Jan 11, 2017

in News

In Conversation: Maria Rosa

Q: How did you land at Precision?

MR: I was working at NYU School of Medicine and I was in the second year of my Masters program. I was making a career switch into digital marketing, so I was in school for that and I started looking for jobs when I found the Precision posting on my school’s website.

Q: Can you walk me through a typical day at Precision Strategies?

MR: What I like about working at a company like ours is the range of different industries that you get the chance to learn about.

Day-to-day, I’m executing strategies that were decided upon with each client, working on strategic plans, checking in with clients and teammates, and meeting with more experienced team members to get feedback on the work that I’m doing and ways to improve.  

Sometimes we get to do brainstorms which I really enjoy, but on any given day you can be working on criminal justice reform legislation or a presidential library or jumping in on a brainstorm for something entirely different.

Q: How do you see the position and the field we work in changing over the next 3-5 years?

MR: I think we’ve obviously reached the point where people know how important digital marketing is, so we no longer have to prove ourselves, but now we have to reinvent ourselves to keep people interested and engaged.

What’s interesting is that we thought that Facebook was going to rule all and Facebook doesn’t rule all, so I find the niche apps like Snapchat interesting, ones that break through and just pull out one thing that Facebook was good at — so the emergence of niche apps is something to pay attention to.

Right now the app of the moment is probably Snapchat, and we’re working to figure out interesting ways for marketers to use that, so I’m interested to see what app is next. We haven’t done much by way of music and socializing via those kinds of apps. Pandora just rebranded, Spotify is updating, and I love Spotify, so I’m interested to see the convergence of the music industry and technology, and where that’s going to take marketing.

I’m a huge proponent of Spotify, so I’ll personally do the work to send my friends the links to songs, but there’s got to be a better way to do that, and I think that we obviously connect through shared music tastes, and it’s one of the things that people really bond over. When you first meet someone, you can always connect over questions like, “What do you listen to? Have you heard X, Y, and Z?” So I think there’s definitely an opportunity there to grow and share how people talk about music within apps.

Q: Do you have a career highlight you’d like to share?

MR: One summer in grad school, we worked on a real assignment with LIM College which is a small fashion college here in New York. Their competitor is FIT which is much more well known. I was taking two classes that summer, and they were both working on that client, so we had the same work group across both classes, and it was a very, very intensive 11 weeks, but we basically got to do a campaign for them.

We had to do a high level media plan which is really, really hard—I didn’t sleep much that summer—but at the end we got to go to LIM College and pitch our plan to administrators and receive feedback. That was a really interesting experience to think about the fashion industry—it’s not necessarily an industry that I’ve been interested in the past, but it was just like a really good intensive where you actually get real world experience.

Q: What are some of the skills somebody might need in a position like yours, or something that surprised you that you wound up needing to know?

MR: When everybody thinks about marketing, they think about creativity. I think you need creativity and problem-solving and quick thinking. Things don’t always go according to plan, that doesn’t mean you won’t reach your end goal. It just means you’re going to reach it in a different way, so just kind of keeping your eye on the prize, but knowing that day-to-day, you’re going to have to work through and be creative about the way in which you solve problems to still meet deadlines and get things done.

I think, also, you should be really good at the basics: continuously using best practices but also taking the time to break yourself out of your own mold, and allowing people to weigh in and help you think about something that you’ve spent so much time on in a different way. Just bringing in a team member from another team, they’re going to look at things differently, so that’s has been really helpful. They’re kind of on the outside, and you’re just so in the weeds that you miss things.

Q: You said, “Be really good at the basics.” What do you consider the basics to be?

MR: What I mean by that is, you’re not going to be able to do big things well if you can’t do the day-to-day well. If you know that day-to-day that your execution is going well, that’s going to allow you to think about bigger ideas, and still know that you don’t have to worry about dropping the ball on something small. Let’s get into a rhythm, let’s get a process that works going, and then let’s think about what else can we do. But if you don’t have that stuff down, how can you then bring on even bigger projects? In my mind, that doesn’t work.

Q:  What is your favorite thing about working at Precision, or a memory that stands out?

MR: My favorite times at Precision are when we get the two offices together. It’s great to see people. For me in New York to see people in DC that you talk to and g-chat with on a daily basis, I think when we come together, we come up with a lot of great ideas—the energy is amazing in the room. Also, everyone is really funny. I really like that people here are really great at what they do, and they also have a really good time doing it. That makes work much more enjoyable and rewarding.

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