Power in People: Ginny Blankenfeld, an alchemist in ad tech
RTBiQ’s Power in People blog series is devoted to sharing the stories and experiences of our passionate and diverse team members. Next up in our series is Ginny Blankenfeld. When she is not having weekend getaway adventures with her wife Amy or walking her corgi Monte near their home in Sacramento, Ginny is excelling at her role as one of RTBiQ’s dedicated Account Executives.
Despite only joining RTBiQ in October 2018, Ginny’s wide breadth of advertising knowledge has already made her an invaluable partner to clients and a key asset to the team. Her sights, however, were not always set on a career in advertising. After graduating with a degree in journalism, Ginny followed a logical path by getting a job at a newspaper. Nevertheless, she quickly realized her aspirations were set elsewhere.
After moving to New York to attend a summer program at NYU, Ginny took a job with a radio network called DialGlobal, which she remembers as her “strange introduction to the advertising world.” Working for a radio network inspired Ginny’s decision to apply for what she thought was an open position as a Broadcast Coordinator at Kroger following her move to Portland, OR. It wasn’t until Ginny was in the midst of her interview with Kroger that she realized the open position was not for a Broadcast Coordinator, but rather for a Digital Media Specialist. She laughs, “So he [the interviewer] starts asking me about impressions and page views, and I’m like, “How do you calculate a CPM? Let me get a piece of paper out and do some math!”
Ginny’s quick-wit and willingness to adapt are qualities that make her a perfect match for the ad tech space. Her experience working for Kroger is a testament to that. She says, “I then spent five years on this journey with Kroger basically building up their digital media department….Not only was I having to educate myself, but I had to help educate the team as a whole. You know, digital is like that. It takes a long time to learn these things, and it’s all about knowledge sharing.”
Looking back at her educational time at Kroger, Ginny describes leaving the company feeling as though she had just attended “media college.” This gave her the confidence to tackle her next role, this time in an agency setting. At the agency, Ginny essentially took on the role of six different people; the coordinator, the buyer, the planner, the manager, the trafficker, the analyst, all together in one. She enjoyed taking on such a challenging position and loved the opportunity to rise to the occasion.
Despite its accidental origins, moving from a position in traditional media to one in digital was ultimately a fulfilling and stimulating career change. She remarks, “There was a spark in me. The idea that my job, something that I was a part of, is reflecting something larger that’s happening in society as a whole is super exciting. It does make me feel more connected to the ecosystem, not just in our country, but something that’s going on globally.” She finds great joy in taking her love of tech and “being able to translate some of those things into actionable plans for marketers.”
Shifting into a sales role at RTBiQ has allowed Ginny to sit at the other side of the desk. Having been in their shoes, Ginny is able to look at relationships with her clients through a unique lens. She comments, ”I want to make sure that I always have that client perspective in mind. Hopefully, that is the strength that I really bring to this, that I can empathize with that buyer perspective and I can have some connection with what they’re going through.” Understanding clients’ concerns and expectations, Ginny is able to offer the products and services she truly believes will help clients reach their advertising goals, fully aware there’s never going to be a one-size-fits-all approach. This desire to provide custom solutions for clients coincides with the RTBiQ value that Ginny connects with most; This is our craft.
Ginny comments, “Hearing that is one thing, but joining the company and actually seeing that in action is totally different...Anyone could white label a DSP and sell media. But we take the perspective that the road has been paved one way, but we’re going to take the path. It’s a little rough, but it’s a lot more fun.” Ginny believes these factors not only bring integrity to our business, but are necessary for having a passion for the job.
She summarizes ad tech perfectly saying, “It comes down to openness, acceptance, and experimentation. And that’s what digital is about.”
Check out our last post in this series where we interview RTBiQ’s leading Data Scientist, Akiko Iwamizu.