As we conclude Pose&Focus Vol.3 I am pleased to announce Myra Marayag is our final highlight for this volume! Starting out on agency side, Myra gained invaluable knowledge on what it takes to bring an idea to fruition.  Although she holds the title of VP of Sales (which btw she is very very skilled and talented at), she is very much a brand storyteller helping her clients achieve their goals through thoughtfully curated partnerships. Myra is also heavily involved in ThinkLA where she supports her fellow advertising community right here in Los Angeles. As always I cannot wait for you all to dive into her interview. 

Subject: Myra Marayag, VP of Sales, Defy Media. Creative Team: Photographer Lin Marty Photography, Hair/MUA Brenna Schaefer, creative assistant Martiza Mendez.

Subject: Myra Marayag, VP of Sales, Defy Media. Creative Team: Photographer Lin Marty Photography, Hair/MUA Brenna Schaefer, creative assistant Martiza Mendez.

For those that are not familiar with the industry, please provide a description of what you do. I work in digital media ad sales helping grow revenue at Defy Media across the Gaming, Automotive and Entertainment verticals. At the end of the day however, I’m a brand storyteller. I work closely with partners to organically weave their brand messaging into Defy’s weekly digital programming.

How did you first become interested in advertising? I’m a huge fan of commercials – my husband hates it because I love picking out product placement in movies. I watch commercials and analyze how creative and convincing the message is. It’s been something I’ve been always personally interested in so it was natural for me to gravitate towards working in this crazy industry.

What is one unexpected expectation/duty of your job that most wouldn’t know? Not only do you have to grow revenue for your territory, but you must also be an amazing event planner!  

What are the top pressures in your position? Making sure that our territory hits revenue goals. It’s an extremely tough time in our industry right now so really making sure clients understand how we can help solve their business needs.  

What personal traits do you contribute to your success? I’m a good listener, personable and know how to read a room. Every day you meet people with varying personalities, so you need to adapt to each person to truly make an impact. And being a successful sales person really comes down to partners trusting you, so making sure you are worthy of their trust.  

Any big success stories that stand out the most when looking back at your career journey thus far? I helped launch the Lexus IS when it was first introduced to the market back in 2000 (yes, I just aged myself), helped plan a multi-million dollar upfront for Volkswagen, worked on the most amazing event activations for brands like Don Julio, Guinness, Johnny Walker and most recently, worked with a gaming company to launch a new show that was sold to a cable network. I’d say it’s been a great career journey so far!

What was your professional highlight within the last year? Working with ThinkLA on another extremely successful IDEA Awards Gala. I don’t think people in our industry know how much work it takes to put on this event but it’s literally a second job. I was lucky enough to work with such an amazing board – with colleagues in the industry I admire so much to create an event celebrating our entire communities hard work.  

What was your first gig in the industry and what were the steps you took to get hired? My first job was an Assistant Producer working on the Lexus account at TeamOne Advertising. This meant I had to coordinate the efforts of different groups across the agency (from the account team, to the creatives, down to proofreading and finance) it was a great first job in advertising because I learned everything behind the scenes to take a project to fruition. It really does take a village! I networked a ton and asked a lot of questions from friends who were already working at ad agencies and got their advice on what it takes to be successful in the business.

What advice would you give women who are thinking of working in the industry? Network, network, network. Work on your own personal brand is extremely important. Always Negotiate. Make yourself a seat at the table because it won’t always be given to you. Don’t forget to give back. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself.    

What has changed in the industry from when you first started out?  When I first started in the industry, it was pretty much just banners and microsites. Now it’s branded content, YouTube influencers, programmatic, 3rd party targeting, viewability and DAR targeting – just to name a few. You must constantly keep yourself educated as the marketplace changes so quickly and moves at such lightning pace.

When starting out, any mistakes you learned from that you would like to share? Trying to take on too many things and spreading myself too thin. I learned quickly that you really have to focus on the important things that move the needle.

How do you manage a healthy routine between personal and work responsibilities? I’m a huge work out fanatic -- I ran the LA and NY Marathon and now make my family run local 10Ks. I wake up pretty early to get my work outs in, before my 4 and 1.5 year old wake up, so I trek to bootcamp, spinning, yoga or TRX classes. I try to also pack a healthy breakfast on the go. I’m currently obsessed with overnight oats -- ask my coworkers, I eat it every morning.

In moments of self-doubt, how do you pick up and keep moving forward?  I’m a big believer of the saying: “Surround yourself with good people, surround yourself with positivity and people who are going to challenge you to make you better.” So whenever I have moments of self-doubt, I turn to my amazing network of friends and people in the industry that I trust and admire and get their perspective. And a glass of wine never hurts either!

With just three adjectives, describe yourself. Outgoing, determined, multi-tasker.

What is one interesting thing about you that most people don’t know? I won a car right before graduating college. They were giving away pizza as a way to incentivize students to vote for Student Government, so I was hungry and took a slice of pizza, voted and went to class. A few weeks later, I got a call saying they selected my Social Security Number randomly and the prize was a brand new car. I still remember that Ford Focus!

What does the word “success“ mean to you? Success to me is defined by being a positive role model for my two kids and being a great wife and teammate to my husband.

Do you think success comes from luck or skill? A little bit of both but I also firmly believe you can create your own luck as you can create your own opportunities.

What are your go to resources for inspiration?  I’m obsessed with Arianna Huffington and her new venture – Thrive Global. The site is filled with contributing authors from all different walks of life providing insights on how to promote a healthy mindset.   

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?  Rosaline – the paella is a must!

What is one thing in Los Angeles you have been dying to do/try? Aerial Yoga

Los Angeles Rapid Fire Qs: Top Pick

  • The Grove or Americana? Neither – the Runway at Playa Vista!

  • K-ZO or SugarFish? SugarFish

  • Santa Monica Pier or LA Arts District? LA Arts District, because… Bestia

  • UCLA or USC? Fight on!!!

  • 405 or the 101? 405

  • Lakers or Clippers? Lakers

  • Rodeo Drive or Melrose Ave? Melrose Ave

  • Disneyland or Universal Studios? Disneyland, because of my toddlers

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.