Mindshare Unplugged: Meet Megan Montibeller

Welcome to the first edition of Mindshare Unplugged. Every month we’ll spotlight and interview rising stars across Mindshare North America – people who exemplify our core values of Grit, Provocation, Speed, and Collaboration. Say hello to Megan Montibeller, Associate Director of Planning in Chicago, and find out what makes her tick.

About Megan: A rising star in the Chicago office, Megan leads the planning strategy for several brands on our Kimberly-Clark team. She joined Mindshare about four years ago from DraftFCB. Work aside, she loves the St. Louis Cardinals, running, and trying to learn how to play golf (much harder than she’d thought!).

1) What inspired you to go into the advertising/media industry?

It started back in college when I was a psychology major. I was interested in understanding people, what drove them and how I could help. During that time, I also took an advertising class and realized that this was a different, more creative angle to my interests.

As marketers, we can’t just push messages onto people – we need to understand them, what motivates them, or what need they’re missing. As a psychologist you talk to a person in a chair or at a set time every week or month; in media we’re talking to them through different channels based on when or where they want to be reached. Our job becomes really interesting when you dive in, know what makes people tick, and figure out how to respond to that with the right message or the right technology.

2) What are the biggest do’ and don’ts for leading a multi-team collaboration?

On any team, one of the most important things you can do is cultivate relationships. If you have strong, positive, and respectful relationships, then it not only becomes more enjoyable to work together but there tends to be a more collective understanding and better work produced.

Be a team player. There are times to challenge people or push back, but there will always be other times when you just need to step in and pinch hit. When you’re the one who needs help, you’d expect the same. Working across multiple teams, it’s also important to be really clear on expectations and direction to ensure that everyone understands what they are working on, is hearing the same thing, and is working cohesively. If people are swirling or working towards the wrong direction, it fosters frustration and wasted time.

Finally, it’s also important not to just dictate direction. Listen to your team, their questions, and their challenges. There may be things you haven’t thought of or asked, and it’s always good to hear another perspective.

3) What do you think is the most exciting thing happening in marketing and media right now?

A brand’s communication with consumers has evolved so much in the last few years, and continues to do so via data and technology. That’s really exciting to me. Understanding your audience has always been important, but now we can understand them in real time, at that key moment, when and where they’re more receptive to a message.

The challenge is to find useful ways to leverage the data, without getting overwhelmed by all that is available and keeping that balance of technology and people. It isn’t just about the technology or the data we capture, but about meeting people’s needs. When done correctly, brands can really provide value to their audiences.