Heather Cisz and Linked Media
Heather Cisz, a Hartford, Connecticut-based media sales and advertising professional, has come a long way since beginning her foray into the media industry nine years ago. Heather has held the title of Director of Digital Media and Sales Strategy at Linked Media, a brand new full-service advertising agency specializing in digital media, since July 2016. Linked Media is comprised of a team of seven dedicated experts in their fields. They work together to ensure they are one strong media chain when it comes to planning and executing customized campaigns for business clients. They take the approach that since no two businesses are alike, no campaign should be exactly alike either.
As a founding member of Linked Media, Heather Cisz brought in her ad sales expertise and helped to develop their process for working with clients. This process can be broken down into four simple but critical steps: 1) Listen and learn, 2) Establish a game plan, 3) Get the ball rolling and 4) Maintain and grow. In greater detail, this process entails listening to clients, understanding their brand and what they want to get out of the campaign. By listening carefully, Linked Media can learn what the businesses they work with are all about in order to create tailored campaigns for them. Next, Linked Media establishes a strategy to promote the client’s brand to the intended audience across all platforms necessary. They then put that strategy into play, creating smart and sophisticated content with the business’s brand, competitors, and target demographic in mind. Finally, the team monitors and optimizes launched campaigns to ensure that they garner continued success.
As a full-service agency, Linked Media manages campaigns through a blend of traditional and digital methods including television, print media, outdoor media (billboards, busses, etc.), creative services such as video production and website development, multi-platform digital strategies, radio/audio platforms, and PR services. Heather’s role at Linked Media is the natural next step in her career as it’s allowed her to blend her deep knowledge of traditional ad sales with her expertise in digital to become a trusted resource for a diverse array of clients.
Heather Cisz Previous Experience
Before bringing her talents to Linked Media, Heather Cisz spent six years at WTIC-TV, working with local Fox and CW network affiliates, first as a Broadcast Account Executive, and then as a Digital Sales Manager. Her first media job upon graduating from Central Connecticut State University with a degree in Marketing and Business was with Comcast Spotlight, the advertising sales branch of Comcast Cable, as an Account Executive. As a major advertising sales company, Comcast Spotlight was the learning ground that gave Heather a solid background in both traditional television and digital advertising and allowed her to develop valuable client servicing and acquisition skills. It was her first major step towards a successful media career. By working across multiple platforms at Comcast, including cable TV, satellite, telco, online, and VOD, Heather was able to transition seamlessly into working with traditional and digital sales at Tribune Broadcasting (WTIC-TV) for the next six years.
Heather’s first official gateway into a successful media sales career was her internship with Comcast Spotlight. The internship led to her first full-time position in media as a an Account Executive there. However, one could say her career stretches all the way back to her retail experience in high school. It was a passion for fashion that inspired her to to get into retail and this early experience sparked the career journey that led her to where she is now. It was in retail that she began to allow her creative nature to shine through. She also started honing the customer service skills that eventually made her an excellent fit for pursuing a career in media sales and advertising.
Over the years, Heather Cisz has learned to employ her creativity in her career. She has also maintained lasting business relationships through a solutions-focused sales approach coupled with empathy and passion towards her clients. She has not shied away from seizing opportunities to take her career to the next level. She credits her determination for success to watching her father working long and hard to support his family and ascend in his career to an IT Executive.
With everything Heather Cisz has accomplished in her career so far, it may seem that her life is all work and no play, but Heather makes time to indulge in her passions and hobbies as well. In fact, Heather’s interests are what encouraged her to pursue a career in advertising sales, so they go hand-in-hand. Some of her passions include fashion, art, music, and pop culture, all of which sparked her creativity and encouraged her interest in media. Heather has an eclectic taste in music, but can often be found jamming out to her favorite artists, Bruce Springsteen and Lil’ Wayne. She has had the opportunity to attend multiple concerts for both.
Heather has made miles of progress in her career, becoming an expert in her field in a relatively short amount of time. From intern to Account Executive to Director of Digital Media and Sales Strategy at a company she helped found, there’s no telling where she’ll go next! She has no plans to stop innovating, getting results, or approaching challenges with the intention of developing new skills and bettering herself as an advertising professional and overall person.
The Linked Media Philosophy
In a time that marketing strategies have become the key to successful business and organizational growth, a homegrown advertising agency has been working to establish a different way of cutting through the noise to achieve the public awareness that every brand needs. Linked Media is a new and redefined full service advertising agency located in West Hartford, Connecticut, specializing in a variety of different marketing concepts, including traditional and integrated marketing solutions.
