Mindshare Unplugged spotlights and interview rising stars across Mindshare North America – people who exemplify our core values of Grit, Provocation, Speed, and Collaboration. Say hello to Mary Catherine Wallace, Senior Associate of Strategy and Planning in Atlanta, and find out what makes her tick.
About Mary Catherine: Mary Catherine is a Senior Associate in Strategy & Planning, working with clients such as Transamerica, a leading natural gas company, and others. She joined the Mindshare Atlanta team almost three years ago. She got her start in advertising six years ago at MEC, after which she went to an agency outside of the WPP family but then quickly rejoined the WPP fold at Mindshare. Mary Catherine is an avid traveler; by the end of 2016 her passport will have four new countries and two new continents in it.
1) What inspired you to go into the media industry?
I took an untraditional path to advertising via Social Work. I graduated with a degree in Philosophy and minors in Psychology and Sociology, and was a social worker for about a year out of school. However, other opportunities came my way and I broke into media. And as soon as I got a taste for advertising and media, I knew it was the right fit for me, enjoying every challenge and win along the way. Starting out as a print analyst (aka in charge of newspaper tearsheets), I quickly moved into the role of print buyer and as soon as a planning and strategy role was open, I jumped at that and have kept on climbing. I love the creative and collaborative nature of my job and am so happy that I fell into it.
2) What is your advice for how to best optimize campaigns quickly?
The key to optimizing a campaign with speed is preparation. Knowing exactly the brand’s objectives are and making sure that the plan set forth accomplishes those goals, as well as having things in your back pocket to be agile in case something changes or comes up. Being able to make changes based on both performance and moments in culture is key; as soon as we see a positive result, we need to be able to capitalize on that make it work for us. And to the opposite of that, as soon as we see anything that may not be working to our advantage, we have to be ready with options to make smart changes. Speed is the goal and preparation is the key.
3) Give us one prediction for the media industry over the next few years.
The shifting world of TV: We’ve already seen traditional TV decline over the past few years as the media landscape became more fragmented. From “older” and “younger” millennials cutting the cord and never even having a cord to the fact that streaming and subscription services are more affordable and available, the very definition of “TV” itself has changed – and will continue to do so by leaps and bounds. While I don’t believe that linear TV will every really “go away” I see the landscape of how we all consume making a permanent shift over the next few years.
As stewards of our brands, we have to make sure we pay attention to the non-traditional ways consumers are getting their long-form “TV” content, whether that’s the second screen in everyone’s hands now or the Amazon Echos or Google Homes in everyone’s homes listening, waiting to help us with find the next answer or piece of content that we need.