know, these growing Forwark folks?
Folks there you go. So then the other thing that we do is we do a traditional turkey in the oven.
Oh boy. The is a turkey in the oven. He had me I thought, here we go. We’re just talking about a single lone, lonely turkey breast. But yet again, Andy gets me all riled up on his is his turkey phenomenon’s. That’s awesome. What’s the what’s what’s the side of choice. And if you if you had one side that you could pick from, what would it be?
It’s tough to pick a side, but the one side I really enjoy, I got to have an extra one here. There’s got to be gravy involved. And what let’s just not call the gravy side. Let’s call the gravy just a necessity on everything. Pretty much.
I think I think gravy is and I hope big gravy is going to come after me. I think gravy is kind of a condiment. Oh, OK. All right. So good. Bracing I’m bracing. So what you do is you get yourself a nice, nice bowl of stuffing and you just pour that gravy all over the stuffing and that is the best side dish.
Oh, Andy, I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you before you drop that bomb. There was no shadow of a doubt in my mind, you were going to say mashed potatoes.
You were when you went all in on gravy. OK, all right. So so gravy and some nice stuffing, huh. Yeah.
What is what about you. What’s your favorite side?
I mean, have you not heard me talk about macaroni and cheese enough these, over these years to know what, what my choice is. But I mean, truth be told, I’ll, I’ll take macaroni and cheese any day of the week and I do I, I very I’m very regularly eating macaroni and cheese. Don’t let my doctor know.
But yeah, I get, I get tradition and all of this and all of that and we, we do a turkey and that kind of stuff. But if I can let you in on a little secret here, Andy, my favorite meat of any Thanksgiving ever was this fantastic, fantastic smoked ham. My buddy, he kind of he sells smoked meats and that sort of thing. And he was like, hey, I’m selling like full full hams, put it in some kind of beer and just it.
Oh, my God. Yeah. Mercy. Smoker, glorious.
I’ll take that any day of the week over a turkey. But now I know about this turkey breast situation over at the forwork residence. I might have to swing by for that.
You’re more than welcome to come. All right. We got that on record now. Well, Andy, I think we I think we’ve gotten our our audience nice and, and ready to get plump for for their Thanksgiving, so hopefully everybody has a good one, stay safe, stays healthy and all of that good stuff, let’s maybe talk a little ad ops. What do you think? Yeah, I suppose we could do that.
All right, Andy. Now the moment of truth, our time to break down the top Reddit ad ops threads of the week, in case you don’t know, which I would imagine most don’t. I actually started the ad ops sub Reddit in 2012, and it’s now somehow become one of the leading ad ops communities in the industry. What do you think, Andy? Yeah, it’s a great community. Happy to be a part of it. I’m excited for this segment to just run down all the different threads that we see over the weeks and give our opinions on it.
Awesome man. All right, Andy. Our first thread of the day is how to explain what we do to a kindergartener.
So the person here is asking more specifically how an ad server and tagging works. I’m not even going to attempt to explain why I’m asking.
Well, this is a common question I ask. A lot of times when we’re interviewing candidates for roles we’ll ask you, how would you explain ad ops to your mom or to your dad or something like that? A kindergartner is assumed to be probably between the ages of four and six, something like that. A kindergartner these days may actually have some concept of knowledge of ads on the Internet. Well, I’d try to, you know, talk to him about, OK, so you see this ad on the website that you’re looking at on your probably on your mobile device.
And, you know, maybe it’s advertising something that I don’t know a kid would be interested in. Maybe it’s like some TV show, you know, what’s happening here? Why am I getting this ad? What why is it showing me something I might be interested in?
Hey, mister, why am I seeing this ad? Exactly. And I would just simply say, well, based on what you’ve browsed around on your computer or your mobile device, there is uh advertisers are looking to buy you buy an impression by me, mister, I’m not for sale, but buy an impression to serve you so that they can entice you to maybe go get their movie or get their TV show or whatever it is. And ya know the way that it really works without getting super technical is.
The advertisers or the networks that serve the ads have access to that cookie data and they can, you know, target you and then you’re served this ad and Jeff is making this face like, oh, my God, these people are targeting me on the Internet.
