OOH Today’s Champion —Lindsay M. Koski (Wilbeck)
Lindsay M. Koski —OOH Today Champion
OOH Today features women and men who Champion and define Outdoor Advertising. Sharing the faces and stories behind the names who add a personal dimension to #OutOfHome (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.
We are visiting with, Lindsay M. Koski (Wilbeck), National Sales Representative, most recently with Adams+Fairway.
Lindsay M. Koski (Wilbeck) has been in OOH for over 13 years. Her entire OOH experience has been based in Chicago, though she has sold and represented Outdoor Advertising all over the Country. Her most recent role was with Adams+Fairway Outdoor. Lindsay started her career in 2005 at Clear Channel Outdoor as a sales assistant. She quickly learned the ropes, the systems, CCO’s inventory, as critical to any starting OOH sales person and in 6 months, leaped into sales.
At CCO, she started excelling in selling plant inventory in the Chicagoland areas of Lake and McHenry Counties. As she grew existing business and landed several new accounts, it was within a short year, new business became her expertise and began making a name for herself. Over the next few years at Clear Channel, Koski, continued to grow, handling import business from markets in the Midwest region (in addition to working her local accounts). Soon exporting business in markets all over the CCO footprint gained her a feature in a local promotional campaign to sell unsold inventory (see attached photo).
OOH Today’s Conversation with Lindsay M. Koski
BB: Lindsay, you have been in Outdoor for over 13 years, what brought you to OOH?
LK: I networked with some folks within the industry (while still in college). I did not know anything about the industry though I knew Clear Channel Outdoor was a leader. I knew I wanted to stay in advertising, so I started right out of college after graduating from Columbia College Chicago in 2005!
BB: What is the unique skill set one must possess to succeed in your #OOH role?
LK: One has to know what they are selling and the unique features of the areas surrounding that inventory. With more competition than ever in today’s media landscape, we need this in-tell to share with our clients (so they stand out and are seen). With that said, I have made it a personal goal to visit as many markets (I have represented) as possible throughout my career. This way I have been able to share insights and provide a client a glance into a market they may not be familiar with. It is our job to be the expert, the go-to with any OOH related questions. I take pride in knowing I can fully answer those questions and go to work for my customers.
It is our job to be the expert, the go-to with any OOH related questions. I take pride in knowing I can fully answer those questions and go to work for my customers.
BB: You have been in radio, digital online and OOH sales. What do you enjoy the most and why?
LK: Great question! The answer is OOH sales! I started my career, grew and advanced in this industry. Not only are billboards a great product, but they work! Yes, you heard me, the 100+-year-old medium STILL WORKS! 🙂 Now, with the advancement of digital (coupled together) there is no stopping this industry. And you still cannot argue with billboards being the most cost-effective form of advertising.
BB: What are your observations regarding the future of the 3 medias? Does the future of OOH look bright?
LK: Radio will continue to decline. With more (free and commercial free) listening options than ever, terrestrial radio will continue to decline. Digital is king right now. OOH + digital together= great results. As the OOH industry continues to work through new ratings with Geopath it will be interesting to see how we can finally deliver those #’s that everyone has been dying to see. Then OOH will not be deemed as “hard to buy”.
Digital is king right now. OOH + digital together= great results.
BB: How did your career take shape?
LK: I attended Columbia College Chicago, studying marketing and communications. I worked at House of Blues and knew I wanted to be involved in the music industry. I started a Radio internship with Q101 and the Loop. Shortly after, I was hired to do marketing and promotions. I enjoyed every moment of promoting stations! Once graduation day came and I asked about a sales position, they suggested I started in a smaller market (to work my way back up to Chicago). It was then, I met some management folks within CCO, Chicago and they offered me the job to start as a sales assistant. Knowing nothing about the medium and excited to start working, I walked in with both eyes wide open and gave it a go 🙂
BB: Are there any particular campaigns that exemplify the kind of innovative thinking you have?