A good agency is essential to a business’s brand, growth and development. The traditional role of advertising is to make sure consumers are informed of a product or service and the different options that they have to choose from. The less obvious value that a good agency can provide is a strong message that not only shows consumers what you have to offer but creates a full understanding of what your business’s values and missions are, establishing an overall brand or image. Through a creative collaboration of advertising, marketing, and public relations mechanisms, a relationship is created between a business and it’s consumers, which builds an overall commitment to the company and its offerings.
Integrated marketing solutions are also important in this day and age as technology has rapidly increased the way businesses communicate to their customers. Integrated marketing solutions allow for the business’s exact messages and information to be delivered via various communication channels. Depending on the breadth and width of your target demographic, a well-rounded media strategy should include a mix of old and new delivery methods including radio, TV broadcasting, newspapers and magazines, social media platforms, organic SEO and PPC advertising, and even in-app mobile advertising. Through a tailored mix of communication methods, audiences are able to clearly define and detect a brand’s mission and value.
Linked Media, a full service advertising agency, which Heather Cisz helped to found, specializes in vigorous marketing and advertising concepts based solely on the needs of a business. The agency offers services anything from traditional marketing to integrated digital marketing tactics. Linked Media is proud of it’s success through the practice of SEO, Audience Message Channel techniques, and acknowledged campaign methods. The agency achieves client goals through its integrative measuring and tracking of each businesses’ campaign analytics.
Linked Media works to redefine your marketing approach so that your business can experience exceptional quality work through the innovation and drive that inspires the outstanding team of seven. Each team member contributes an important role (or as we like to call it, a link), to your campaign each and every time. Through the use of outstanding communication and collaboration with the Linked Media team and your business, a chain reaction is developed, leading to cutting edge work based exclusively on your business’s goals and objectives.
The philosophy Linked Media and Heather Cisz subscribe to is based on a four-step procedure. The agency believes that learning is the key to success. Listening is the foundation for learning, therefore the agency takes the time to sit down to listen and learn the goals and objectives of the client. Next, Linked Media’s team works together to come up with a tactical plan to convey messages to the forthcoming target audiences through various communication channels. The third step focuses on creating content and material made specifically for the client’s needs, and then implementing the concepts. The fourth, and final process includes monitoring and reviewing each campaign to make sure the audience is receiving the message. This step includes gathering audience feedback and engagement to achieve continuing growth and success of the business. Linked Media highly values this process as a method for living and breathing the philosophy that no two campaigns are alike.
Linked Media is committed to quality through all four steps of the process. The agency keeps up to date with the latest trends in marketing and advertising approaches and channels, including print media, broadcasting, television, and digital.
While the role of broadcast television has changed, live broadcast television events are still one of the best ways to reach a wide array of potential consumers. Because of this, television will continue to play a vital role in advertising to consumers. Linked media focuses on the most critical forms of communication to better the clients’ needs.
No modern marketing strategy is complete without the integration of a digital strategy. If you plan on reaching millennials and generation Z, you’ll need tactful paid and organic social media strategies that land with a generation that eschews being “sold to.” Linked Media is here to revolutionize and define platforms of communication through the use of creative and innovative content for each and every platform, especially the monitoring of digital platforms.
Many agencies tend to lack an important aspect of communication- establishing relationships. The agency offers public relations services to ensure relationships are established between audiences and the main forms of media, such as broadcasting and journalism. Heather Cisz has learned that relationship building is the most important aspect of growing any business and has brought that philosophy with her as she helped to found Linked Media.
Heather Cisz Entrepreneurship Interview
Where did the idea for Linked Media come from?
The idea came through my passion of establishing relationships amongst clients. I started to see that there were many products and services offered for clients who had an established niche, but there wasn’t enough variety for customers who needed services on multiple platforms. I realized that there is a need for an assortment of services that can be conveyed through different channels.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
The best thing about my career is that I have something new and exciting to look forward to every day. I may come into the office with a planned out list of things to do, but that might change to a new project to take on the minute I walk into the door. I strive to be productive throughout the day, so it’s great when we get new projects and assignments to take on. This keeps us on task and allows us to spark new ideas for projects and campaigns. When I think about the process of creating campaigns for clients and see the end result, it’s such a great feeling realizing that your whole team contributed to the outcome. The fact that there is always something new and exciting going on at the office keeps me motivated and I can’t wait to get started on the next project.
How do you bring ideas to life?
