The Agency Interview: 23 Questions with Lauren Goldstein
October 12, 2016
After almost two decades at Babcock Jenkins, Lauren Goldstein recently joined the Revelry Agency as a partner. Revelry is a B2B agency focused on the food, beverage and hospitality industries. We recently asked Goldstein 23 questions. Here are her 23 answers.
1. What did you have for breakfast this morning?
Acai bowl, topped with granola, chia seeds and goji berries….made by my husband. Delish!
2. What’s the last great thing you binged watched and why?
“House of Lies.” Guilty pleasure. Mindless and a little reckless. But don’t tell anyone.
3. What’s the industry buzzword that annoys you the most these days?
ABM. REALLY???!!!! It’s just good marketing. Those of us who have been in the biz have been hyper focused on having a relevant and meaningful “conversation” with key accounts for decades. Way too much hype and buzz today.
4. You have said the next evolution in content marketing is conversation marketing. What do you mean by that?
People engage in conversations to learn new things – or perhaps, to be entertained. They don’t want to be spoken to, or spoken at. They want to engage in meaningful conversations. Great marketers have an insight (or many) into their audience, and can anticipate the types of conversations that will be important and helpful to the work they do. If we consider ourselves educators (and educators with the responsibility of making it interesting and/or entertaining), or topic experts, we can be helpful to our customers and prospects.
5. What’s the last great book you read? Why was it great?
I’m part way through “Shoe Dog.” It’s amazing. Phil Knight, founder of Nike, is a true pioneer, thought leader and entrepreneur. Early in his career he saw an unmet need (performance sneakers)…with an audience he really understood…and went to all ends to bring that need to a reality. While I haven’t finished the book – I’m in awe of his passion, insights into his buyer, and perseverance.
6. What’s your favorite vacation spot?
There are many. I work incredibly hard, but love to play hard. We’ve traveled to Thailand a half dozen times, and I love it there. I love the people, the culture and the food! I’m in my happy place there. On a more pragmatic level, I love Hood River. It’s about 60 miles east of Portland, Oregon, in the Columbia River Gorge. And…it’s gorgeous. It’s home to the best winds…and some of the best windsurfing in the world. But I love it for the stunning views (river and double mountains), great food, awesome beer, amazing running and biking trails….and, when the wind dies down, I love to paddle board in the still Columbia River. It’s truly my happy place.
7. What’s the biggest change in the agency business since you started?
I’ve been in the agency biz for more than 20 years and was at Babcock Jenkins for 18. I’ll now be moving on to be a partner in an agency called the Revelry Agency. The agency biz is constantly evolving – with new tools and methods for “getting more relevant to buyers”. However, what’s not changed….the desire (and need) to be relevant to buyers. Perhaps that’s just the path I’ve taken….but I’ve always worked with brands and agencies that understand the importance of 1-to-1 conversations. What’s changed is that we can do so more readily today than ever before.
8. How have you (and your agency) adapted?
Constant experimentation. Piloting new ideas, new technologies, new approaches.
9. What’s your proudest moment in business?
Truly, there have been many. They are all tied to REALLY BIG payoffs for my clients. We helped Adobe convert a “stale” database into a profit center worth over $1 million. How did we do this in 1999 before the advent of modern MAP’s? BNJ pioneered our own technology that allowed us to communicate with the database in a customized and relevant fashion based on:
- Data we’d collected on them
- Information they later “progressively” provided to us
Again, there have been dozens….but another favorite was with Xerox (just a few years ago), where our “ABM” strategy and related communications turned into $2 billion in pipeline revenue.
10. In life?
Two beautiful boys (Jack, 10 and Evan, 7)
11. What’s the most important way the rise of social media, from YouTube to Facebook to LinkedIn, has changed the way companies tell stories?
We can be more real, fluid and iterative. We can find like-minded people. We can communicate in channels that are most comfortable for our audience.
12. Digital ad spending is poised to surpass TV ad spending. Is this a problem for agencies or an opportunity?
Absolute opportunity! Stories will always be told…through multiple mediums. There’s more visual storytelling now than ever – whether it be via the TV or computer…it’s still MORE.
13. “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” Why is that an important quote for you?
- Have passion and conviction in all you do. Attitude is EVERYTHING.
- I came to fall in love with that quote in college, where I was an English major at Tufts University in Boston (and at the time studying great local authors like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau).
- Perhaps I wasn’t the best student, or the best athlete, or even the best (fill in the blank). But I put 110% into everything I did – regardless of my ability. I believe this has served me well.
14. How do you use LinkedIn — for networking? For content marketing? Searching for talent? For sales prospecting? For staying abreast of news?
Yes, yes, yes, yes! LinkedIn is my #1 channel for:
- Networking: I’m moving into a new industry (B2B Food, Beverage & Hospitality), and am already finding a vast number of my contacts that can help me reach into these new verticals.
- Content marketing: I find posting content via LinkedIn gets better readership, drives more interesting dialogue and gets shared more actively than even my own blog (that I spent years working on). My experience with LinkedIn paid solutions (for client content marketing) has been superb. It’s a top performer (in terms of attracting “right” buyers).
- Sales prospecting: Yes, just like networking, it’s a gem. Clients leveraging paid solutions are incredibly happy with the results (and ROI).
- News: Yes, it’s my first stop every day.
I’m truly a HUGE fan – both personally and for clients.
15. How do you use LinkedIn advertising for your clients, and what’s working well for them?
Here are some thoughts on LinkedIn advertising from my long-time colleague, Eric Wittlake: “LinkedIn Sponsored Content. Content is at home in the format, it enables additional organic distribution, and you can tap into LinkedIn profile data for targeting. If you haven't tested Sponsored Content as part of your ABM initiatives as well, you need to.”
16. What did you learn in college that you still apply at work every day?
17. Best movies ever. Go:
- Witches of Eastwick
- Star Wars (the early series)
18. What did you want to be when you grew up?
An attorney. Then later…a journalist.
19. What's your most annoying habit?
I’m a loud talker. I get excited – and can’t help myself. It’s a hereditary issue.
20. How long would you survive a zombie apocalypse?
I’m a marathon runner….think I could outrun ‘em?
21. What jobs did you have in high school and what lessons did you learn from them that you still put into practice today?
In addition to the school newspaper, I did a little freelance writing for a local weekly magazine – “This Week Magazine” – so I still love finding a great story that connects with my audience!
22. What’s the best dinner you’ve had in the last week?
Taco night. Always!!
23. What are you most looking forward to in 2017?
My next great adventure: Revelry Agency, spending time on the river with LEAP, a non-profit organization affiliated with Revelry and dedicated to helping those who have faced extraordinary life challenges by providing therapeutic wilderness programs. .…and the adventures I don’t yet know about.
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