OOH Today’s Champion – Dave Menk
22 year Veteran Shares Unique Skill Set to Succeed in Outdoor Advertising
OOH Today features individuals who Champion and define Outdoor Advertising. Sharing the faces and stories behind the names who add a personal dimension to Out Of Home (OOH). Personal connections, are still an important part of OOH and is an Industry where the people behind the company, are as important as the company itself.
Dave Menk, has seen tremendous changes in his 22 years in outdoor advertising. Dave began in Outdoor in 1996 with POA, in Orlando, Florida. There he learned the basics of Outdoor Advertising under the tutelage of Rod Firestone. Dave’s primary experience has been as Senior Account Executive, though he has had dual sales and management roles for Next Media and Street Media Group in mid-sized markets. Born in Pittsburgh, and growing up ‘in mountains of Virginia’, he earned his Bachelors in Mass Communications from VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University). Dave knows the virtues and appreciates the cohesiveness of small communities, understanding the importance of staying grounded of who he is and where he started. The bulk of his OOH tenure has been with 2 of the Big 3, Clear Channel Outdoor (CCO) and Lamar Advertising. Dave values the radically diverse DMA’s he has worked, while acknowledging and appreciating the wide variety of cultures, teams and clients. Working closely with clients, Dave builds meaningful connections for life, work and team.
Here is our conversation with Dave Menk.
BB: Dave, why OOH?
DM: I had an art background from my youth and though at one time, I wanted to be an Advertising Artist (in fact I wrote a career paper on it in 10th grade). Ultimately, the sales path chose me and is the direction I headed, gratefully enjoying success. The idea of being a part of a team taking an idea from just a “thought” to a piece of art helping businesses draw the attention of their best possible customers. That was a huge draw for me. In my current role, I am responsible for finding and qualifying potential new advertisers while helping them understand the importance of adding OOH into their marketing mix on a local basis. In addition, I work with local agencies in making sure they are aware of the rapid changes occurring in our media. In a nutshell, I strive to engage, educate and empower local advertisers/agencies to incorporate Clear Channel and OOH as a component of their marketing.
BB: What is the unique skill set one must have to succeed in your role?
DM: Being curious by nature, asking thought-provoking questions, an active listener, effective and efficient communicator, creative problem solver, and an idea generator have been common characteristics in the most successful people I have been around in my time in the business.
Creative Connection Catalyst is an unofficial title born from my personal business mission statement which is as follows: “ I facilitate growth by creatively connecting businesses to their best possible customers”
BB: ‘Creatively connecting businesses’… great mission statement. What do you look for in prospecting for new business?
DM: Typically, I am looking for first are businesses that are in categories where we have traditionally had success stories. From there, it becomes about qualifying to see if they have the money to invest in something that will make a difference for them, access to decision makers/influencers and lastly, confirmation that they have needs they want to solve and I have a potential solution to provide.
BB: You are clearly more than someone who sell Billboards. In our brief conversation today, you have brought a depth of how you work to understanding your clients. Tell us about your life outside of work.
DM: Life Outside work… I have a daughter here in Orlando, who recently graduated from UCF and is in her first professional position as a Technical Recruiter. I am a die-hard baseball fan, and now only 7 ballparks away from reaching my bucket list goal of attending games at all MLB ballparks. Having been in recovery for many years, I am passionate about all aspects of personal and spiritual growth. As such, I have been active in my local church over the years including involvement with Walk to Emmaus, The Crucible Project and Fathers in the Field.
BB: Circling back to work, would you share what’s different about Clear Channel Outdoor (CCO) compared to other OOH owner/operators?
DM: I would have to say, CCO does two things particularly well in comparison with other OOH owners I have experienced. First, is the ongoing commitment to the weekly training and growth of the sales team on a weekly basis. This dates back to POA days and the emphasis placed on understanding the features and benefits of OOH among other things. The culture at a local level is always oriented towards improving our skill set and adapting to changes in the market.
Another area where CCO really stands out, is the investment they make in our marketing and creative team on a local basis. Clear Channel has a decided advantage over the others in this arena and it matters. Our clients benefit from the face to face interaction we have with our team. As a result, the quality of the artwork, the turn times, and the marketing research we are able to provide, all add up to added value for our advertisers. High quality work turned quickly. A “can do” attitude, is pervasive among that local creative/marketing team and makes it fun and highly interactive for everyone.
CCO really stands out… the investment they make in our marketing and creative team on a local basis.
BB: Thank you Dave for the personal and valuable insights.
DM: Thank you Bill for providing the opportunity.