Lauren Berkowitz —OOH Today Champion
OOH Today features women and men who Champion and define the Outdoor Advertising Industry.
We share the faces and stories behind the names who add a personal dimension to #Out-Of-Home (OOH). Relationships are still an important part of #OOH and is an Industry, where the people behind the company, are as important as the company itself.
TODAY, we are visiting with, Lauren Berkowitz, Director of Sales for Campus Network, Rouge Media. Lauren has been in Media Sales, for over 7 years and in #OOH over 3. Lauren’s role with Rouge gives her geographic responsibilities in the ‘west coast markets’: Los Angeles, San Diego, Arizona, San Francisco/Bay Area, Oregon, Seattle, Colorado, Texas, Las Vegas.
OOH Today’s Conversation with Lauren Berkowitz
BB: Hello Lauren and welcome. Please tell us about yourself.
LB: I was born and raised in Agoura Hills, CA. I have lived in LA my entire life and majored in Sociology at Cal State University Northridge, graduating with Dean’s List. I grew up always wanting to be a teacher. I envisioned myself teaching Kindergarten with a classroom. Clearly, I traveled down a completely different path once I graduated and began my career as a working professional. My first job out of college was working for a commercial insurance broker as an assistant/account manager. My next job was selling copiers; I pounded the pavement, made 50 calls a day, sent 75 emails a day, and sent out mailers. I learned prospecting from the ground up and what is truly needed to be successful in sales. I started with no sales experience and became a top seller within my first 3 months. My next job was in media sales and was referred to me by my older brother, who has and will always be my mentor. I come from a family of media sellers, my brother and his wife both selling digital. I have been very fortunate to have several bosses in my career take a chance on me and went straight into sales when I entered the industry. After a few months into media sales, I realized I found my true calling.
BB: How did you find your way into the OOH business?
LB: I wanted a change from the publisher side of selling print, digital, mobile and programmatic. This gave me a a fresh start, but also allowed me to stay in Media (which is my passion). I was contacted by my former boss, Andrew Knopf at Brite Media and I took the chance and haven’t left the OOH business since
BB: Please share your experience working in OOH.
LB: I’ve been working with OOH for 3 years and have focused on a variety of products. My first position in OOH was with Brite Media, focusing on selling their 1-to-1 hand-to-hand platforms (Valet Tickets, Coffee Sleeves, Cash Jackets) along the West Coast. Being that I was new to the OOH industry, I started from scratch to build relationships with agencies and clients directly across the coast. After just over a year with Brite Media, I was recruited by Clear Channel Airports for a National Sales position. This was a seamless transition based upon my learnings of OOH and the relationships I developed. Upon joining Clear Chanel Airports as a National AE, I was assigned the SD , LA, and Arizona markets and grew the business for Clear Channel from $2MM to $7MM during my tenure. I sold over 280 airports across the US and developed experience I could have never even dreamed of. After being with Clear Channel Airports almost 2 years, I received a terrific leadership opportunity with Rouge Media leading the sales efforts on the west coast for our Campus Network and managing a team. I am coming up on 6 months and I am having a blast selling our Campus Network and Mobile solutions.
BB: Tell us about Rouge Media and the solutions offered.
LB: Rouge Media is a leading North American media company connecting brands with millions of consumers on their daily journey out-of-home. Offering the largest campus coverage in North America through the Rouge Campus Network across hundreds of colleges in the US and Canada reaching A18-24. Rouge Women’s Network reaching W18-54 across thousands of salons, spas and nail bars and a highly targeted Rouge Men’s Network, Rouge Media provides high impact advertising solutions for brands to reach their consumers. Rouge Media’s mobile offerings take the targeting a notch higher as the combination of dynamic OOH and mobile multiplies effectiveness. Solutions Offered: Digital OOH, Static OOH (Murals), Mobile/Programmatic
BB: Rouge Media could be called a non-traditional OOH media. Are your meetings with the standard OOH buying services? Do you draw your revenue from different OOH budgets?
