How LA's top marketers continue to innovate

Los Angeles is known for movie studios, celebrities, and expensive real estate, but the city has also become a major force in the adtech, social media, and digital commerce landscape. Silicon Beach, a.k.a. the new startup hub of California, is home to over 500 startups and some major heavyweights including Snapchat, Hulu, Netflix, Dollar Shave Club, JustFab, the Honest Company, and Tinder.

Beyond the tech and startup scene, however, Los Angeles is home to some of the most innovative marketers in the US. Sometimes it feels that there is a mass marketer exodus from cities like New York and Boston to the sun-soaked beaches of Los Angeles.

Jun Group, in partnership with ThinkLA, set out to find out what top marketers are doing to attract talent and stay ahead of the curve, win new business, and set the city apart.

Adam Tabachnikoff: senior vice president, global marketing at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on the real job of a marketer in 2018

“The easy part and the fun part about being a CMO is doing videos, its going on photoshoots—but when I walk into my board meetings, what really becomes sexy is the analytics and the numbers. The prettiest POP (point of purchase display), the best social media, —whether its a JPEG or a short video—are fun to present, but what really goes well, is when we have the analytics and data to show what the ROI was...that we actually drove incremental traffic and profitable sales."

Chris Athens: associate media director at Maxus on attribution for media clients

“People are not necessarily only converting digitally; in fact, the majority of conversions happen on-air. Breaking down that conversion silo is something that we’ve been trying to tackle with certain partners. Understanding where people are watching, how they’re consuming [video content], and then trying that back to the ad exposure."

Lisa Nichols: chief data officer, partner, Bloom Ads Global Media Group on finding talent in LA

“Finding the right people is very challenging. Today, we look to people who have a coding background, people who have mathematical brain, people that understand statistical relevance. But on the other side, talent still must be creative.”

Claire Thompson: senior strategist at Vice Media on creating authentic branded content

“We take a very hard line on what we feel is ‘crossing a line’ and making it unclear that something is an advertisement. If we weren’t being so protective of our brand and ensuring that we are not tricking our readers, then we lose integrity with our audience… which is precisely why we are successful and is why we are attractive to advertisers in the first place.”

Don Lupo: director of content marketing at ThinkLA on what concerns LA marketers

“What’s concerning is something that we call agency 3.0. Agencies have to be far more nimble than they were, they have to offer a full set of services and experiences, that maybe you [the agency] did not provide directly in the past. Digital strategists, social media strategists, information architecture and UX (user experience specialists) which is not always something that an agency hired for. The agency has evolved.”

Joey Adler: chief executive officer, Carve Nutrition and founder of Department of Good on creating a new type of “good” business model

“My motto is: I don’t want to do anything in business that doesn’t support the community. The Department of Good is that. It’s a platform, and it will be the first time I believe that a platform will work with small independent business (focusing on brick and mortar) in a collaborative way. We want to support the small independent brick and mortar store. We want to support community organizations. We want to support people with innovative ideas. And we want to support the consumer to have an experience and to be part of something [community focused]. And we have give back up and down the supply chain.”

Paul Pastor: executive vice president, strategy, revenue and operations at Discovery Channel on using data to inform content investment

“Pulling the entire story out of our consumer base across multiple platforms is not easy. What we’ve been able to do is work with our own first party data, with third party vendors, and then with the Nielsen’s and Comscores of the world to put together a comprehensive view of consumers at various stages across different platforms. This informs the content investment we make and how we think about the partnerships we have with advertisers.”

Stephanie Friend: associate integrated media director at Bloom Ads Global Media Group on educating clients

“We’re making big movements forward to establish dashboards that link up to all of our digital partners and our DMP. We find the best way to attribute [business ROI] to each medium. We are also in the business of testing — i.e. just TV versus just radio, versus just digital, and showing how that really compares to a truly fully integrated campaign.”