Yes, mr. I don’t want to be targeted. It’s pretty harmless, but people are afraid of it.
All right, Andy. Well, six year old Jeff is scarred for life. Thank you. Next up, that thread is entitled What Slack apps Do You Use? I’m curious in the ad ops world, what slack tricks or tips, tricks or apps people use? What do I use? I use pretty boring stuff. I use the Google Stuff, Google Calendar, Google Drive. I will say I like Google Calendar a lot. It gives me like a rundown in the morning.
Right. Kind of like here’s your day. Quick snapshot. We we recently started using Donut, which I really liked. Prem, our CTO told me about it when he started a few months back. Basically, it sits in a in a channel and that will randomly assign people to conversations and then they go have their video chat. Obviously these days you can’t go have a meeting in person, so to speak. So this is more of a virtual coffee conversation just to chat with some.
I actually had one today with somebody on our team who seemingly haven’t spoken with in in a while. I was happy to to reconnect and just chat. Birthday bot. But I think that’s pretty, pretty standard for most organizations, I would guess. Just reminds people when when there’s a birthday and we go crazy at this company when somebody’s birthday is going down. The other things I wanted to touch on personally is just actually tips around slack things that I use to keep organize the remind me feature.
Remind me in a day, remind me later today and then you get a message from Slack Bot Mark as unread as I’ve gotten older in this industry, Mark as unread has saved my life. I’ll be honest, it saved my life. Andy I love Mark as unread, love Mark as unread.
It’s it’s a really nice feature. A lot of times I read something and I’m like, I don’t want to answer that yet. So I will use Mark as unread and also. Bingo.
I like to use the remind me, remind me is the it’s built into slack so you don’t have to get an external app for that.
And then your slack bot will send you a little message in whatever time frame you wanted to be reminded in. They have some quick ones.
And then I think custom, even some of the other ones that I use, we have JIRA connected into Slack, which is really helpful for me, kind of keeping track of where tickets are and and who’s commenting and just another form other than email so that I can kind of ignore the JIRA emails and really just look at email was focused on like maybe things that are sent to me directly that are important. And then the other one that we use for our stand ups in engineering and in product is called Status Hero.
And I really like that because it’s traditional stand up. So what you work on yesterday, what are you working on today? It asks you those two things, gives you a little box where you can put it in. There’s a checkbox to say, did you accomplish everything that you needed to yesterday? So you can check that or uncheck it and then it gives you a chance to also enter in your mood. You always say, oh, I like a mood.
You always leave yours unchecked, right.
Because you’ve never actually gotten to your stuff.
I mostly never get to my stuff, but there’s a secret that my bosses don’t know yet. I just always check it anyway.
Only thing. Excuse me. You know, this is on record. Oh, this is we’re basically in a court of law. Right now.
I guess we’ll see if they’re listening. Not they’re always listening. What’s the mood thing? Can you can you can you just say like happy or sad or can you get really interesting.
So it’s all emoji based. So pretty much any emoji that has a mood. So I don’t know. There’s like meh, there’s sick, there’s tired, there’s a happy.
Do you use the happy Jeff emoji?
Jeff isn’t an option in that app. I’m going to have to check out maybe maybe we can make an exception for those not in the know.
I took my I’m going to call it self emoji. It’s where you make your face in the app and you’re doing a thing. Got that off of the phone. And then we made a slack emoji called Happy Jeff four for my happy face and then sad Jeff with a sad face anyhow. All right. Moving on, Andy. Our next thread is my manager just gave me a new job.
Any tips? So the user says so my manager told me that I’m that I will be getting a new role and yield management. I have been trying to learn as much as I can through Google searches, but are mostly publisher centered. We are at an ad exchange, I’m currently an ad ops associate, but I’ve been doing quality and compliance, et cetera, et cetera. Andy you have a new job. Did your did your new boss just throw you in the deep end like it looks like this person has been? A little bit?
Oh. No, not not saying anything. I’m not saying anything bad about Jackson. Jackson’s a very busy guy and he was a one man show prior to me joining the team. So a lot of it has been kind of me throwing my hands into it and just asking questions and, you know, working with the engineers on the team and and, you know, just making sure that I can do, you know, everything by asking others around me.
