AOL’s Erika Nardini on The Digital Future and Brand Experiences

Erika Nardini is Vice President, Head of Marketing Solutions for AOL Advertising, a brand company, committed to continuously innovating, growing, and investing in brands and experiences that inform, entertain, and connect the world. The Makegood recently spoke with Erika about her new position, the digital future and brand experiences.

The Makegood: Erika, congratulations on your new position as Vice President, Head of Marketing Solutions for AOL Advertising. Where will you lead AOL?

Thank you! I’m thrilled to be part of the AOL team and to bring our leading brands, products and services to life for our customers. Specifically, I am passionate about creating holistic brand marketing experiences that maximize the full suite of AOL’s products and services. We have an unrivaled spectrum of consumer brands, are the largest platform for premium video and have best- in-class programmatic and performance marketing solutions. Combining those into comprehensive solutions while giving marketers a first look into what we’re developing for consumers and brands alike is where we are focused on growing.

The Makegood: You’ve worked with brands like The Home Depot, L’Oreal and Johnson & Johnson. In terms of organizational structure and content strategy, what do brands have to change in order to be successful in the digital future?

I believe that brands need to be honest about the motivations of their audiences. The best brand experiences are born out of a genuine understanding of human experiences. Creation, distribution and measurement of content is organizationally and structurally pivotal to marketing in an attention economy and the digital future.

The Makegood: As you have been everywhere, Adweek called you the ‘Johnny Cash in the online ad world’. You worked at companies and agencies like Digitas, Microsoft and Yahoo, what lessons did you learn?

Many lessons! The most important is to be as close as humanly possible to the idea. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to be able to experience the advertising and media business from multiple vantage points. The most rewarding, fulfilling and impactful experiences have been those that have brought an idea to life across  product, content and media.

The Makegood: At Microsoft, you managed content and brand experiences. How will mobile devices change the game?

Consumers are engaging with content on smaller screens, while engaging in other tasks or while on the go. Mobile has brought the attention economy to bear. Captivating and holding interest between swipes on a device is the name of the game.

The Makegood:  You worked with major digital brands in key marketing roles. What’s next in digital media?

Media is no longer stationary in any way, shape or form. As a result, every touchpoint a publisher or brand has with a consumer has to be re-thought – not only  it’s shape, dimension or length but also in context and relationship to millions of other touchpoints. It’s exciting.

The Makegood: Thanks, Erika.