Intrigued by traditional marketing early on, Jessica Koop earned a degree in business and marketing from Texas Christian University and was armed with the skills needed to go to work for a brand. But it wasn’t until more recent developments in influencer marketing caught her attention – and after a more than two-year stint on the retailer side – that she really jumped in. She started at VizSense in July 2017 as an influencer marketing analyst. But less than a year later, she moved into her current role managing a team. She says it’s exciting to be in a position to pivot as needed in the ever-changing world of marketing. Koop is one of three Women of Excellence honorees in the “Rising Star” category.
What are your current responsibilities?
Koop: I manage a team of influencer marketing coordinators, working between our clients (brands or retailers) and the team to plan, execute, expand upon and report on influencer marketing campaigns. It’s important to fully immerse myself in our client’s brand so we can ensure we’re strategically executing campaigns that meet our client’s marketing and sales goals.
What led you to be the rising star leader you are today?
Koop: Being in the ever-changing world of retail in my previous role, I had to constantly adjust our strategies to flex with trends, innovation and consumer preferences. Being able to pivot with the industry and truly understand why/how consumers are being influenced has helped my team and our company. I always want to grow, learn more about the industry, meet a lot of people, and I’ll always speak up. I helped shape the role I’m in now and I want to keep us growing with the industry and with our clients.
What are some challenges you’ve faced?
Koop: We work with clients across many different industries and each comes with its own unique set of data. It can be challenging to work with new clients who have a set vision or opinion of influencer marketing. Many brands think it is using an online marketplace to hire social media bloggers with high followings, but that’s not how we work. We overcome this stigma by using a data-first approach and incorporating our client every step of the way. We strategically use findings and influencer opportunities to integrate relevant messaging through influential individuals, and the time we spend with clients really helps us develop a partnership and overcome any challenges in campaign execution.
Describe a recent project you worked on that you’re proud of.
Koop: We recently worked with a health company supporting a product that helps post-partum women recover from childbirth. This smaller-scale campaign drove shoppers to purchase at CVS. Our team was so proud of the work because the mothers and expectant mothers we hired connected with their followers on such a personal level to explain why or how this product helped them. I’m always amazed by the way we work with influencers to spark such personal conversations and reach consumers who may not have opened up to anyone else.
What motivates you most in terms of the shopping experience?
Koop: The way consumers and shopping habits are changing, while the value of influencing a purchase is still so important. We want to provide credible sources for product and service recommendations, and give them the information they need to make a purchase decision. We want our clients to feel empowered to partner with influencers and apply our data to leverage influencer platforms to reach an audience they may have not realized before. Retailers are starting to notice our efforts with influencers tied into not only a product or brand but with that retailer as well – and it can be really impactful. It’s something we’ll continue to develop as we see influencer marketing becoming more relevant.
Looking forward, what do you get excited about?
Koop: Learning from consumers through influencers and working with representatives who can reach new and interested shoppers empowers brands to spread awareness beyond their direct reach. Shopping through social and making brands/products more attainable than ever before will continue to improve and it’s exciting to see how influencer marketing remains a part of that.