I'm a young female partner in a successful CPG Advertising and Shopper Marketing Agency. #AMA

Erin Bailey
Mar 13, 2018

I manage a boutique digital agency in Santa Monica. After 8 years of working my way up the ladder (from answering phones) I am now a partner of the company and manage almost all of the day-to-day operations.

Our specialty is CPG (consumer packaged goods) and we focus on digital advertising and shopper marketing. I've flown all over the country, signed clients, lost clients, given presentations at national sales meetings of 60+ people, and had a lot of successes and failures.

Ask me anything! 


Conversation (43)

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How do you track the campaign once it’s launched?

Mar 17, 2:42PM EDT0 Reply
What are your company’s methods when attempting to optimize a client’s campaign?
Mar 14, 10:09AM EDT0 Reply
Do you track “View Through Impressions” as well as clicks and why?
Mar 14, 8:33AM EDT0 Reply

Would you please describe your agency’s process in helping a client meet their marketing goals through digital advertising?

Mar 14, 5:31AM EDT0 Reply
How transparent are the reports your clients receive and what is included in the reports?
Mar 14, 3:40AM EDT0 Reply
How do you measure the success of the marketing campaigns you recommend to clients?
Mar 14, 3:40AM EDT0 Reply
What is the Z-MOT or zero moment of truth that Google has discovered?
Mar 13, 12:39PM EDT0 Reply

Historically, the Path to Purchase has consisted of the Stimulus ("I'm out of product X"), the First Moment of Truth (discovery of a product at shelf) and Second Moment of Truth (the experience using the product). Now that we have so much information shared digitally about products, consumers have discovered the "Zero Moment of Truth" which is the research they do online before they actually head to the store. 

It's important for manufacturers to leverage this, which is what digital marketing attempts to accomplish. It's no longer enough to slap on a tag at the shelf and expect your scans to do the trick. That may help in the short-term, but you want online brand and product sentiment to encourage repeat purchase and loyalty. (Hint: It helps if you have a great product!)

Mar 13, 12:44PM EDT0 Reply
How were you welcomed by your colleagues when you wanted to collaborate as a partner?
Mar 12, 6:48PM EDT0 Reply
Is it difficult for a woman in the digital advertising field? If so, why?
Mar 12, 12:39PM EDT0 Reply
How do you feel at becoming a partner at such a young age?
Mar 12, 9:14AM EDT0 Reply

It was initially a mildly terrifying prospect, but I also know this company like the back of my hand so in many ways it came naturally. I set extremely high standards for myself, so to be honest, I haven't celebrated this achievement as much as I should. There's also a feeling of "Now what?" - which is just me and my high standards! Lol :)

Mar 12, 12:41PM EDT0 Reply
How has your partnership helped your company grow?
Mar 12, 8:30AM EDT0 Reply
How were you welcomed by your colleagues when you wanted to collaborate as a partner?
Mar 11, 11:05PM EDT0 Reply

I was actually approached by our CEO 3 years ago. He wanted to be able to spend more time with family and offered to help train me and a colleague over the next couple of years for this new role. He's been extremely supportive and while it's been difficult at times, it's all part of learning and growing. Our employees have been great throughout the transition as well - we have a strong team and we all have each other's backs (this is critical for a happy, healthy workplace). 

Mar 12, 12:38PM EDT0 Reply
You have mentioned about failures. What kind of failures did you have?
Mar 11, 5:30PM EDT0 Reply
How hard is it to land a job in digital advertising today?
Mar 11, 12:54PM EDT0 Reply
How tough was it to stick with the same company for so long?
Mar 11, 12:28PM EDT0 Reply

I'm not going to lie - it's been tough at times. I took a 6 month sabbatical a couple of years ago to explore some other companies. I worked at a 2 person company, then a 400 person company - and didn't prefer either of them. I realized that I liked the feeling of a small (but not too small) company and that it felt "right-sized" for me. Luckily my company still had my position open and shortly after my return, we discussed the partnership opportunity. 

Your classic Goldilocks story.

Mar 12, 12:44PM EDT0 Reply
How difficult was it to lose clients? What are your coping strategies?
Mar 11, 10:11AM EDT0 Reply

Losing clients is always a bitch. When I was younger, my first client loss was devastating. Even though my boss reassured me that this stuff happens, I beat myself up about it. While the loss wasn't my fault, it provided an opportunity for me to look at what I could have done better. 

All you can do to cope with the loss of a client is look at your own part in the matter and apply your learnings to your current clients. If your former client wasn't happy with your results, ask yourself if it was because you hadn't set the expectations properly? Did you not report on them often enough? Did you not offer points of comparison? Did you not meet your goals? 

If they were an extremely difficult client, take a deep breath, have a beer and appreciate that you'll never have to have those status calls again! 

If there's one thing I've learned, it's that the only thing you can control are your own actions and reactions. Take responsibility for your part, vow to improve that in the future, then start looking for new business :)

Last edited @ Mar 12, 1:40PM EDT.
Mar 12, 12:50PM EDT0 Reply
What are the digital marketing strategies you use for your CPG?
Mar 11, 10:11AM EDT0 Reply
Do you have plans to start your own agency?
Mar 11, 8:22AM EDT0 Reply

Having been here so long, I consider this "my agency" so I guess you could say mission accomplished? But no - I don't currently have plans to branch off. 

Mar 12, 12:52PM EDT0 Reply
Did your education help you in some way with your business?
Mar 11, 6:28AM EDT0 Reply

I suppose it did; while I don't actually have a formal degree or MBA, I have a certificate in Music Business from Musician's Institute. I learned about licensing, law, marketing and other things that I still apply in my industry today. 

I am a firm believer that education is only part of the equation. In my experience, nothing is more critical to success than having the right attitude. Being able to accept and apply constructive criticism without getting defensive is extremely important, especially when you're in the service industry. 

Additionally, experience has been my best educator. Of course if you're just out of school and have no experience, be sure you have the right attitude. Accept that you won't - and aren't expected to - know everything and allow yourself to absorb feedback like a sponge. If you don't understand the feedback, ask for clarity until it makes sense to you. 

I know this was a question directed at me but I thought it'd be helpful to offer some advice for those who are in school now and will be applying for jobs soon!

Mar 12, 12:57PM EDT0 Reply
What are your future plans and will you stick with the same company in the long run?
Mar 11, 5:23AM EDT0 Reply
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