Tierney at 3% Conference: I am inspired by women who see white space and attack it - McKinney

Tierney at 3% Conference: I am inspired by women who see white space and attack it

November 9, 2015

McKinney Social Media Director Laura Tierney served on the Emerging Tech panel at The 3% Conference held October 26-28 in New York. While there, she found some serious inspiration from women and men hell-bent on changing the game.

Q: This was your first 3% Conference. What did you think?

I was moved by all of the leaders: women who have such incredible voices and experience in the advertising space, men who stepped into the 3% movement and the rich variety of brands represented. It was encouraging to see brands understand that women are a core aspect of their business growth. Brands were locking arms with agencies, and that is powerful. I commend Kat Gordon for bringing these two sides together at the 3% Conference and for sparking this movement.

Q: You were on the Emerging Tech panel. What did you learn from your fellow panelists?

The opportunity (and desire) to innovate is greater than ever. Nearly every day, new platforms launch, digital updates are made, and new devices are adopted. But digital technology is a double-edged sword. We all want to innovate, but we must also invest time and dollars into opportunities that support a brand’s objectives and connect to a brand’s purpose.

Our panel talked about the importance of innovating but avoiding “shiny object syndrome.” At McKinney, we have a threefold strategy for adopting emerging tech with our clients:

A new platform, device or partnership must work for our client’s audience.
It must fit the brand’s objectives, roadmap and resources.
An in-house media team must study the paid, owned and earned opportunities to maximize benefits for the brand.
For example, when Instagram launched, it was important to build a consistent presence, but everyone did so without paid media. Instagram has now opened its ad platform, and we are able to explore further its benefits for our clients, like Nationwide and Crocs, whose social efforts we are constantly optimizing.

Our panel also discussed working in a state of innovation. Here, we have the McKinney Ten Percent program, which enables our employees to devote 10 percent of their time on new ideas that push brands forward. It fuels our ability to effectively harness technology.

To help our agency stay ahead in social media, I co-founded a publication called Socializ’d, a Monday-morning update with a collection of last week’s must-know social media news. Unlike other publications, Socializ’d curates the information specifically for advertisers and marketers; organizes it by latest updates, new platforms and creative uses; and includes only the “what” and the “why” of each. Visitors to McKinney.com can check it out every Monday morning. We’re launching a newsletter subscription in January 2016.

Q: While many topics were explored at 3%, there seemed to be a mantra that several speakers shared: “You can’t be what you can’t see.” What does that mean to you?

Innovation takes courage from both clients and their agencies. Women on the stage at 3% successfully beat the odds with smart ideas, digital savvy and fearlessness.

Janet Champ (“If You Let Me Play”) and Judy John (“Like A Girl”) created revolutionary advertising that impacted cultural change. Jennifer Siebel Newsom (Miss Representation) and Kat Gordon (3% Conference) showed how females are misrepresented in both media and advertising, respectively, and are doing something about it. All of these women see white space and attack it. As a young professional navigating emerging technology, it makes me want to lock arms with our clients and pave the road together.