POSE&FOCUS: WOMEN IN ADVERTISING - MARIN BERG

The creative concept of Pose&Focus Vol.2 was inspired by the Wildlings of The Game of Thrones. Just like the women in this collection, the female Wildlings are strong, demand equality, and work along side their male counterparts.  Although I fully embrace femininity, given the current media climate, I also wanted to communicate strength, boldness, with a little bit of mystery within each portrait - in other words, don't expect to see the color pink for this round (note: pink is my favorite color). Lastly, I kicked it up a notch for this round and had the pleasure of working with a creative team.  I would like to give a special shoutout to Julia our MUA and Scott our body paint artist for being part of this portrait series - we made a great team and really brought this concept to life through the unique hand painted designs, to the bold eyeliner, frosty shadows and nude lips. 

I hope you all enjoy this collection as much as I enjoyed creating and shooting it. So with that let's get to our first highlight!

  Marin Berg, Principal Product Manager Lead, The Trade Desk     CreativeTeam -  Photographer/Creative Director: Lin of  Lin Marty Photography.  MUA: Julia Alexander. Body Artist: Scott Richards of  Body Art by Scott

Marin Berg, Principal Product Manager Lead, The Trade Desk

CreativeTeam - Photographer/Creative Director: Lin of Lin Marty Photography. MUA: Julia Alexander. Body Artist: Scott Richards of Body Art by Scott

Marin is a true testament in believing in yourself and taking chances on new opportunities.  When she entered the industry she worked solely on planning traditional (TV, Print, Out-of-home) media, but now holds a position as Principal Product Manager Lead working with engineers at one of the nations leading DSP properties. She believes ask for what you want, embrace change, and have fun while doing it. I am so honored to showcase Marin as our launch highlight for Pose&Focus: Women In Advertising Vol.2.  

For those that are not familiar with the industry, please provide a description of what you do.  Programmatic advertising allows agencies to purchase ads in real time.  As a product manager, I work with engineers to provide a platform that allows agencies to purchase their ads based on data that we know about the user who is going to see the ad.  

How did you first become interested in advertising? Well, I’ve always loved the Clydesdale Budweiser commercials then they started adding the puppies, talk about a tear jerker.  Seeing how an advertisement can persuade people to buy a product or influence how they behave is a powerful thing.   It was something I wanted to learn more about.

What made you want to pursue a career in programmatic? When advertising is done right, it can have an incredible influence, but done wrong, it’s the most annoying experience.   I want to drive our industry to get it right all the time.   I hope for a day where the ads I watch are actually useful or tailored to my interests.   Really though, if someone could just tell me how to stop seeing those pharmaceutical ads that read off a horrible list of side effects, I’m all ears. 

What is one unexpected expectation/duty of your job that most wouldn’t know? My day to day is working with engineers and business teams to define new features for our platform, but I also managed The Trade Desk’s UX/UI design department which is outside of a typical Product Manager’s responsibilities.   

What does a typical day look like for you? Does it include any daily rituals?  Lots of meetings.  Zoom and Slack are like the food and water of my job. I’ll be lucky to find an hour or two without meetings, but I do like variety so I try to have walking meetings or coffee/tea 1:1 whenever possible.      

What are the top pressures in your position? Making products that are not just another everyday experience, but instead something that delights and doing that within a tight deadline.

What personal traits do you contribute to your success? And Why? Saying “Yes” to new opportunities and always being flexible.   If I had doubted my abilities, I wouldn’t have moved into digital advertising at all.  Instead when approached with the chance to try a new activity I embraced it.  It was not easy, but I learned a lot including how to be flexible. Change is going to happen, I can choose to complain about it or I can get comfortable with it and get on board.

 Any big success stories that stand out the most when looking back at your career journey thus far? Being part of Pose & Focus volume 2!!

What was your professional highlight within the last year? Employing an amazing team of designers and product managers that I get to work with every day.  When your coworkers are your friends, it never feels like work.

How did you end up working in Los Angeles?  I was working in NYC for Barbara Walters right out of college, but I couldn’t handle the cold weather so I came back to LA to start my career in advertising.

What was your first gig in the industry and what were the steps you took to get hired? My first advertising job was as an assistant media planner at Universal McCann.  The first step was asking my network and the networks of my family and friends who was hiring.  That’s how I found out about the job and got an interview.  Then getting the job was about having some experience and showing your potential employer that you’re a hard worker and eager to learn.  I had little experience, but having had an internship helped.  These days LinkedIn is where it’s at.  Get on it, start connecting to people you admire, and message people who can help you get your foot in the door.  I got my second job opportunity in advertising through a LinkedIn message.

What advice would you give women who are thinking of working in the industry?  The beginning of any career is tough.   Put in your late nights and long hours now and it will definitely be worth it in the end.  Also, don’t be afraid to ask for what you know you deserve.  Especially when it comes to salaries, I’ve found that women tend to underestimate what their salary should be when first starting a job.  Do your research and be prepared to defend the number you want.   

What has changed in the industry from when you first started out?  Is this change good or bad? When I first started out, digital advertising was an afterthought on media plans, now it’s its own industry.  It’s amazing to see how much it has grown and continues to flourish, which to me indicates advertisers are getting smarter with how they spend their money.

When starting out, any mistakes you learned from that you would like to share?  I always thought making a mistake at work was the worst thing I could do.  What I’ve learned is mistakes are not the problem, it’s not owning them or learning from them that makes them a problem. 

In moments of self-doubt, how do you pick up and keep moving forward?  I’ve been lucky to be a mentor to a few younger girls just getting started in their careers.   It made me realize all of us have had these moments, some more frequent than others, but we ALL feel this way at some point even those who appear to be super confident and have it all together.  It helps me to appreciate that I’m not alone and we all have these days.

With just three adjectives, describe yourself. Dependable. Positive. Determined.

What is one interesting thing about you that most people don’t know? I’ve donated my hair 5 times to children with cancer or hair loss.  Also, I still have a baby tooth.   

What does the word “success“ mean to you?  When I think of successful people, I immediately picture people who have confidence.   Success starts with being self-assured.  Maya Angelou said it best, “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”

What are your go to resources for inspiration? I find attending conferences like Grace Hopper Women in Tech really motivating.  To see the many smart women who are playing a major role in shaping our future all in one place is definitely worth experiencing.   At their latest event, I heard Melinda Gates speak on her role at Microsoft and it was truly inspirational.

In the industry you get exposure to a lot of really great restaurants.  What is your #1 recommended restaurant in Los Angeles right now? And what menu items are a must? This is a bit north of LA, but I love Paradise Cove.  There are not many places where you can eat great food with your toes in beach sand.  Any of the cocktails are a must, but if you go their hungry make sure to order their seafood platters, which are huge and amazing.    

What is one thing in Los Angeles you have been dying to do/try, but haven’t had the chance to yet? I want to check out the ice cream museum.  The giant pool of sprinkles in particular.

Los Angeles Rapid Fire Qs: 
The Grove or Americana?  The Grove especially around Christmas.
Santa Monica Pier or LA Art District? Santa Monica Pier, it’s where my husband proposed.
UCLA or USC? UCLA I guess, it’s a tough one… I have friends who went to both.   I would pick Baylor if that were an option ;) 
405 or the 101? 101, valley girl!
Hollywood Walk of Fame or Hollywood sign? Hollywood Sign
Disneyland or Universal Studios? Disney!!! 

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. 

Thanks and be cool.

Lin