Now, that’s a little bit different than this particular user’s position going into yield management, but also not so different. I mean, I think you can ask people around you for some help. It’s good to come here, obviously, and ask. I know, Jeff, you manage a yield team, so maybe there’s some yield related tips. But overall, I have no tips.
Zero. I have zero zero free tips for you, Andy.
I mean, when I when I read the thread, the first thing I thought was, have you asked some questions? Like what? What is my actual role supposed to look like? I always like to know what or what is expected of me. Things like. Is there a job description? So I can read that, make sure I know what I’m now tasked to do. Are there any continued education opportunities, whether it’s seminars, certifications, things like that?
Yield is very broad and this person is at an exchange. I’m sure their yield looks different than when I’ve run yield that publishers or Freestar or, you know, even at Native Ad Network, they’re all going to look different and the expectations of you are going to be different. Right. So the real answer is ask ask lots of questions, get as much information as you can, hopefully get some training so you can actually know what you’re supposed to be doing and know how you’re supposed to be doing it.
What are the deliverables? What are the expectations? Is there a hey, you’ve got to do this by your third month, by your six month, by your year. You’re you’re at a good place being on the Redit ad Ops. There’s lots of great resources there. And obviously all all around the industry can’t teach yield in 10 seconds on a podcast. So and there’s plenty of industry resources out there, like not necessarily how to do your job, but at least to know what’s going on in the industry, like ad exchange or the IAB Digiday, all of those good things.
But obviously the Reddit group is is a good place to do that as well. So the next thread is entitled Viewability Optimizations on AMP and the user starts writing, Hey, we launch an AMP version of the site and notice a big drop in visibility across all ad slots. And as my resident person who might know this answer, what’s the answer?
Yeah, so AMP is really designed to already somewhat lazy load itself. Now the user is mentioning that their visibility dropped and this could be part of the reason why. So there’s a, you know, amp in the AMP ad plug in that you can use for AMP. You can add these data attributes and they’re all documented on AMP.dev, if you want to take a look for yourself. But the one I’m pointing out is called data loading strategy.
And the default way that an AMP ad loads is it looks at viewport and the default viewport is three. So what that means is, is that if you have ads that are already below the fold and they’re not within the first three viewports, which a viewport is defined by the size of the device. So on a mobile device, your viewport is very small. It’s maybe eight hundred pixels, dollars six hundred.
But if it’s already default in that to three, then the user’s got a scroll in order for that to come into view. So you might not have user scrolling that much. So you can play with that number by using this data loading strategy attribute. And then there’s also another one that that you could look into. If you add the value of prefer viability overviews as the data loading strategy, then it will actually do more of a like, lazy loading.
It’ll optimize around the viability of the ad. So a couple of things to try there. I would just suggest maybe starting with the data loading strategy setting your your view ports smaller.
Check out the documentation on AMP.dev, and you’re really smart, you know stuff.
Thanks, Jeff. You’re welcome. Our next and last thread is entitled Third Party Cookie Unified ID.
How do you track what’s new? And the user writes.
I am slowly getting crazy, trying to stay updated with all of the updates in the matter of dying, 3 PCS, third party cookies and all the alternatives and initiatives on the market, me to become an ongoing thing, isn’t it?
Every week we have a conversation around identity and what are we going to do about the disappearance of the cookie, the new threads, new topics, new conversations, new vendors?
Yeah, there are there is a lot of information out there. I could not begin to answer all of that on this without going crazy myself.
So instead, I will do a shameless plug.
We have a live panel that’s going to be a moderated Q&A. It’s planned for January 21st, it’s entitled A Cookie World. Hopefully we can help bring together a lot of answers and hopefully fewer questions for you. We’re going to be announcing this on our Freestar LinkedIn page coming up in the in the coming weeks. So if you are interested in joining, just check us out on LinkedIn, we’ll have information on how to join and and all of that good stuff.
It should be a good time. You’ll learn something. So that’s my that’s my way to answer this thread is go listen to us later. And with smarter people than Andy and I talking.
