EMC Announces Addition of Helen Kim as SVP, Client Services


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Tell us a little about yourself:

I am a born and bred New Yorker. I grew up in Long Island, attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and then moved to NYC after graduation.  I love to travel, experience different cultures and cuisines, and meet new people from different backgrounds.

How did you start working in marketing?

I’ve been working in marketing for over 20 years. I started at Universal McCann, working on the launch of Microsoft Xbox. I continued in integrated media strategy and planning, managing national and international accounts, including Wendy’s (UM), Nokia (Mediacom), LG Electronics (Mindshare), and Mars Chocolates (Starcom).

I started specializing in Out of Home media in 2011 when I joined Horizon Media. I served as Director of OOH, leading strategic OOH media planning and buying for various national and local accounts, spanning across financial, entertainment, spirits, tech, pharma, and retail categories. During that time, I was fortunate enough to develop media relationships and strategic partnerships that led to revenue growth during my 5-year tenure and several first-to-markets and Obie and OAAA award-winning campaigns.

Since then, I’ve held leadership positions at both Havas and Talon. Along the way, I’ve always tried to take a conscientious, detailed, and thorough approach to day-to-day leadership. I’ve always tried to take a balanced approach to data-driven and analytical media planning and campaign management, combined with a creative and strategic vision to bring the client’s vision to life.

What drew you to Out of Home, and what do you love about it?

Coming from a cross-channel background, I had the opportunity to experience strategic planning across all media channels. Throughout that time, the experience of seeing brands come to life through innovative and bold Out of Home executions always excited me and drew me to specialize in the medium. The physical nature of OOH and the real-world impact that it can make always made the media feel “real life” compared to other types of media.

I love the idea that Out of Home can be a blank canvas. There’s so much creative possibility that almost any idea a client has can be brought to life somehow. And there’s also the fact that OOH is so flexible – it can provide massive reach or pinpoint target, and anything in between.

What changes are most exciting in OOH that you see right now?

The advancements in data-driven audience-based planning and measurement/attribution capabilities.  On the front end, it enables OOH specialists to create much more strategically planned campaigns and to provide the supporting rationale that shows “why this media? or “why this location?”. And then, on the back end, new attribution techniques allow the advertiser to see much more clearly how the Out of Home media is driving their key success metrics from a viewpoint that has never been available before.  This both justifies the campaigns and hopefully allows OOH to get a better seat at the table and a larger share of the media mix.

What direction do you see Out of Home moving in the future?

Of course, technology is at the forefront of everything in Out of Home now – from planning data to programmatic, AR/VR, to attribution, and more. As the media continues to become more digitized over the coming years, I fully expect to see that trend continue.

But at the same time, as we all get used to those new elements and they just become a regular part of our toolbelt, I think we will see a shift toward more significant, more integrated OOH campaigns.

We are seeing more integrated campaigns that use OOH across the funnel, leveraging everything OOH has to offer, from the tremendous reach it can provide to the personal interactions of experiential campaigns and even lower funnel performance metrics.

What’s the biggest challenge in getting clients to include Out of Home in their media mix?

The biggest challenge hasn’t really changed – it’s still getting advertisers to understand how much Out of Home can drive the success of their campaigns and getting them to include it earlier in the planning cycle. Out of Home can bring so much to a media plan, but honestly, a deep understanding of the full capabilities isn’t that widespread. With all the new information that’s become available over the last few years, we can now demonstrate that much better – but most of the advancements are still only common knowledge within the OOH community and some larger agencies.
Because OOH is usually the smallest part of the budget, it’s also frequently the media channel with which media planners are the least familiar. It doesn’t get the headlines that digital and TV do, so people outside the OOH industry don’t necessarily get exposed and brought up to speed on the latest advancements, studies, or whitepapers. That means we’re almost always starting at a deficit of understanding and have to get buy-in on the media channel before we even get to planning.

What’s the most important thing you want clients to know about you?

My main focus is always on the client’s success. If we create a plan that drives KPIs for the client while making their lives easier, then everything else will fall into place. Even with the current focus on data and technology and all they can bring, we must never forget that we are in a service industry. As an agency, we provide a service to our clients that goes beyond just media. How can we make the process simpler? How can we make their lives easier? How can we make them look like rock stars?

I’m also a firm believer in always being curious and asking lots of questions. I try to approach every situation – whether a new client brief or an existing internal process – with an open mind and many questions. Even when something seems simple, you’ll find some crucial details hiding there when you start asking questions.

Finally, I’m very team-oriented. None of this happens in a vacuum, and it’s rarely, if ever, one person getting everything done. A strong team that communicates well works to help each other out, and is always ready to pitch in is essential for success in any situation. I love cultivating those relationships and developing the strong internal bonds that lead to both success for the client and personal success for the individual.

Source: Matthew Noll

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