Advertising Advice From Abbey Klaassen

Advertising Advice From Abbey Klaassen

Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Abbey Klaassen of 360i spoke to Newhouse students late in February about her agency and her own journey into advertising. I wrote another post from Abbey Klaassen’s visit about her knowledge of the advertising field and predictions for the near future, but I wanted to include some of her advice that applies more to our lives after Newhouse. Here are some suggestions she offered to help guide our careers:


Your skills can translate, just think about how.

Abbey started her career in journalism, which is not rare for people at her company, 360i. Although her current company is an advertising agency, she was able to transition from a journalism role by recognizing the ways that her journalism skills fit into the actual role in an advertising agency. For example, she mentioned that writing articles and finding stories may not intuitively translate outside of journalism, but a journalist must be curious in order to succeed. Curiosity and a willingness to “understand the why” is a desirable trait for advertisers and is actually difficult to teach. That shared trait works well in both fields as long as you can explain something you learned from a skill in an interview. The same rule would apply with other skills — just understand how your current abilities may help the company you’re trying to impress in your interview.


Even an internship can come back to help (or haunt) you.

Abbey mentioned that she accepted an internship for AdAge when she was finishing her undergraduate degree, but she eventually returned to AdAge later in her career because she maintained a good relationship with her colleagues. An internship may not be the most amazing experience of your life. It certainly could help teach you great lessons and skills, but things don’t always live up to all of our expectations. Regardless of your perception of that lowly intern role, do not forsake the relationships you have there and put 100% effort into your work there. If your associates really like you, they’ll remember you. Abbey received a call from AdAge with a job offer later in her career, which would not have been possible if she didn’t work hard with her internship.


Digital is evolving, and everyone thinks they get it.

While there are traditional agencies for creative work, media planning, and all the other branches you can think of, digital is both an agency type and a piece of what any agency does. Every agency can complete their own search engine optimization and search engine marketing. Google AdWords and Facebook’s advertising platform are simple enough for the average advertising professionals to use. However, that doesn’t mean every agency knows everything about digital work. Digital agencies like 360i specialize in digital because they aim to be adaptable. The digital landscape is constantly changing. People going into digital agencies need to be comfortable with an evolving job description and trying to learn as the digital world changes.


What do you like to see in upcoming talent?

Abbey talked about the core values at 360i, which they call “The 3 P’s”. The good news is everyone can find their own answer to The 3 P’s and explain what it means to them.

Passion – It doesn’t mean overflowing with enthusiasm every second of every day. It doesn’t mean you can’t get upset. Abbey said she would define passion as being positive and energetic overall. Show that you have the heart for your work and be able to talk about a few reasons why. Having a story from your past experience helps too.

Purpose – It’s all about focus. Show that you’re outcome-oriented. Dedicate yourself to your goals and always know what you’re working toward.

Perseverance – What’s the biggest obstacle you have overcome? What do you think when you see an obstacle? How do you go about removing or working around an obstacle? Perseverance is the determination that shows you won’t let an obstacle demoralize you. You will have obstacles, but will you overcome them. Say yes and have a plan for how you can conquer your obstacles.


What do you think about New York?

Abbey believes NYC can offer advertising people an incredibly valuable experience, but it doesn’t have to be the beginning of your career. The biggest cities (NY, Chicago, LA) will give you the biggest potential network for the future. New York will also raise your salary potential for anywhere you go afterward. On the other hand, there’s plenty of places that you can pursue advertising. You can start in New York, but you can also give it a shot when you have a few years of experience under your belt.


What is “creative” nowadays?

At 360i, it’s not a proper noun. Abbey reminded us that creativity is not solely the responsibility of the creative department. Even if you’re a strategist, you better be pretty creative about how you look at the data and present it to your client. There’s creativity in every role, so get used to leaning on it.

Joseph Laraiso
Advertising Master's Student, focused in Account Management. Background in finance and investing. Progressive Rock enthusiast. Expert in being very blunt and straightforward.

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