Industry Profile: Digitas Australia head of production Lizzie Strobel

3 December 2019

Our Industry Profile takes a look at some of the professionals working across the advertising, ad tech, marketing and media sector in Australia. It aims to shed light on the varying roles and companies across the buzzing industry.

This week we speak to Digitas Australia head of production Lizzie Strobel.

Duration in current role:
Two years.

How would you describe what the company does?
Solve our clients’ business problems through technology led digital solutions, using customer experience and data intelligence to fuel our creative and media executions.

What do you do day-to-day?
I oversee delivery of all of our projects for all of our clients, offering guidance and support to our fantastic project managers and account services team where and when needed; fielding client calls and WhatsApps on the bat phone; traffic management across all our teams based on the priorities for the day and week; and general operations management across the agency.

Define your job in one word:
Firefighter.

I got into digital marketing because:
It was the first job I was given when I graduated from Uni – I stayed for the free beer and the inspiring and brilliant colleagues.

What’s the biggest challenge you face in your role?
We have a unique understanding of marketing technologies and people certified in those technologies who understand how to get the best out of them. We often find that our clients value our input in how to utilise those technologies and have ambition to evolve their internal processes to maximise that value. We then have the added challenge of operationalising our strategies through implementation plans that will be prioritised and executed by teams that aren’t our own, and often sit across multiple business units within an organisation. It difficult to justify the value of executional oversight than execution itself, which presents a challenge in ensuring that our strategies are implemented correctly and clients can see return on their original investment. Which leads me to the next point…

What’s the biggest industry-wide challenge you’d like to see tackled?
The perception of the value of the services we deliver. We’ve been working at Digitas to provide alternative pricing models to our clients to change their view on agency pricing from paying for the head hours to paying for the outcomes we deliver. We’ve working with clients on models of premium pricing for time to market, results-based remuneration, and other creative pricing models wherever possible. It’s an uphill battle that I’d love to see our industry overcome to protect our margin and services in the long term.

Previous industry related companies you have worked at:
I started my career at LBi NY, which became MRY, then moved here to DigitasLBi, which became Digitas – so technically speaking, I’ve always worked at the same company.

Who has been a great mentor to you and why?
I’ve always been lucky to have superiors who I respect greatly and have learned heaps from, have recognised my potential and given me opportunities to grow across all of the different roles I’ve held in advertising.

Scott Heydt gave me more responsibility than I had demonstrated I was capable of handling, which formed my work ethic and ability to tackle challenges from the very start of my career; working for him in finance showed me how the business really operates, which has been instrumental to my career growth.

Michael Aubrey and Anne Stowell saw potential in me when I wanted to get out of the finance game and set the ground work for my career as a project manager.

Heather Brown, Jody Girgenti and Shannon Barnes – three badass lady producers who recognised and fostered my passion for content and event production.

And now, our MD Ian Gough – I want to be like him when I grow up.

Words of advice for someone wanting a job like yours?
Take care of your team before yourself; work hard; and learn how to do a VLOOKUP.

If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be:
My dream for my life in Australia is to open a New York style diner. Just need that permanent residency first.

My mantra is:
Make it count.

My favourite advert is:
I grew up in New York as a Yankees fan in the Jeter era, so Nike’s "RE2SPECT"/Tip-of-the-hat ad gave me all the feels.

Music and TV streaming habits. What do you subscribe to?
Spotify knows me better than some of my friends. I catch up on my American shows via iTunes (I’ve spent 15 years with Grey’s Anatomy, not about to quit now) and also love a Netflix binge (recent favourites were Schitt’s Creek and Mindhunter – incredible).

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
I studied abroad in Ireland while at University – I did an internship program and because I had an interest in a career in sports marketing at the time, they placed me as a soccer camp counsellor - I only made it two weeks.

In five years' time I'll be:
Off the back of success of my diner, opening Sydney’s best New York style pizza shop.

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