A Spark Foundry Manager Shares Thoughts for Gen Z Industry Newcomers

By #AskGenZ Archives
Cover image for  article: A Spark Foundry Manager Shares Thoughts for Gen Z Industry Newcomers

Since the start of this #AskGenZ column, more and more Gen Z consumers have been looking for advice and insights on how to enter the media industry.  It’s my goal to help all young industry professionals grow to become media managers or executives in the next ten years.  I sat down with Jocelyn Berger from Publicis Media’s Spark Foundry to get insights on how she climbed the media industry ladder and hear what advice she has to give to our #AskGenZ readers.

Berger is a manager on the video investment team for Aflac at Spark Foundry.  As part of her role, she works closely with the strategy team to determine the best allocation of video investment dollars based on research and past results and analyzes marketplace and business trends to ensure the buys they execute are relevant in the marketplace while meeting the client’s business needs.  In addition, Berger (below left) manages a buyer and an assistant on the team.

Kelsey Davis:  So, break down what you do right now as a manager.

Jocelyn Berger:  Obviously, I manage a team, so I have a buyer and an assistant that I'm leading.  For me, a lot of it is really just keeping up with those trends and knowing my clients’ business needs and what they're looking for out of their buys.  The results they're looking for are really important.  That really is kind of a big part of my day.  And, of course, working with my strategy team and the client team to ensure that we're satisfying their business.

Davis: You've been in the industry for eight years, so that's eightUpfrontseasons.  Tell me about your very first Upfront experience.

Berger:  Back then you went to presentations and linear TV was the main focus.  Now it’s a piece of the puzzle.  We heard a lot this year about how most of these broadcast companies are rolling out streaming services.  I think that just goes to show that the content is there, it's just different how people are viewing it.  People aren't viewing stuff by appointment anymore; they're seeking out this content on their time.

Davis:  How are you swayed or influenced by the information that you get from the Upfronts?  How does that change the way that you approach clients?

Berger:  It definitely helps if you think outside the box a little like I mentioned before. This day and age, linear is really only a piece of the puzzle and, obviously, there's a ton of fragmentation going on in the marketplace right now.  After seeing all these presentations, it allows us to kind of take a step back and look at how we can best deliver results for our clients by strategically allocating our dollars differently.

Davis:  Do you feel you could have certain prejudices or biases towards the way in which you sell to your clients based on how you personally consume content?

Berger:  Yes, sometimes.  But I also try to take a step back and think in the minds of my clients and who they're trying to target and what they think works for them.  I try to keep my own biases out of it and, at the same time, try to think as a consumer.  I'm trying to see it from both angles because obviously, as a consumer, people are digesting content very differently now.  In order to hit those audiences, you need to be placing ads where they're watching and landing.  This is the way in which I, as an individual, consume and choose to engage with content or with different platforms while still also understanding how important it is to grasp that all these different types of consumers exist.  There has to be diversity in the way in which we target.

Davis:  What’s your advice to upcoming Generation Z consumers who are looking to transition into a media executive space?

Berger: I would definitely say it's hard work.  You need to constantly keep up with what's going on in the marketplace because things are changing very fast; otherwise you'll fall behind.  Who knows what new offerings are going to be out there this time next year?  I try to think five years from now; think about what's going to be out there.  I would also say don't give up.  When I started out, I had a hard time picking up what exactly this industry is and what it means and how to provide the best value for my clients.  Just be patient and keep working hard.  Don’t expect to know it all when you first start, as you're going to be learning throughout your entire career.

You can listen to the interview in full here.

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