Suzanne Hader is the recently hired Head of Digital Strategy at SelectNY. She has worked in marketing for over 15 years as everything, from a Freelance Consultant, to a VP of Market Development, to a Chief Product Officer. The Makegood recently spoke with Suzanne about her new role.
The Makegood: Congratulations on your new position as Head of Digital Strategy at SelectNY. Prior to this, you have over 15 years of experience in the marketing field. What inspired you to make this move?
The group at SelectNY is a truly collaborative, entrepreneurial team. The projects I am working on are ones where clients are looking to elevate themselves and become industry leaders, so they are willing to take risks. Finding a group that has the creative talent to make the most of such opportunities is rare. Many agencies have great project case studies, but SelectNY actually has a track record of transforming businesses. For example, I’m working with Fekkai right now, collaborating closely with them to develop an industry-leading online approach, which is an exciting challenge. So I’m thrilled to be here.
The Makegood: As the new Head of Digital Strategy at SelectNY you will be overseeing the company’s rapidly growing digital practice. What do you think your biggest challenge moving forward will be?
I’m looking forward to inspiring our clients to fully realize the potential of integrating brand-supported content and online advertising. You see amazing one-off examples here and there, but it’s usually one or the other: great content with inadequate awareness support or clever awareness campaigns without much substance underneath. It’s time for a fresh approach overall. We’ll be on the lookout for media partners who are excited about collaborating with us to set the bar higher.
The Makegood: SelectNY has been recognized as the largest independent global branding and advertising agency. How do you see branding and advertising differing when a company aims for global reach, rather than local?
The media planning element in global campaigns is so critical — developing a brand message that resonates globally is key, but finding appropriate media contexts will make or break even the best work. Of course, one of the nice things about fully integrated marketing is that you can deploy a global campaign that utilizes print, TV and outdoor for core messaging, but leverage social and online advertising to speak in a more nuanced way to individual markets. Tie that in with localized sponsorships and you can get amazing engagement results.
The Makegood: In the past, SelectNY has worked with a wide range of businesses, from Amway to Taylor Swift to Balenciaga and Roberto Cavalli. What differs when putting together a campaign for such varied clients?
Great campaigns come from great working relationships. Every group has unique and (dare we admit) human needs. I started my career in consulting and had the great fortune to learn from some of the best at Viant. One of my mentors there, coaching me before my first creative presentation, told me straight up that exciting ideas are the easy part. If you can help your stakeholders own and champion your ideas to get themselves promoted, that’s your best work.
The Makegood: Digital practices in advertising and branding are still a relatively new concept, however you have many years of experience in the area. As new technologies and methods arise, where do you see the industry heading in the future?
Digital is making it possible for advertising to be more experiential. It’s not enough to stand for something; successful brands have to open doors for their audiences. Be useful, be hilarious or be inspirational, but go all in. The lines between shopping and marketing, in particular, are growing blurrier by the day. There are, of course, a slew of startups trying to finesse the right mix of social and e-commerce, but I’m very interested in rethinking brick and mortar retail in the digital age. Kate Spade’s Saturday thin popup, fulfilled immediately by eBay, is a step in the right direction – it’s an awareness campaign, branded entertainment and a revenue driver all in one.
The Makegood: Thank you, Suzanne