Buzz Words & Bubbly

January 28, 2020
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

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Zenith Media
375 Hudson, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10014

What your clients will be talking about in 2020

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Buzzwords & Reality Checks Recap

A big thanks to all who attended our 2019 kick off panel, Buzz Words and Reality Checks, and a special thanks to moderator Jane Lacher, EVP Strategy Zenith Media, and panelists Kristen D'Arcy Vice President, Integrated Marketing & Media, American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.; Monica FoggProduct Director, IBM; Kimberly Thompson Executive Vice President, Managing Director, Spark Foundry; and Heather Ripp, Sr. Sales Executive, Pandora.


Our annual Trends panel usually sparks debate, but this year our panelists – who span all aspects of the media, martech and advertising industries – were unanimous in their views and focus for 2019 and beyond.

Top Line

  • Well-Deserved Buzz: Voice, Total Attribution Modeling, AI, & Personalization
  • Reality Checks: Virtual Reality, Podcasts, 5G
    • While these may become game changers, they’ve yet to reach the scale most advertisers are looking for. Then again, if you’re buying a specific audience should scale matter? Reality may be in the eye of the beholder
      • Virtual Reality has been the next big thing for years, but connectivity, enablement and accessibility are still a challenge
      • Podcasts, while admittedly hot, lack both scale and an ability to measure
      • 5G… here’s looking at you 2020


Breaking Down the Buzz

AI: AI and Machine Learning are used interchangeably, but they are actually two different things noted panelist Monica Fogg. “Machine Learning doesn’t have context, but it can do the math faster. That means that it can process campaigns faster.” Machine learning processes vast sums of data, learning new things, whereas AI seeks to mimic a human response, making a decision via context. 

  • Monica Fogg sounds off…
    • “Repeat after me: Chatbot is not a dirty word. It’s created a new channel and habit. It’s a direct system (for example, turn on the lights) but it’s not yet as contextual as we want. Yes, it’s great that you can tell me the weather but now you have to tell me what it’s going to feel like and what I should wear based on what’s in my closet.”
  • Kristen D’Arcy on current use cases:
    • We’re using chatbots as a customer service tool and have been able to apply learnings to real life interactions in store and online.”
  • Heather Ripp on the benefits:
    • “It helps provide more personalized experiences (by combing data)… hopefully without being too creepy”


Voice: Move over digital natives and make way for the “Voice” generation. While still in its infancy, Voice offers a massive opportunity for product innovation and a shift in habitual behavior. As one panelist noted, not long ago consumers used to be wary of buying things through their phones, but look at us now. Consumers are repeating that same wariness with voice, but much like mobile payments will slowly adopt the behavior.

  • Monica Fogg on planning for Voice now and in the future:
    • “How does the AI conversation of today influence the behavior of children? This is the voice generation. As we plan these experiences, we have to plan for children because they will be natives. The question is how do you design an experience for a young population as well as aging population?”
  • Kimberly Thompson on the cultural shift posed by Voice:
    • “It’s a game changer. Today kids are getting socialization via headsets- playing a game with 6 other kids they’ve never met. We (Gen X) had physical childhoods. But this is an entire cultural shift in consumption.”
  • Heather Ripp on the Voice opportunity:
    • “Voice activation, specifically purchasing though voice, represents a huge opportunity for growth and voice identity work. Right now only 3% of consumers are purchasing though voice but it’s growing…”


Total Attribution Modeling: Panelists reported that now more than ever, marketing is being held accountable. Expect continued pressure to ensure metrics keep up with touch points- even, and especially, when they aren’t physical.

  •  Kristen D’Arcy on attribution and accountability:
    • “We need to be clear about the role of media in advance, and understand that innovation can mean tradeoffs…We’re moving beyond last click attribution to multi-touch attribution; we want to eliminate our marketing blind spots.“Our CFO is just as important as our CTO and Data Group. Marketing is being held accountable. For example, Personalization sounds great, but how much better does it perform?
    • What is the lifetime value of a customer and should we make an investment behind personalization?”
  • Monica Fogg on accountability:   “It’s same for product. If we make an investment, what is the return? What is the amortization of the investment?”
  • Kimberly Thompson on attribution:  We need to connect the dots between channels, and the activation of the IOT. It started with search, but voice will force us to look at things holistically for attribution. For example, we’ll need to start considering things like voice completion rate.”


Personalization: The discussion regarding personalization veered between AI, Loyalty, Gameification and Privacy as our moderator, Jane Lacher, highlighted how the value exchange has changed with technology. The ability to personalize an experience down to a specific segment enhances the overall consumer experience. And these enhanced and deeply personalized brand experiences are becoming the foundation for evolved loyalty programs.

  • Monica Fogg on the value exchange:   “There’s a currency shift for high value information that hasn’t been commoditized. What am I getting in exchange? Better rewards on the backend? Designing better experiences?”
  • Heather Ripp defined a personalized experience as something that makes our lives easier. Provides “utility.”
  • Kimberly Thompson on meaningful personalized rewards:  “We’ve become trained by rewards. There’s a big opportunity for personalized gamifiation. For example, with the Apple watch I don’t want a pat on the back or “good job” message, I want you to play me my favorite song. That’s a reward. That says I get you.”


