POSE&FOCUS: WOMEN IN ADVERTISING - BRENNA SCHAEFER
When Brenna showed up to our shoot for Pose&Focus, I immediately thought of the word 'happy.' Brenna is intelligent, exceptionally driven and a go-getter, but most of all you can tell she loves life. She focuses on the good rather than the bad and her enthusiasm and laugh is infectious!
As you read below you'll see Brenna has mastered the importance of personal branding by identifying skill sets that are transferable, putting effort into her resume and showing examples of past work. And last, but certainly not least, she is innovative and willing to take risks on that next big MarTech idea. I am so honored and excited to introduce you all to Brenna, our second Pose&Focus Vol2 highlight! And don't even get me started on Brenna's features - her hair and eyes are AMAZING. Its as if the creative concept of Pose&Focus Vol2 Wildlings was created just for her. See below for the full interview.
For those that are not familiar with the industry, please provide a description of what you do. Programmatic advertising fuels the internet by enabling brands to connect with consumers in real time via online ads. Working in digital marketing as a B2B marketer, I’m often the woman behind the scenes building the brands of the company, its products, and leadership team. It’s my job to make sure that our products and top talent get the recognition they deserve while creating opportunities for our sales team to bring on new clients.
How did you first become interested in advertising? Prior to joining the ever-evolving world of adtech, I spent my days in pharmaceutical advertising. I was looking for a change, but something that would continue to challenge me as much as pharmaceuticals, which led me to digital advertising. The continuous change in operations, ad formats, and data implementations are what keep me interested.
What made you want to pursue a career in marketing? Marketing guarantees that the next day will not be the same as the day before. It’s the perfect mix for people who are creative with a twist of analytics. Marketing has awarded me opportunities I don’t think I would have gotten in any other role.
What is one unexpected expectation/duty of your job that most wouldn’t know? Understanding the psychology behind how people think. Even in B2B marketing, you’re appealing to people, not companies. Being able to anticipate reactions is incredibly important in this role.
What does a typical day look like for you? Does it include any daily rituals? Admittedly, I’m pretty bad about keeping myself on a schedule, so my daily rituals center around my husband John and Yorkie Walter. John is always there to keep me on my toes with his quick wit and Walter makes sure I get my much-needed daily dose of fresh air and exercise. Together, the two keep me laughing and loving life.
What are the top pressures in your position? As the leader of GlobalWide Media’s marketing department, the brand is in my hands – that’s a lot of pressure! But with a team full of the industry's leading talent, establishing the right checks and balances, and continued collaboration across the organization, it’s a privilege to be given this responsibility.
What personal traits do you contribute to your success? And Why? Having a solid design aesthetic, continually being aware of what I don’t want to do – which has guided my actions even more than knowing what I do want to do! Cross-departmental communication.
Any big success stories that stand out the most when looking back at your career journey thus far? Throughout my career, my biggest wins have been tied to the efforts where I took a chance by joining a startup. It’s rare to find the perfect mix of intelligent people, a vibrant culture, and unified vision in a single company. Being given the opportunity to contribute to the success of exceptional companies like GlobalWide Media and The Trade Desk has been the highlight of my career thus far.
What was your professional highlight within the last year? Being a product marketer means that I get to focus on identifying and filling market needs. My team and I recently launched a new product, RYPL, that builds on the growing popularity of everyday influencers in digital media and I couldn’t have been happier with the outcome. We took a chance on creating a product that wasn’t in market yet, with design elements that weren’t the industry norm, and we continue to see the ROI grow as a result.
How did you end up working in Los Angeles? My husband and I are originally East Coasters. In fact, we have only lived in LA for 5 years. We longed for the sun, sand, and surf (even though we don’t surf), so when a job opportunity opened up, I jumped on it and haven’t looked back since.
What was your first gig in the industry and what were the steps you took to get hired? My first job in digital advertising was with Conversant. Oddly enough, my background in pharmaceutical advertising was a huge help in securing the position as I was brought on to work specifically on key product verticals, including those related to pharma.
On top of that, I’ve always put a lot of effort into my resume – selling myself like I would sell a product, using conversational tone, and always, always bringing examples of my work.
What advice would you give women who are thinking of working in the industry? Don’t settle. Don’t accept the status quo. Think big and put your ideas into action.
What has changed in the industry from when you first started out? Is this change good or bad? The growth of influencers and the impact they have on the consumer path to purchase. It’s not enough to target only key audiences, you need to communicate within their communities, the people they trust and rely on. It all goes back to the oldest form of marketing – word-of-mouth.
When starting out, any mistakes you learned from that you would like to share? If you have something to say, say it. The worst you will ever hear is “no.”
In moments of self-doubt, how do you pick up and keep moving forward? I think about how far I’ve come in my career in a relatively short period of time. When I graduated from college, I thought I’d stay at one company and they would immediately see my value and promote me through the years, but that was a different time. Now, people think there's something wrong if you're at a company for more than 5 years. In my experience with different companies, I’ve come to learn and appreciate the fact that every opportunity I’ve had, I’ve created for myself.
With just three adjectives, describe yourself. Ambitious, resilient, inventive
What is one interesting thing about you that most people don’t know? It's a lifelong dream of mine to submit a winning video to America’s Funniest Home Videos.
What does the word “success“ mean to you? Simply put – waking up happy and going to bed happy.
As women we tend to have a lot of roles between home and work. How do you manage a healthy routine between personal and work responsibilities? To be completely honest, I haven’t figured it out yet. And I think that’s ok. We all strive to have it all, and most times, we do without even realizing it. When I get flustered or overwhelmed, I stop to think about how good I have it. I have a job that I love, co-workers that I have fun with, a husband that supports me, and a dog and two cats that love me no matter what happens at work, even if I forget to bring them home treats when I run to the store.
What are your go to resources for inspiration? Hubspot, Convince & Convert blog, LinkedIn, listening to The Beatles albums, and art – from graffiti to museums, many of my marketing ideas are inspired by the use of color and imagery.
In our industry we get exposure to a lot of really great restaurants. What is your #1 recommended restaurant in Los Angeles right now? Like any true steak and potatoes girl, I have to go with CUT by Wolfgang Puck.
What is one thing in Los Angeles you have been dying to do/try, but haven’t had the chance to yet? Attending a taping of The Price Is Right.
Los Angeles Rapid Fire Qs: Top Pick
The Grove or Americana? The Grove
K-ZO or SugarFish? I’m more of a “kids meal” sushi eater – the restaurant with the best shrimp tempura rolls wins every time
Santa Monica Pier or LA Art District? LA Art District
UCLA or USC? I stay true to my East Coast roots when it comes to sports. We Are . . . PENN STATE!
405 or the 101? The 101
Fast Track or Carpool? Carpool
Disneyland or Universal Studios? Disneyland – every time
Museum of Ice Cream or Getty Museum? Wow, this is like asking someone to pick their favorite child, haha. I’m going to have to go with the Getty Museum for the mix of art and architecture.
Thank you for your support in reading this post! Pose&Focus: Women in Advertising is my personal passion project dedicated to highlights women in the advertising industry through interviews and creative expression. Having been in the business myself for over a decade, I found it very important for women (and men) to support female leadership in our community & industry. Especially with our current political climate this mission is more important to me than ever before. I want our female readers to know when they come here they will get solid advice and actionable steps that they can use to elevate their own careers. To learn more about upcoming posts or when nominations for Vol.3 will open, follow me on Instagram or Linkedin for the latest news.
Thank you and be cool.