Yeah, I’m with you on that one, Jeff. I don’t I don’t even want to attempt to answer this one anymore, because if you say something now, it could change next week and oh, oh, we don’t want to be here providing information or anything like that on this show.
So for sure, by the time this thing airs, it’s already going to be outdated information. Look, to be honest, we do have it. We could give a real answer, but I think a little tongue in cheek. But honestly, with within the next couple of months, things are definitely going to change. And I think it’d be great to to just have have people join us on that moderated panel. You’ll learn something. Hopefully you’ll have questions.
And if you don’t and you just want to listen, join us. All right. Well, Andy, I think I think we’re all set with industry information. And plugging our panel, please go sign up for it on our LinkedIn page, when we when we announce it, we’re going to go ahead and switch gears. Andy we have our amazing conversation with Shannon, read from L’Oreal. Really looking forward to sharing that with our users.
Yeah, it’s going to be a lot of fun. So stick around.
I now welcome Shenan Reed, everybody, as SVP, the head of media for Loreal Shenan, is responsible for elevating the quality of consumer connections for the L’Oreal USA Brands, an entrepreneurial business leader with over 20 years of experience. Shenan previously led the GSK and Verizon Power of One Solutions for Publicis and led the L’Oreal Business and Digital Practice at Wave Maker prior to her tenure at wave maker Shenan and founded the digital marketing agency Morpheus Media, which became renowned for its work with premier luxury, fashion and retail clients over the course of her career.
Shenan has worked with an impressive roster of blue chip brands across various categories, including the New York Times, Neiman Marcus and many others. Shannon resides in Bronxville, New York, with her husband, two children and their beagle, Pebbles, named for the Flintstones character who grows up to be a female ad exec. We are so happy to have Shenan joining us today. Thank you so much. It is my pleasure. Awesome. So, Shenan, I was kind of interested to kick things off with basically just looking at your life holistically a little bit.
So you’re a board member for Pinterest. Some advertising groups, Miss America, while holding this leadership role at L’Oreal, while, of course, also being a wife and a mother. Plus, I’m sure there’s other things I couldn’t find as quickly. How do you balance all of this?
Can I can I make one clarifying statement? I’m not a board member of a Pinterest, although based on our latest earnings report, I think I wish I were I would, I’ve been an advisory board member for Pinterest, which means the folks in the advertising side tell him the products that we would like to see in the future.
I am, however, on the board of Miss America. As you as you mentioned, I have a lot going on in my life. I’ve always believed that I’d rather be busy than bored. I’m certainly never bored. I get really excited about all of these different parts and pieces of my life. I love what I do. I love my kids are just a ton of fun because they’re teaching me new things every day. The Miss America organization is the largest scholarship organization in the world for women, so I get really excited about how I can help change the lives of young women as they enter into their college careers and make sure that we we get more women into the workforce, but ultimately into executive positions.
And the skills that come out of competing there are just tremendous. Yeah, I love it all. But the interesting question that you ask, like, how do you balance it all? I swear someday I’m going to write this book because I’ve been tinkering with it for the past few years and the title of the book, if I could ever get a publisher to let me get away with it would be balance is bullshit. Every woman’s version, every person’s version of balance has to be different.
Right? There are people who need to be able to shut down when they shut down and they walk away from work. And there are people who blend their lives together. And I am that person who blends my life together. My work and my day and my life are all one blended piece. I don’t feel guilty about making a phone call to set up a doctor’s appointment for my daughter when I’m in the middle of my workday. As much as I don’t feel guilty about working on a PowerPoint presentation right before I go to bed. Well, that’s definitely like that perspective.
I like the blending aspect, too, right? Because then it doesn’t give yourself opportunities to then just say, well, I don’t have time for that because it’s not in this perfect portion of my day.
Do we really have perfect portions of our day anymore? Truly? Probably not.
No, no. And I think my my theory on blending our those two together has become all the more pertinent in this work from home covid year of how do we truly blend our lives together. Yeah, yeah. I was ahead of my time.
So having previously been president of the US L’Oreal business at Wave Maker, what was the transition like moving to the actual brand directly this year? And also you did that during a pandemic.