My team and I make sure to meet at least three times a week and whenever needed individually. Linked Media greatly values teamwork and we wouldn’t be where we are today without each individual’s contribution to ideas. We usually begin the campaign process through very informal brainstorming sessions. We strive to incorporate everyone’s suggestions and ideas. Once we have established a few ideas we think we can run with, we’ll run it by our clients and then start the process.We want to make sure our clients are getting exactly what they ask for, so we make sure they are part of the innovating process.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
My team and I are currently having a lot of fun with online video marketing trends. I think this is one of the biggest trends that got me excited this year, and it could just be because of my work history. I see interactive videos as the next step after marketing on broadcast television, mainly because viewers can become interactive! I love that we can create marketing videos and live-streams to post them faster than broadcasting would ever allow us to do. It also allows us to get a deep message across to our client’s target audience and allow them to becoming interactive through multiple digital platforms- and the best part is that we can manage the interactivity! It’s so cool knowing that we can market the brand’s message across whether it’s through a mobile app or website.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I think that many aspiring entrepreneurs get very overwhelmed when they think about all the things they have to do in a day, that they forget to keep moving. I consider myself very energetic, and I like to stay busy. I tend to make lists of things to do and go step by step. I think being organized really helps too. It helps me organize everything I’m thinking, so that I don’t have to stress over small stuff. I always have a notepad that I carry around with me incase new ideas or things to do pop up. I’ll also schedule “free time” within my day in case I have to take a call or meeting. Time management and organization allows me to stay productive throughout my busy day.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
When I was younger, I had a job as an ice cream scooper. You can only imagine how messy that became! I think that’s when I learned that I love being around people and fulfilling the wants/ needs of the customer. Selling ice cream allowed me to understand this concept. Ice cream also allowed me to deal with customer service challenges. Although there’s nothing upsetting about ice cream (except the calories), there were times when customers were unhappy. Scooping ice cream allowed me to take these problems into account to make sure customers came back in the future and had a good experience, (part of the relationship process). Looking back now, I never thought that I could apply being an ice cream scooper to an important customer service concept in my future career.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
That’s a really hard question. Everyone goes through hard times in their career path, but I wouldn’t want to do anything differently or start over. I am where I am today because of the experiences and challenges I overcame throughout my journey: that’s how you learn. I continue to look forward to challenges and learning through my mistakes. It allows me to learn and grow as an individual, but also my career path. I don’t want to look back and worry about my mistakes, but rather make the most of the future to come.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
My best advice as an entrepreneur is to stay always remember to stay humble. As an entrepreneur, it’s very easy to get knocked off track, but you have to remember to stay strong. You must keep pushing yourself. Even after you think you’ve hit your career goals, set new ones. Continue to strive high and always stay positive, even in hard times. If you don’t believe in yourself and your passions, no one else will.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
One of the best strategies that I continue to use is having a game plan. As I am still working on the growth process of my business, I realized that it’s important to be patient and focus on growth through a systematic plan. It’s much better to plan and be productive, then jump ahead of myself, although it becomes hard. You have to plan out goals and strategies to understand when the next step will be and how to approach it. It’s very exciting when you come up with new ideas and a timeline to your course of action.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I think I fell into the trap of thinking “I’ve made it, so now I’m done.” That’s not a great a thing to do. As I mentioned earlier, it’s so important to constantly come up with new goals and ideas. There’s never really an end, even when you “fail”. I picked up at where I thought I “failed” and turned it into a learning experience, pushing myself to where I am today. Everyday, I remind myself of my goals, and once I think I’m going to reach them, I create more. There’s always room for improvement.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers? (this should be an actual idea for a business, not business advice)
My business idea is a breakfast delivery place! Many major cities have had success with them, but little does the industry know that they’ll have just as much success in the suburbs! First of all it’s the most important meal of the day. So many people run late for the office every morning that they forget to eat. Monday morning meetings would be much more productive if breakfast service was around.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why? (personal or professional)
I recently bought a computer monitor and a filing cabinet for my bookkeeper. It may sound unnecessary, but it greatly improves the work quality within the office. My bookkeeper is much more organized and at peace with work. I think these are the most essential items that an office needs to stay productive and coordinated.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
To be honest, Microsoft Office is my favorite software to use. It’s so simple and easy to use, yet I can get everything I need to get done on it. It’s great that it’s used by so many people, like clients and my office. It makes it much easier to communicate with one another and make changes quickly, rather than trying to figure out how to convert files on computers.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
#Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso is a really interesting read, even if you’re a guy. The book offers an innovative and realistic perspective of starting a business. The best part about it, is that the author started from the bottom and worked her way up. She talks about the growing pains and challenges she overcame and how she established connections through networking, gaining ideas and partnerships throughout her journey. It’s a really easy and fun read. I totally recommend this book if you’re looking to start your own business and have no idea where to begin!
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
As I continue to grow as an individual, my list of influences constantly changes and grows as well. I continue to find motivation and influence from various people, places, and things that I encounter everyday, so it’s hard to just choose a list of people. Music and art have played a huge role in my life, especially with starting a business. Both provide my mind with an escape outlet when the business gets all over the place. It allows me to relax, while organizing my thoughts and ideas. It truly brings me serenity and peace, allowing me to become productive and stay on track.