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Question
Hello, I am currently a senior at Loyola University Chicago studying advertising and public relations. I am currently working on my senior capstone project and was hoping to ask you some questions regarding the online advertising industry and your experience.

1. How did you get your start in online advertising?

2. What is the most difficult obstacle when reaching a target audience online?

3. In your opinion, how effective is online advertising in communicating a message compared to traditional forms of advertising such as newspapers and print?

4. What education and experiences prepared you for online advertising?

5. Many CMOs are raising their digital advertising budgets, creating more jobs. How is the competition by comparison to the opportunities?

6. What advice would you give to a graduating student who is planning to go into online advertising?

I appreciate any information and answers that you can share.

Answer
Hello Matthew,

Please find my responses below:

1. How did you get your start in online advertising?
It wasn't a planned move. I was looking into distributing and / or exporting industrial food processing equipment and quickly learned that advertising and marketing would be my biggest challenge as I wasn't already in that business. Early on I knew digital would play a critical role in global business (even the import / export of industrial equipment which at the time, wanted nothing to do with the online world). I bought books, signed up for newsletters, read whitepapers, joined forums, and pretty much did anything I could to learn about building websites, marketing them, and ultimately advertising them online. The passion overtook my desire to get into import / export and I just continued learning and helping people with their online marketing and advertising as a consultant.

2. What is the most difficult obstacle when reaching a target audience online?
Knowing the right time to reach them. Just because you know an audience likes something doesn't mean you'll get them when they're ready to buy, or sign up for a newsletter, or whatever it is you want them to do. Fortunately we have much more data so it's easier to determine when an audience is more likely to accept your offer / messaging ... which actually creates the true obstacle. TMI. Too much information, not collected and analyzed correctly leads to either poor use or no use at all.

3. In your opinion, how effective is online advertising in communicating a message compared to traditional forms of advertising such as newspapers and print?
The effectiveness lies in the message itself. Unless you're talking about differences in reach or verticals, it's unfair to say one is better than the other. Moreover, it's tough to create a successful campaign on a broad scale without mixing different formats like digital, TV, outdoor, print, etc. It all boils down to the right message, at the right time, to the right person. When all these are met, the medium is just a medium.

4. What education and experiences prepared you for online advertising?
Food service. Waiting tables at busy restaurants while I was in college taught me most of what I needed to know about dealing with clients, partners, employees, and bosses. In my specific case, I worked in pretty fast-paced restaurants with lots of personalities in the front of the house as well as the back. Everyone made a lot of money because the food was expensive and that meant most everyone had some bit of eccentricity ... not unlike people in the advertising world.

5. Many CMOs are raising their digital advertising budgets, creating more jobs. How is the competition by comparison to the opportunities?
Wherever there's ad dollars, competition is fierce. Ultimately, it's the publisher that's doing innovative things that interest advertisers that enjoy limited competition. The ones that produce and sell what everyone else is selling live in perpetual fear that they'll lose their ad dollars (and they usually do). By the way, CMOs typically move dollars to innovative ideas backed by lots of data.

6. What advice would you give to a graduating student who is planning to go into online advertising?
Reconsider. In all seriousness, it's a tough industry... especially early on. You work lots of hours in stressful fast-paced environments for people that aren't always the nicest. That said, the learnings are incredible and depending where your career takes you, the opportunities to travel and earn a great living are better than in many other professions. The other piece of advice I'd give is that you encourage yourself to be innovative and do things no one else is doing. A company that doesn't innovate is a company that doesn't deserve your talents. All the best!

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Ivan Jimenez

Expertise

I can answer questions regarding digital advertising operations as it relates to media planning and strategy, product development, campaign optimization, operations management, business development and site monetization.

Experience

I am an interdisciplinary Digital Ad Operations Administrator with over nine years of experience in digital operations and marketing. I offer hands-on implementation expertise in the areas of sales marketing, campaign management, agency relations, ad trafficking, web development, e-commerce, search marketing / optimization and interactive media strategy and promotion disciplines.