The transition has been really interesting. So I was President of L’Oreal Business at Wave Maker almost two and a half years ago. So I’ve been out of that role for about two and a half years. And I had this break, if you will call it a break, where I was running a couple of the largest accounts in media between Verizon and GlaxoSmithKline at Publicis. And so I got away from the L’Oreal world for a bit. Part of me missed it desperately.
And I think my team’s at Publicis could tell you how many times I talked about L’Oreal and my love for the brands, my love for the products, my love for some of the people and the ways of doing the work, how much you can learn working on this business. When the opportunity came up to be a part of it from the inside, it had always been an interest of mine to try and find my path to being client side. And I didn’t know what that was going to look like, the fact that it came up as an opportunity.
On a collection of brands that I’m so passionate about that I love being engaged with and that I know so well just seemed like kismet. Onboarding in the midst of a pandemic is tough. And for anybody else who’s done it, and I know many, many have your first thought is I am just so grateful that I am in a position where I still have a job because so much of our country doesn’t. And to be in a position where I can still participate in being employed is first and foremost something to be truly humbled by.
To be able to move into a role like this is just mind blowing. It’s hard, though. L’Oreal is back 50 percent. Right. So we’re 50 percent in the office. So basically, you’re either a team A or team B and so you’re in one week, you’re out the next, and you see the same cohort of team members each each week that you’re in, which is lovely or something great about going back to the office. But those you miss those moments.
And I think it’s harder to on board in this time because you don’t get to wander by somebody’s office and go, hey, can you just tell me what this acronym means? Because every business has their own suite of acronyms, right.
Or where the bathroom is? Luckily, that was the advantage of having worked on the L’Oreal business before I knew the building. That wasn’t an issue. I knew where the bathroom was. That was that was good. It was more the challenge of, like, I don’t know, all of these internal acronyms that I’ve never been exposed to before. And and there are new people and there’s new parts of the organization. So just just navigating those things, I think it’s a little bit slower than than I would like it to be.
Maybe that’s just my excitement to be to be a part of it. But I see tremendous opportunity. And the company is just in a really great place and doing great things for for consumers. It’s really exciting to be there.
We want to talk a little bit more on the business side as well. So kind of keeping within this era, quote unquote, of covid-19. How do you connect with customers without actually being able to physically interact with them, with events being canceled and so forth and so on?
It’s an interesting time, right? The consumer doesn’t have the opportunity to stop by the makeup counter at Lord and Taylor and ask that Lancôme rep about the foundation that she’s using and getting that color match right. The salons have been closed, you can’t go in and get your hair colored or cut. How do you start to do it at home? That the signs were closed for a very long period of time when you consider that hair grows? I think it is like on average, half an inch to an inch a month, depending on how fast your personal hair grows.
Right. That’s a lot of growth happens when you think about three or four or five or even more months of not being able to see your stylist eventually. If you’re covering greys, you really want to try and figure that out. You also saw a lot of people experimenting with hair color, which I thought was really fun. You can see that all over social media, right? Like all of a sudden, like, I’m going to try and, like, bleach this one section out and do a fun color.
Why not? I’m here. Who else is going to see it? If I need to hide it in the ponytail, I will. Throw in a wig. Nobody will know the difference. No I think. And so I think there were some really amazing things that as a consumer I saw L’Oreal do from from the outside, even before I joined the capabilities on some of the sites and with some of the retail partners for virtual trial. Right. Like try that have color on before you buy it.
And the VR capabilities that that are available to us today, like technology has come so far that it doesn’t just feel like you’re like painting. It actually feels like you’re wearing that color. And it was a lot even for me and I don’t color my hair. It was a lot of fun to to tinker with to go to a site like Vishy and be able to look at a skin care diagnostic tool and have it understand what’s going on with my skin and do I need more moisturizer and skin care became a really big thing at home when we finally have the time to not maybe wear as much makeup as often, we’re not touching it up throughout the day to get ready to go to that evening thing, et cetera, et cetera.
We all of a sudden said, you know what, I’m going to use my serum’s, I’m going to use my under my creams. I’m going to make sure I actually start to take care of myself a bit more.
Self care was more important for all of us, I think, and understand how. Shannon you’re giving me so many ideas, the things I have to work on. You said greys.
