Lisa LaCour, VP, head of global marketing, Outbrain

One of biggest challenges LaCour faced when she joined Outbrain five years ago was convincing brands that content marketing is not a choice—it’s a must. Digital content marketing was and, to some degree still is, nascent. But through message positioning, data, content development, and partnerships LaCour has successfully advocated for the growth and adoption of digital content marketing in the marketplace.

Marketing strategy: I consider myself a strategic, results-driven marketer. I’m motivated by doing something new—when I have to navigate the tricky waters of something that’s, at least for me, never been done. Prior to Outbrain, for example, my primary marketing experience was in consumer marketing. During my six years at Outbrain I’ve taken this consumer-centric thinking into defining its marketing strategy.

Throughout my career, I have been lucky enough to be at the fore of digital technology. I started my career in the music business—long before you were able to carry songs around in your pocket. During that time I launched the online presence of several of the world’s most successful artists at the time: Backstreet Boys, Beastie Boys, Cher, Foo Fighters, Eminem, Metallica, and Spinal Tap. And I battled the record labels and Napster, while developing what eventually evolved into today’s digital marketing landscape.

Later I was on the core team that launched AOL.com from a corporate site into a consumer destination. After AOL I went on to run marketing for DailyCandy, which at the time was a premier women’s lifestyle site powered by content-filled emails.

All of these disparate experiences have given me a well-rounded knowledge of the marketing discipline, so I have a complete understanding of the full marketing mix and how [channels] benefit one another.

Winning ways: At the end of last year we launched Outbrain’s first branding campaign. We worked closely with a creative director to launch “You Are What You Recommend.” Most notably, the campaign included an ad featured on the front page of The New York Times. The ads used a consumer-facing property to speak to B2B audiences—because we understand that B2B prospects are consumers, too—and reinforced content recommendations, which we believe provides long-term value and currency for all those who use branded content and native advertising.

Defining moment: I would say launching the digital experience of the world’s largest musical acts is pretty cool.

Marketing staff must-have: Creative and smart—someone who doesn’t take herself so seriously and has a unique perspective on how to think about marketing.

Advice to young marketers: Understand new technologies, and use them frequently. Also, attention to detail is very important. Misspellings and sloppiness is a no-go.

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