LK: In November 2012, I was awarded 2 separate industry recognition’s from a large-scale program I sold to Advocate Health Care (Illinois’ largest Healthcare system).
1. Out of Home Ratings- Driven Media Planning Award
HY Connect and Clear Channel Outdoor won the FIRST EVER ratings-driven Media Planning Award in 2012 (for Advocate Healthcare). This brand new award honors innovative use of TAB (now Geopath) OOH Ratings in providing strategic insight when planning an OOH campaign.
To encourage collaboration between out of home specialists and agency media planners, and to honor accountability-driven media planning creativity, Geopath in conjunction with the OAAA has created the Ratings-Driven Media Planning Award. This award is given as a category within the OAAA Out of Home Media Plan Awards.
This award is intended to recognize when innovative use of the new ratings system reveals eye-opening strategic insight resulting in more effective media campaigns using out of home. It also celebrates agency media planning and out of home specialist “teams” whose collaborative efforts lead to these breakthroughs.
2. ‘Eyes On’ Case Study Contest winner presented by the former TAB now Geopath
Exclusive winner @ Clear Channel Outdoor (nationwide). My case study was a key example of how ‘EYES ON’ can be used to garner and expand business in a real world scenario and will help educate others in the Out of Home industry who see the potential of ‘EYES ON’, but need help implementing these new metrics into their sales.
BB: Please tell us about your life outside of work.
LK: Life outside of work for me is pretty busy! I am a volunteer for the Columbia College Alumni Network. Here I network with fellow Colum Alums and help coach current students in preparation for the ‘Real World’. We also help in raising money for the school. I recently started volunteering my time with a NFP organization called FAiR. In my free time I enjoy working out, attending Cubs games, concerts and traveling.
BB: You have worked for two OOH Companies. Can you share the differences and distinctions of the two and how they operate?
LK: The biggest difference is that CCO is public and AOA+FOA is a privately held company. Clear Channel Outdoor operates in the top 25 markets, where as AOA+FOA only has a handful of opportunities within the larger markets. AOA+FOA focuses on medium and smaller sizes marketplaces and dominate those markets. (Which makes it difficult to buy around them). Adams has bulletins, digital, posters (with transit in 1 market -Indy). CCO has all of those products + airports and malls. Though AOA+FOA has no interest in becoming a bigger player in larger markets. Clear Channel has great marketing pieces and scale. Both companies operate very differently but to the benefit of the company size and footprint across the Country.
BB: We love Chicago. It’s a great town for business and pleasure. Tell us what you think about the Chicago OOH community and market place? Oh, and are the Happy Hours still happening? I have been to a half-dozen or so, but its been years ago.
LK: The OOH community here is stronger than ever. Why? Because there once were 5-6 companies to buy from. Today there are 30+. This warrants more options than ever to advertisers. This is great because there are more new, different and better options than ever to buy! It also may make a media buyers’ job a bit more tedious when RFP-ing, though there are some really great new features outside of your traditional OOH product profiles.
The OOH community here is stronger than ever.
Yes, to the Industry Happy Hours. Chicago has a great OOH Happy Hour once a month. Mostly, Chicago folks attend, but as you know, Bill, we welcome sellers, buyers and vendors from other markets to join. After all, it really is a small World and everyone typically knows each other. The community here is focused, driven and loves to have a good time! I look forward to bigger and better things continuing to unfold in this marketplace.
BB: Any final comments you care to share?
LK: When I started in the industry (13 years ago) one of my fellow AE’s told me, “once you’re in the billboard business, you’ll never get out”. At the time, I laughed, but it is very true. The Chicago media scene is a big one, yet feels like everyone knows everyone. I feel this is due to the monthly Out of Home Happy Hours we have. There we can sit back, relax and get to know everyone a bit better (outside of the work setting).
BB: Great talk Lindsay. Thank you for sharing your OOH journey with us.
LK: Thank you Bill, I enjoyed it.