The Egotist Interview: Lisa Herdman, S.V.P., Director of National Programming & Branded Entertainment at RPA


By thelaegotist / / Lisa Herdman is the S.V.P., Director of National Programming & Branded Entertainment at LA-based RPA. She runs the day-to-day of all national video, national radio, and branded entertainment investments for RPA. 1. Amidst the current volatility in the industry, how has RPA cultivated a home base for its clients? People First. In this time of “advertising unrest,” RPA has emerged as the best partner for our clients because we treat them like people, not a profit center. For each client we become an extension of their marketing team. At the core of our practice is immersion. It is imperative that we live and breathe the brand’s overall marketing strategy so that we can guide them to a well-informed advertising strategy. To do so we study their business model, their culture, their competition, their ambitions and their success metrics. Only then can we cohesively guide them through connected creative and media strategies that ultimately optimize toward the best business results. In short, RPA client partners consider us “coworkers.” 2. How do you maximize positive outcomes in the media buying landscape? Driving clients’ budgets to work as hard as possible is a high priority for them and therefore for us. So we focus on analysis of business results in the context of media goals—our practice of understanding, optimizing and improving results over time means the media buy is never complete as long as there’s a dollar of media in the campaign still yet to run. 3. Any advice for young women interested in pursuing a career in advertising? Do it! It’s more exciting than it has ever been. The viewer and media fragmentation has provoked a lot of innovation and freedom to try new ways to reach customers creatively and effectively. Jump in and make your mark! 4. As a working mother in the industry, how do you achieve a work/life balance? I do my best to maintain my “Happy Working Mom” status by making sure that the word “happy” is constant. If I am failing at that, then I am failing at the balance and no one is benefiting. I find rejuvenation and clarity in my meditation practice and the mindfulness I try to maintain while at work and at home. 5. What are some common misconceptions within the media buying landscape? A misconception is that TV is not attributable to business results. Case studies show linkage from national TV buys to sales, CTs, engagement, etc., all due to the direct impact on brand awareness from national TV. Also, the idea that national TV is too expensive is short-sighted. If the right data is used to reach the appropriate audiences at scale, it can be the most efficient channel on a media plan. 6. What’s one thing you’d change about the advertising industry? Arbitrage.