Organizations
I admit, I'm not as active as I'd like to be but there are only so many hours in the day and they say I'm supposed to have a personal life as well :-/ That said, these are some of my professional affiliations: BizTechDay BizTechDay is a conference where inspiring entrepreneurs share practical business and technology strategies. Inbound Marketers Inbound Marketers is a community website for marketers. It is a place where marketers can learn, share knowledge and build relationships. Miami Ad School The Miami Ad School group is a networking group with current students, graduates, teachers, faculty and anyone interested in advertising. SCORE Association SCORE is a nonprofit association of more than 12,400 business experts. The SCORE LinkedIn group was created as a forum to share ideas, insights and items of interest related to small business and entrepreneurship. The Versailles Breakfast Club The group looks at all facets of the business development cycle to discuss how the latest marketing / advertising developments are either positively or negatively impacting their businesses. LED Digest The LED Digest is an email discussion list focused on Internet marketing. It's the #1 discussion list of leaders in the industry. Zeal (by LookSmart) Zeal was a human-powered search engine. As a contributing editor, I helped support the creation of a "human" search engine. All Experts (by About.com) Created in early 1998, it was the very first large-scale question and answer service on the net (powered by professional experts). Small Business Administration (Business Marketing and Planning; Hotlist Member) The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) dedicates its energy and resources to providing support to small businesses and small-business owners across the nation.

Publications
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depends how we want to look at it), online media is more dynamic, faster and much easier to share and disburse content which makes it extremely difficult to track. That said, my writing has appeared on countless properties across the web and I wouldn't be surprised if some of those transitioned over to print media.

Education/Credentials
As with almost everyone I've ever met, I studied one thing and ended up going in another direction. I studied Accounting / Finance and Business Administration at the ZICKLIN SCHOOL of BUSINESS at BARUCH COLLEGE in New York City. I also studied Spanish Policy, Past, Present and Future in Madrid [SPAIN] at the UNIVERSIDAD ANTONIO de NEBRIJA. Although I didn't think so at first, my background / knowledge in finance and economics coupled with my ability to adapt and thrive in a diverse environment played an integral part in helping me stand out from the crowd in the competitive interactive advertising industry.

Awards and Honors
I've written no books, entered any competitions or requested any invites to speak at industry events. Quite honestly, I like more personal and specific interactions (hence me offering advice and help through this venue). In my opinion, although we may share some similarities, our problems are usually unique to us. Yes, we both may have business concerns, but mine are not the same as yours (or his, or his, or hers) so how can our solution be?

Past/Present Clients
Too many to list! I've had the pleasure of working on many high-level campaigns for prestigious clients across the globe. I've also worked and brainstormed with plenty of small business owners with BIG ideas... many of which were pure genius! Here's a list of some of the companies I've worked with: Adconion Media Group Air Europa American Airlines American Express American Heart Association Amtrak B3 Mexico Bahamas Tourism Board Bank of America Batanga Network BF Goodrich BIGresearch Blackberry Boost Mobile Bulgari Corporation of America California Lottery Casio Chevy Comcast Christian Dior Colgate Palmolive Continental Airlines Converse Dell, Inc. DHL DISH LATINO Disney Ecko, S.A. Estee Lauder Farmers Insurance Ford Motor Company Fox News Guess HBO HP IBM Infiniti Kimberly-Clark KMART Kodak Kolestone Lean Cuisine Lexus LG Electronics Liberty Mutual Group Linksys Live Nation, Inc. Macy's Maya Entertainment McDonalds MetroPCS Microsoft Nintendo Nissan Ohio Tourism Board Pantelion Films Peugeot Pfizer Pioneer PRESTONE Procter and Gamble Publix Supermarkets Red McCombs Media Royal Caribbean S.C. Johnson - Ziploc Samsung Electronics San Diego Zoo SDG&E:CA Awereness/CARE/Energy Team Skype Small Business Administration (SBA) Sprint St. Jude Children Hospital Symantec T-Mobile Technomarine Toyota Unilever US Army Verizon Victoria's Secret Wal-Mart Walgreens Wells Fargo Western Union WWF

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