LB: We are considered a non-traditional (place-based) format. Our meetings tend to be with OOH Buying services, strategy and digital agency groups. We typically draw our revenue from both traditional OOH and “out of the box” budgets.
BB: What are the most important features about Rouge Media opportunities which attract advertisers ? How much of your media is digital? How much more will become digital? What are the barriers to digitizing the entire Rouge inventory?
LB: Rouge provides advertisers a tactical and targeted reach in intimate, controlled environments where consumers spend a significant amount of time. The uncluttered environment combined with high dwell time allows advertisers to showcase their message, direct the conversation about their message and provide interaction with the product via on-site activations to Women, Men and Students as they choose.
In our Campus Network, Rouge Media is 100% digital with our permanent assets across the US situated in high traffic non-academic areas of campuses. We do offer static media on campuses, but they on a permission basis only with every campus, to ensure each campaign runs in full. We have over 500+ campuses that we work with across North America and we have a dedicated team retaining new campuses every day.
Our Women’s Network in salons/spas is comprised of digital and static assets, designed to . make a statement within our venues and provide our advertisers 100% SOV, venue domination.
Our Men’s Network situated in barbershops is similarly aligned with premium and impactful solutions for advertisers in a brand safe environment, just like all our networks. The combination of static, digital and mobile solutions allow for measurement and delivering targeted and sequential messaging and our aim is to offer advertisers the options of digital as well as static so they can choose what works best for their brand. We don’t believe there is any barrier to us digitizing our assets – we are adding digital screens to our inventory constantly. Our media is widely available programmatically and we continue to grow in that space through strategic partnerships and the latest technology.
– we are adding digital screens to our inventory constantly. Our media is widely available programmatically and we continue to grow in that space through strategic partnerships and the latest technology.
BB: How do you approach the target audience of each media you offer ?
LB: Our environments of salons/spas, barber shops and campuses are carefully curated to allow socio-demographic targeting in a brand safe manner, and allow advertisers to thus reach their intended consumers – women, men, and millennials/gen z respectfully, in a tactical manner.
BB: You have been in #OOH for 3 years. What has kept you there? What is it about OOH you enjoy?
LB: The people and my love for the medium has kept me in OOH. OOH is like a small family and in LA. I get a tremendous amount of joy by seeing my campaigns come to life in the market place after the planning process has completed. It’s exciting to see all your hard work come to life!
BB: Any advice to others contemplating getting into OOH?
LB: Yes. Take the chance and go for it. You will not regret it! It’s an ever-growing medium that has been around the longest and is not going anywhere but up. OOH is more stable than most digital media seller positions today. In fact, OOH is one of the only mediums apart from digital/mobile experiencing year over year growth.
BB: What do you attribute to your personal success OOH?
LB: My personal success in OOH comes my passion to be around people, as well as, being a visual learner. I love seeing campaigns live and in action- I dove in head first and have just had fun! Having fun is the key to any success!
BB: Tell us about your ‘Ah HA! Moment’ working in OOH?
LB: I would say that my ‘Ah HA! Moments’ stem from my first campaigns to go live at each company I have been with. The level of excitement of seeing that first campaign come to life after you have been working on it so hard is indescribable.
BB: Do you have a prediction for the future of OOH?
LB: My prediction of OOH is that we will progressively become more digital across all platforms. The desire of a brand wanting it now with the flip of a switch has become much more prevalent and will only rise as we become more advanced in technology.
OOH is that we will progressively become more digital across all platforms. The desire of a brand wanting it now with the flip of a switch has become much more prevalent and will only rise as we become more advanced in technology.
BB: Is there anyone you most admire or credit to providing significant influence in your Outdoor career?
LB: There are two people I most admire and played a significant influence in my Outdoor career. The first person is Andrew Knopf, my former boss at Brite Media, without him I would not be in Outdoor. He took a chance on me when I had no OOH experience and his faith in me drove me to success in my OOH career. The second person would be Glyn Williams, he has been a good friend and a tremendous help over the years with my feet being planted in OOH.
Thank you Lauren!
Mobile: (818) 307-8018, E: L.Berkowitz@rougemedia.com