POSE&FOCUS: WOMEN IN ADVERTISING - ABBEY THOMAS
Today's highlight for Vol.3 is our first ever C-suite to make the series!!! Abbey Thomas is Chief Marketing Officer of Tremor Video DSP. Abbey has so much knowledge when it comes to climbing up the ranks, asking for what you deserve and making an impact within the industry as a female leader. From her interview you'll read how she literally manifested the life she wanted through visualization, hard work, commitment and valuing her worth. I cannot wait for you all to dive in. And please let me know if you got her Phish stats beat, because it is pretty impressive!
For those that are not familiar with the industry, please provide a description of what you do. I work at Tremor Video DSP, a leading programmatic video platform. We help brands reach their customers and deliver engaging stories that drive meaningful results. As chief marketing officer, I am responsible for linking the company’s product innovations to its customer-focused operations in order to build the brand, increase awareness and drive revenue for the company.
How did you first become interested in advertising? The advertising class I took as a freshman at Grady College at University of Georgia! It hooked me.
What is one unexpected expectation/duty of your job that most wouldn’t know? I have to constantly be thinking ahead to stay on top of my game. I usually try and forecast minimally 6 months ahead.
What are the top pressures in your position? Constant availability, responsiveness, always be ready to answer a question, always be on. The stakes are high, the work never stops.
What personal traits do you contribute to your success? My first boss, Kelly Ryan, wrote down 3 key traits she thought best described me and I have kept it with me. Smart. Thorough. And Creative. Those 3 traits have gotten me far, of course a little ambition always helps too! I am very aggressive as well, that trait is what helped my success in Advertising Sales. And I pride myself as being loyal, I have worked for my organization for 10 years.
Any big success stories that stand out the most when looking back at your career journey thus far? The first major job promotion I negotiated incredibly fiercely to win a compensation and title that I deserved. You have to look out for yourself and know your worth. As a woman, this is especially important step to reducing the pay gap.
What was your professional highlight within the last year? Being promoted to CMO as I returned to work from maternity leave after having my second baby daughter! A career high after such a personal moment made it extra sweet.
What was your first gig in the industry and what were the steps you took to get hired? I was hired as an Ad Sales Assistant out of college at MTV Networks. I had been an intern there and worked tirelessly. Someone once told me the best thing you can do to be promoted is to already be doing the job ahead of you. I made it my mission to make myself invaluable to the team, I stayed late, I did all the futile tasks, I was always asking what more I could do. I was promoted the following year again. I went for the promotion by being extremely well prepared, going above and beyond for the interview, and working very hard in my current role. There are no shortcuts or replacement to hard work in the beginning of your career. You have to be committed.
What advice would you give women who are thinking of working in the industry? I hope you are aggressive – come! We need you! And please come back after having children. We need you to stay around and rise to leadership roles. That’s the only way we will make real change and progress in terms of equal pay, fair maternity leave practices, and corporate policies that support working women and families.
What has changed in the industry from when you first started out? Is this change good or bad? Technology moves a lot faster! You have to be okay with constant change.
When starting out, any mistakes you learned from that you would like to share? Double check the email before hitting send :)
How do you manage a healthy routine between personal and work responsibilities? I am lucky I love what I do and usually I am happy to be working hard. But I listen to myself and to my family’s needs. If I travel for 3 days away, then I might take Tuesday off to spend with my daughters; or leave early to surprise my daughter with a pickup at school. I value experiences. I make it a priority to all the important stuff, like recitals and we do meaningful memory-making stuff to mark times like birthdays. I work for an organization that rewards me for working hard by supporting time with my family.
In moments of self-doubt, how do you pick up and keep moving forward? I keep a folder called “props.” I look thru it and see all the beautiful words from my coworkers, friends, and family about things I have done that helped them achieve their goals, or how they are proud of me. It reminds me that I am good at this and gives me a confidence boost to keep going and trust myself.
With just three adjectives, describe yourself. Smart. Thorough. Creative (thanks again Kelly!)
What is one interesting thing about you that most people don’t know? I love Phish! I love love music overall but I have seen Phish play live over 80 times.
What does the word “success“ mean to you? Fulfilled.
Do you think success comes from luck or skill? Luck is preparedness meets opportunity. I truly believe that.
What are your go to resources for inspiration? I believe in the power of visualization. I have done vision boards in the past to help me figure out what I want my life to look like. I have a full vision book from before I moved to LA, and one before I met my husband, and another now that I have children. It’s amazing to look back thru these past image journeys and see how your life has transformed. And most beautiful, if you know what you are trying to create, your life can start to look like the images you love!
In this industry we have a lot of exposure to great restaurants. What is your #1 recommended restaurant in Los Angeles right now? And what menu items are a must? Representing the Venice scene, I’ve got to say Gjelina truffle pizza and Rose Café Cacio e pepe is to die
What is one thing in Los Angeles you have been dying to do/try? Pool day and a Hollywood night at the new Dream Hotel!
Los Angeles Rapid Fire Qs:
- The Grove or Americana? Grove
- K-ZO or SugarFish? Neither, KatsuYA
- The Hollywood Bowl or Greek Theatre? Greek!
- UCLA or USC? UCLA
- 405 or the 101? 405
- Lakers or Clippers? Lakers
- Rodeo Drive or Melrose Ave? Rodeo
- Shutters or Terranea? Terranea
- Disneyland or Universal Studios? Disneyland
Thank you for your support in reading this post! As many of you know now, 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 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 follow me on Instagram or Linkedin for the latest news.