MEC’s Stephanie Lawrence Aligns Digital Strategies for Macy’s

Stephanie Lawrence is a Partner, Group Director at Mediaedge and a seasoned media professional, having worked at major agencies including Dotglu and Optimedia. We recently spoke with Stephanie about her current role and best practices.

The Makegood: Stephanie, can you tell us about your role and responsibilities as Partner, Group Media Director at MEC? Where does the job begin and end?

As Partner, Group Director at MEC, my job takes on three important roles including digital strategist, account director and “team mom.”

During my time as digital strategic lead for Macy’s, the client has grown their presence, not only in display, but in the mobile/tablet and social arena. It has become increasingly important that we make sure the media channels do not work in silos over the past two years.

In addition, I serve as Account Director, where I’m responsible for managing the client relationship with Macy’s. MEC is not just their AOR, but we are an extension of the team, which a great position to be in. It gives us insight into Macy’s business, whether it be business practices, the creative process, etc., that only further aids in our plan development.

As “team mom,” I feel it’s my job to keep my team motivated and happy.  I have a solid relationship with all of them. Not only do they feel free to knock on my door regarding vendor negotiations or direction on handling a delicate client matter, but they also tell me about their weekend adventures, when they’re stressed, etc.  With the hours we keep in the advertising/media industry, a sense of camaraderie is a necessity.

The Makegood: Because digital and emerging media changes so quickly, how do you keep up and keep your clients informed of the latest trends?

I keep my digital news at my fingertips.  I have the following apps set-up to send me alerts on my iPhone: Mashable, All Things Digital, and Paid Content.  I’m also on a bevy of email lists and have set Google alerts for client competitors. I’m making more of an effort to attend some of the digital conferences this year like ANA, iMedia, SXSW, among others.

Our sales partners are also very good at sharing research within the retail space and sharing executions that our competition may be hosting on their properties.

Once everything has been reviewed, we will issue a weekly “In the News” email to our clients so they can have the highlights all in one place to read at their leisure.

The Makegood: Often large retailers like Macy’s run a number many digital campaigns concurrently. What would you say is the best way to make sure that all marketing efforts are aligned across media?

Without giving away too much of the overarching strategy, the key to making sure that everything is aligned is communication between the various teams within the agency. Whether it be to invite our broadcast counterparts to a meeting with Hulu or include our friends at GroupM Print in a meeting we’re having with Hearst’s digital team, we feel that over communicating is better than under communicating when a brand, such as Macy’s, has so many moving parts.

The Makegood: What are you looking for from publisher partners in 2012 and what are some of the qualities that define a good partner?

A brand like Macy’s wants to be first to market with original ideas and innovation. Providing a media recommendation with straight media will get you nowhere fast, but bringing something first to market is a plus. In addition:

  • A good partner knows how to manage the relationship between the agency and the client.
  • They do not just sell-in a proposal, but work with the agency to make sure that the campaign is a success for all parties involved.
  • Providing us with insight, research, reporting, that we ourselves didn’t know that we needed.

 The Makegood: Thanks, Stephanie.

  • MessGuest

    Great interview but why does it say that Stephanie works at MediaVest?

    • Matt Straz

      Stephanie joined MediaVest recently.

  • Edo

    Very interesting!