And what I’m looking at my little beard and come on over. We will do a little shopping trip in the company store.
I’ll that’s good. So what are some of the surprising trends that the data has shown you since you started your role at L’Oreal?
I think the difference is that I’m seeing are less about the consumer other than obviously we’ve got this rise of the Gen Z consumer in bigger ways than she was even three years ago. She was much younger. She’s now into she’s old enough to be buying things on a regular basis on her own. On the younger side of that generation is actually starting to to have pocket money to play with you. Right. So even my thirteen year old daughter is she’s got a little walking around money from from doing laundry and she uses it to go, yes, I pay my kids to do laundry. I know it is. Teaches them some responsibility.
I think it’s good. But nobody paid me to do laundry when I was there. I had to do the laundry for free.
Like I never got different times as a kid. I just it was either do it or be really sorry. But you didn’t.
Exactly. Exactly. I agree. No. So I think I think it’s interesting that this generation has, like I said, a little bit more walking around money and they’re actually spending it. And of course, the older side of that generation, I think is that close to twenty five. So she’s she’s really earning and and money to spend. But there’s things that that didn’t like. Tik Tok didn’t exist two and a half years ago when I left.
It’s definitely changing how we approach things. But from a from a business planning and strategy perspective, media planning and strategy perspective, the rise of e-commerce has been tremendous. Well, e-commerce was an important part of the L’Oreal business. When I was there, it was still fairly nascent. And you can see it in the media partners, right? You can see it in Amazon, Walmart, Target, the capabilities that they had for us to be able to buy media on their sites three years ago are just one hundred and eighty degrees different today.
They are just blowing up with what they’re capable of, how they’re using data, the opportunities to be able to to get in front of the right customer and create a great experience. It’s just it’s a whole new game. And so it’s become a much, much bigger and more important part of the media mix. And I think it will continue to be.
Shannon, I saw you mentioned this concept of Facebook fatigue with consumers. Right. So could you please walk us through sort of how L’Oreal utilizes maybe other social platforms you mentioned tik tok. And using these to to evangelize the brand to the consumer?
Sure. I can give you a little bit on that. And then keep in mind, I don’t manage the organic side of the business. So part of it is me telling you what I see is, from a consumer perspective, less than a L’Oreal employee perspective. From a media buying perspective, the Facebook is still a very, very, very important partner to us. I would say Facebook plus Instagram. Right. And the Gen Z customer is even more on Instagram than she is on Facebook at this point.
And she’s using it in different ways, but expanding out beyond those those partners is always a focus because we want to make sure that we are being in the place where she is spending her time. And so that’s always keeping an ear to the ground to make sure that we’re available to her. And if that means that Tik-Tok is the next place where we need to be available to her. And by all measures, we should figure out a way to be there.
It’s hard, though, when you have these brand new platforms and we saw this years ago, we still work with Snapchat a great deal. Right? We saw this years ago with Snapchat. When a new platform comes into the market, even Instagram before it was part of Facebook, it takes from the moment they start taking advertising dollars to the time that they are really a mature business from a media buying perspective takes about five years. So Tick-Tock is six months old or maybe even if you’re really counting hard, a year old, we’ve got a long way to go before Tik Tok is a mature media buying business.
They are trying really hard and they will scale really fast. But it’s fascinating to watch this. This switch of their influence is far greater than their capability at the moment. When it comes to media buying and advertising, it’s almost like you want to pick up a team that can go in and just build the advertising product and flip it on a switch if you could. But you can’t. Right? It’s going to take a little while to to make that happen.
Andy, maybe you and I could do that on the weekend. We got that. We got we got that. No worries.
I’d appreciate I’d appreciate that, guys. And then I’ve got a few others you can follow up on after that. Sure.
How should the supply side, like Web publishers and publishers, position their inventory to work more cohesively with brands in twenty twenty one? Yes.
When it comes to the supply creators, the media creators and one of my passion points, and I think I’ve talked about this a bit in the past, is I really, truly believe that we have to stop as advertisers. We have to stop chasing the bottom of the barrel and CPMs. And it’s not to our advantage. And I know people on the supply side always get really excited when I say that. But at the end of the day, we need we need you guys to be able to create amazing content.