Kristen D’Arcy on understanding the types of experiences their consumers find valuable: “We’ve actually hired a Data Scientist to help. Younger people want experiences and early access. We’re looking at ways to reward engagement, not just purchases.”

Recap provided by AWM-NYC board member Jennifer Villani-Hammitt. Photo AWM-NYC board member Emily Eldredge



The Alliance for Women in Media, NYC Affiliate is a professional organization dedicated to women in the field of media in the Greater New York area with an emphasis on peer-to-peer experiences. Through unique events and programming, AWMNYC provides its members the opportunity to make connections both personal and professional who inspire as well as educate. We welcome members that are interested in making authentic connections, sharing their experiences and have a desire to develop themselves professionally.

AWMNYC not only educates, inspires and develops top shelf professionals, but fosters strong business connections and relationships which translate into business opportunities for their employers and their clients. AWMNYC can assist you in your personal and professional development by providing relevant and meaningful relationships and experience for professional women in media.  Join today for the member price of $50 and enjoy discounts to events and invitations to special member only evenings.

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Did you miss the event?  Don't miss the insights

Do you already know everything you need to know about public speaking and presenting?  Is your personal brand clearly apparent on all your social media networks?  Do clients and friends value your stories and the experiences you share?  

It turns out most of us need to brush-up on our communications from time-to-time, or all the time.  Fortunately for members and guests at the 2018 “Personal Branding” event, Laura Ramadei and Ellie Heyman presented a great array of strategies to not only UP your Business Communication, but any conversations you have.  Laura recently joined UP Business Communications as Vice President, and has a history of communication training in business, government and theatre.  Ellie is UP’s Chief Creative Officer and displayed her theatre director and acting coaching skills in delivering great personal communication advice.

The team shared a bit about the science behind story-telling. Illustrating the value of telling the story “from inside out”. The goal: start with internal conversation. And while I don’t recall hearing the “authenticity” word dropped in first half of the session, the audience certainly captured the essence of that value.  

The challenge for most of us is finding a "sticky" way to communicate.  With both personal and professional audiences having minimal time and limited attention, each communication must deliver a value to the audience in the most clear and concise manner possible. See complete recap in Documents under event recap



The "Women in Data Science" event was actually a controversial panel topic.

Timely topic? Yes.

Critical discipline? Check.

Interesting? Hmmm. After a long day at work, would anyone deliberately choose to spend their evening talking about dataBut… the AWM was created to help support and educate women in the advertising, media and entertainment space so in the end duty prevailed. Women in Data Science it was.

The night of the panel, three things became evident. Wine makes everything better. Because, you know, wine. Do not doubt the instincts of Jane Lacher, President of the AWMNYC, EVP at Zenith, and our panel moderator. Because, you know, Jane. And any misgivings we had about a night of Data were wrong. Because, you know, well that’s the point… you don’t and neither did we.

With a lineup of strong, smart and feisty panelists, including Alysia Borsa: Chief Marketing & Data Officer at Meredith Corporation, Karima Zmerli, Head of Data Sciences, North America at WaveMaker Global, Jeremy Crandall: Senior Vice President, Data Science, at VM-1 (a Zenith Agency) and Hollis Nymark: MS Data Science Candidate at New York University, we maxed out attendance and were still deep in conversation when it was time to wrap up.


1. Data is no longer a spoke on the marketing wheel; it’s the hub.

2. Know what you don’t know.

3. Data’s best friend is context

3. Data ownership is… a work in progress.

4. Looking for sage advice for budding Data Scientists? Read the full recapon the event page download

Thank you to the Jane Lacher for leading this AWESOME panel, including...

  • Karima Zmerli: Head of Data Sciences, North America at WaveMaker Global 
  • Jeremy Crandall: Senior Vice President, Data Science, at VM-1 a Zenith Agency
  • Alysia Borsa: Chief Marketing & Data Officer at Meredith Corporation
  • Hollis Nymark: MS Data Science Candidate at New York University

Recap by Jennifer Villani, AWMNYC Board Member

Thank you for joining us for our Women’s Leadership and Taking Risk Discussion

We hope you found it interesting and walked away with some valuable ideas in managing your career.  Please join us in thanking our panelists Kristen Metzger, Ife Babatunde, Jamie Petkanic and Courtenay Harry and our moderator, Karyn Detje.

Karyn kicked off the evening with this video featuring Ginni Rometty which really defines how women evaluate opportunities and our own experience. If you missed it, it is a short 3 minute video and worth a look. For the rest of us, it is a great reminder of how we often speak to ourselves. 

For those of you who were not able to attend, you were missed, but not to worry, you don't need to miss out. Be sure to join AWM NYC today and you will have the opportunity to attend our members only Taking Risks workshop session in the fall. 

 AWM NYC will be on hiatus for the summer months, look for more from us in the fall. 

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