Taking the Career Path Less Traveled
by Kylee Harris
Interviewed by Ryan Drummond
Lori Goldberg, CEO of TraffIQ, has experienced all sides of the advertising industry. Taking a very unconventional route, Lori now has over 18 years of client and agency experience and was an avid advocate of digital media during the transformation to the digital age.
Lori graduated from the University of Delaware with major in Fashion Merchandising.
She was accepted into an executive training program at Stern’s Department Stores (which now goes by a much more familiar name, Macy’s). This training program ran over eight weeks, covering something different each week. The last week of the program focused on advertising, and the Senior Vice President of Marketing gave a lecture. Lori raised her hand to ask him a question, which was reciprocated with both an answer and an offer for a position in the corporate office.
Upon making the shift from buying junior dresses to buying newspaper space, Lori’s career began to blossom. In an unusual starting point, her career began on the client end of advertising. She oversaw the Newspaper and Broadcast division of Macy’s and managed both an internal team and external agencies. However, at the young age of 26, she decided that she wanted to get more experience and understanding of the agency end of the industry.
After spending some time at Wunderman Cato Johnson (an agency with Perrier as a major client), she got recruited by her old boss to Initiative Media, part of the IPG family.She attended a conference where she learned about this crazy new up-and-coming thing: e-mail. With knowledge and inspiration, she migrated her clients from direct mail to e-mail, receiving enormous response rates. Advised by a colleague, they created a whole new division of Initiative, an Interactive Department, to handle the integration of e-mail into the company, which later grew to expand into every aspect of digital. As more and more clients came on board, the division started to grow.
Lori knew that the digital space was right for her, so after six years at Initiative she went to Razorfish (formerly Avenue A) to focus all of her efforts on digital advertising. At this point, she was overseeing clients with budgets totaling over 100 million dollars, and had impressive clients such as Capital One, Ralph Lauren, and Microsoft. Lori received many inquiries by publishers and clients looking for expertise. With these in mind, she decided to create accelDigital where she acted as a strategist, adviser, consultant, and so much more for agencies, marketers, technology providers and publishers looking to enhance their digital presence.
As the digital landscape continued to grow, so did accelDigital. Lori wanted to use a technology that can help mitigate her risk on bill payment to publishers and also make the planning and buying process more efficient. That is how she ended up where she is now, at TRAFFIQ. TRAFFIQ had a technology that made the buying process easier, faster and smarter She spoke to the then CEO, and as she mentioned in her interview, “Drank the Kool-Aid”. She loved TRAFFIQ’s concept and strategy. Lori joined TRAFFIQ in 2010 as the SVP of Client Services and Media. At that time, Lori oversaw all clients using the self-serve technology platform as well as clients that wanted to use TRAFFIQ in a managed service capacity. This group started to grow faster than the technology, and the company pivoted to focus on providing clients with strategic digital recommendations. There are countless options in digital media planning and buying and TRAFFIQ strives to simplify that by providing optimal media solutions and strategies to accomplish business goals. As a leader in this constantly evolving digital media space, TRAFFIQ is determined to demystify digital media by staying abreast of those ever changing dynamics. When working with clients, Lori always asks, what does success look like for the both of us?
Lori also has advice for students interested in following in her ambitious footsteps. She firmly believes that there will always be a job in digital; the demand is higher than the supply. Once you learn the technical skill set, it is a very stable industry for job growth. On a more general note, figure out what you like to do, be passionate about it, and figure out how to make a career out of it. Considering the amount of time you spend working, you better enjoy it. Lori is certainly a prime example of that, as her passion for digital media is clear in her interview.
Interested in working for TRAFFIQ? There are entry-level and mid-level positions available. The entry-level positions include an opening as media planner and as a search engine marketer. Check out AmazingAlumni job postings for more information. To learn more about TRAFFIQ, check out their website www.traffiq.com.