And creating amazing content costs money. News reports to get accurate news reporting, to get time for fact checking, to have people who do fact checking costs money. I don’t want to advertise on bad content. I want to advertise on great content because my theory is advertising, when done well, is a service to the consumer. If I’m showing up against bad content with a halfway decent ad at the wrong time, I’ve created a terrible experience to the consumer.
I don’t want to do that. I want to show up in places where she is entertained, enlightened, engaged, excited, and I want to give her creative. That also speaks to that. So my first step is how do we make sure that we’re elevating the content experience and that we’re elevating the storytelling on behalf of the consumer so that she is getting more valuable content and also keeping it safe and worry free from a perspective of of it being hate, hate content, hate speech, all of the things that Garm is helping us kind of protect against all of that.
To also say, I really think there’s this tremendous opportunity for our creator partners to work with us on helping to figure out how our brands tell stories better. And that’s not just a Loreal person talking. I think that’s how brands tell a story better in general across the industry. And if you go back and look at the magazine ads of the forties and fifties. Right. So much text and copy on a page. And there was this whole story about like he comes home from a long day at the office and she’s vacuuming with her Hoover.
And it was like he knows the carpets are going to be perfectly clean because Hoover has more suction than anybody else. Right. It was just you kind of got enveloped into this really amazing little today. Terrible story. But like for the time it worked, I guess I think there’s I think there’s tremendous opportunity for us to figure out how all brands get better at creating inspiration and excitement. And then you look at what the consumers want. At the end of the day, the consumers want brands who speak to them and they want to understand that they’re the brands are about more than selling you a product.
They want to feel that the brands are about more than just a transaction, but that they actually stand for something, that they have purpose. And the brands that you use need to feel like they represent you as a person as well.
I’m trying to think, what do I buy and does it represent me? Hard question.
I’m going to think about that one. Thank you for that. We want to ask you a little bit more about you personally as well. So I looked up on your background. You’ve been a mentor. You’ve been adjunct professor, I’m very keen on mentorship myself, so I kind of like to hear how teaching has shaped your career and sort of your perspective as well.
I still use the skills I’ve learned from being an adjunct professor and my work every day. I also think doing the work that I do made me a better teacher. I loved being an adjunct. I don’t have time for it right now. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I did both undergraduate and graduate work as an adjunct.
It was fascinating to see, obviously, the different scale that these students are on. The undergraduate kids I was working with were most likely going to graduate college and go straight to work. They weren’t going to go to graduate school. The school that they were in, that was really their their kind of mission. Most of them were the first people in their families to graduate college. And so this was a familial moment of pride for them to to go through school.
And so I took that particular job from the perspective of if I’m training you to be my next employee that I hired directly out of school, what do I need you to know and what I need to be capable of? And so they actually would spend their entire semester with me learning how to plan and traffic a media campaign, how to look up competitive, how to spend time building a flowchart, how to research the history of the brand and spend some time looking at the stories that the brand had to tell.
They built keyword search lists just to to be prepared to do some of that work. And many of them, not many of them, a good number of them, went on to actually have careers in our industry. And if they weren’t in the advertising and marketing programs, they just happened to be taking this class. And so the fact that some of them chose it as a career, I always took it as quite an honor.
It did teach me a lot of patience, but it I did have a couple of kids that I had to take their phone away in the middle of class.
This is in college, by the way I have to take the phone away. But it also taught me the importance of being able to simplify the complicated.
We work in a really complicated field. And when you start getting in, talking about first party data, second party data, third party data, first party cookies, third party cookies, how the tech stocks connect with each other and who’s deprecating what and where and to whom. It gets really hard. Fast, right. And even our most senior executives will have a hard time keeping up with all of that lingo, as you would expect anyone to, unless you’re that deep in it.
So how you make it a story or an explanation that they can follow. And so I always try to step back when I’m explaining how something works or how the data flows or how the data is connected and try and show it from one person’s point of view. I’m a customer. I searched a product. This is the ad that came in front of me.
I clicked on that and I went to that site.
