Mindshare Unplugged: Meet Crista Beach

Cover image for  article: Mindshare Unplugged: Meet Crista Beach

Every month, 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 Crista Beach (pictured below right), a Manager of Digital Planning in Los Angeles, and find out what makes her tick.

About Crista: Crista is a Digital Planning Manager on the Lionsgate Theatrical account. She's been at Mindshare LA for almost three years now and actually began her career at Mindshare as an intern fresh out of college. In her free time, you can catch her soaking up the California sun at the beach, tapping it back at a SoulCycle class or spending time with family and friends.

1) What inspired you to go into the media business?

From a very young age, I was always fascinated by how I learned and felt about a brand. Did I like them or hate them? Did they make me happy or sad? Unbeknownst to me at the time, those brands were actually creating relationships with their consumers. Once I got to college, I took my first Mass Media Communications class as an elective and everything fell into place. I was hooked. I was initially drawn to copywriting and graphic design (clearly influenced by "Mad Men" at its peak) but I also took courses in media planning where I was fascinated by how creative yet analytical the field is, and how advertising really begins and ends with media.

2) Give us one big prediction for the media industry.

Beacons will most definitely be "a thing" in the very near future. With consumers increasingly valuing immediacy and convenience, beacons will continue to fuel that fire. Companies like Google, Amazon and Apple are all heavily investing in beacon technology and it's exciting to think what small day-to-day habits and rituals will be made even easier by location-based data. It's even more exciting to recognize where beacon technology is already making its way into our everyday life, from transit alerts to point-of-sale transactions without the swipe (PayPal and Apply Pay have already rolled out tap-transaction technologies) to your very own smart home (#throwback to the Disney Channel Original coming to life!).

3) For brands that are looking to launch provocative campaigns, what advice would you give them?

  • First and foremost, do your research to help support the sell-through. A provocative campaign should be relevant and authentic to not only your brand identity but your target audience, so consider how the program will speak to consumers and what it will portray about your brand. Once an idea is established and fully developed, make sure you consider data points such as media consumption habits, purchase behaviors and key consumer insights, in addition to topline details (such as measurable units, total cost and estimated efficiency) in order to really evaluate and eventually provide support for the sell-through of a provocative activation. At the end of the day, all your research and data should provide undeniable support for what you're pitching.  
  • Second, performance evaluation is key: Whether it's a new product for a client or a first-to-market execution, each idea or opportunity should always address campaign KPIs and have a set framework for determining success. In the case of first-to-market executions where there are no benchmarks, identify proxies that you can use to determine success. Choose your KPIs wisely; only include the most important and/or relevant goals for the execution to help guide an accurate performance evaluation.
  • Third, prepare to be quick and flexible: With provocation comes speed, and speed requires agility. Any time you pitch and execute an out-of-the-box idea, there's bound to be speed bumps. Keep your composure breathe, and enjoy the ride!

4) As someone in the first five years of your career, what advice would you give to industry leaders?

The best leaders that I've had the pleasure of working with have had an innate ability to stay optimistic and calm in even the most stressful and overwhelming situations. It's amazing how contagious that positivity can be and how quickly it can ripple through an entire team.  Working in such a fast-paced industry can easily produce tricky situations, but having a positive outlook and clarity of thought can help drive teams toward solutions and get people to work together efficiently.  And outside of challenging times, positive energy helps foster motivation, productivity and often times some fun, too.

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