Right. Like, if you follow those user steps, all of a sudden my name is now in your database. And now just imagine Sgenan Reid is in your database. So what do we know about Shenan Reid and how do we build that persona? What do we do with that profile? And are we looking for people who look like her? What do we mean when we talk about look alikes? What is somebody like me look like? And how do you define that and how do the tools define that we have to really make it easy to follow, otherwise the stuff gets overly complicated.
And I think that’s why I love working with really senior executives of companies, because they’re some of the smartest people, you know, but they’re not day to day in this stuff. And it’s really fun to try and bring them along the journey of understanding how all of this complicated stuff works together.
That was a really nice path. You took us down. I was waiting for you to say. And then they bought the product after.
Obviously. Obviously, they buy the product, right? Always they buy the product.
That’s the goal.
So what is what’s some advice that you could share for aspiring marketers that are looking to get into maybe this field or just marketing in general?
First of all, research companies get to know their history, the the brands, their stories. I think any time you’re looking to get into this industry, you have to be, in my opinion, especially for going to market something.
You have to be able to fall in love with the products that you’re marketing. You have to truly believe that what you are working on and what you are helping others discover, because that is really our job. Right. I feel like so much of my job as a as a marketer and an advertiser is to expose you to something that I think is amazing and help you understand why it’s amazing and bring you along for the ride. It is not to sell you a product because that’s just too brutal.
I’d rather be your best friend that says, oh, my gosh, this lipstick is going to be perfect for you. You should try it. And this is why or hey, you know, you want to cover some of those grays. I have the perfect hair color to match the rest of your head. And you’re going to have to love it. You’re going to need five years younger and it’s going to look amazing on you. And how do I help you?
Just feel like a better human every day. Right. So much of the products that we sell are about confidence and being able to hold your head high and feel good about yourself because you feel good, right? It’s important to feel good. You do better work, you’re more productive. You hold your head higher when you go out into the world and life is just better when you feel good. And that doesn’t mean you have to look good by a standard definition.
It means you have to feel good about you. And whatever that takes to feel good about you is important. So I always make sure that you’re going to fall in love with the products that you work on and that you can be really passionate about them, because I think that really makes for a successful marketer. I would also say be willing to always learn this industry is constantly changing. Even in the two and a half years from when I left Weathermaker and ended up here.
Right. We talked about that earlier. This industry is constantly moving. There is something new to learn every single day. And there are stuff happening in Congress and there is stuff happening in China that’s going to affect us in the future. Like we just have to unpack it all. So you always have to be on a learning journey in this in this piece. And then the really tactical stuff, be best friends with Excel and PowerPoint because you’re going to use them a lot.
Shenan, and I’m sorry to say we don’t have any other questions for you because I just kind of want to talk to you for like eight hours. But I definitely appreciate your time. It was made my day, my week, so I really appreciate it. Thank you for just sharing. It was great. It was so great to be here. Thank you so much for having me. This was this is truly a lot of fun. Thank you.
That was really fun. Thanks a lot, Shenan. Wow, and it was so great to chat with Shenan today, I had a lot of fun, learned a lot about what she does in our space and really how she finds time for everything.
Yeah, it’s really nice to have her. And one of my favorite parts about the interview is learning about all the hair products that Jeff could get to help get that grey out of his beard. Thank you, Shenan.
A reminder for everybody that the links for the Reddit threads we discussed will be in the show notes if you want to check them out afterwards. Thank you again for everyone who made it this far, for the Freestar Blood, Sweat and CPMs podcast. If you do have a spare moment, please check us out on Google Play or iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts and leave us for review and subscribe to make sure that you get all of this high quality content directly into your ears.
For feedback or suggestions for guests, you can reach us at a podcast at Freestar.com Special thanks to Matt Heinlein for our music and to Caroline Romano and Paolo Battista for helping with editing and production and making sure that people know this podcast exists until next time. Don’t forget to add your macros. Later, alligator.
What does a turkey go, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble. Is that how turkey’s go. I’m trying to make the sound.
I don’t know if it’s coming across right or if I just sound like I’m happy. You actually do sound sort of like a turkey.
Kids these days, I love when I can get
Jeff going and I didn’t even mean to.
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