Leslie Laredo – President of Academy of Digital Media

Digital marketing trainer Leslies Laredo knows:  The biggest challenge to multi-touch attribution is the refusal to challenge assumptions.   

Knowing how to challenge ROI numbers only comes from training.  And after training over a hundred thousand marketing professionals over the last two decades, Leslie knows you have to consistently train to stay ahead and win in today’s marketing world. 

Hear her thoughts on companies increasing revenue by making training a priority.

About Leslie Laredo

An Internet advertising pioneer with more than 25 years of digital media industry, Leslie Laredo has been instrumental in changing the business face of media and dramatically improving the knowledge and skills of media professionals on how to buy and sell digital media.

Leslie has consulted with startups, Fortune 500 companies, small-to-large advertising agencies, and multi-brand media publishers.

Her consulting services have been used and valued by C-level executives, Vice-Presidents, sales and account managers, and media buyers and planners.

She has worked with CPG and B2B brand and marketing managers spanning many industries including automotive, travel, financial, pharmaceutical and many others to educate their teams on how to plan, buy, and sell digital media.

Her insights and training have allowed sales organizations to more effectively meet the needs of their advertisers while maximizing revenues.

She has also worked with agencies of all sizes to be more effective in delivering online media strategies as well as transitioning their business to provide the thought leadership and digital media and marketing skills increasingly required to keep and acquire clients.

Key takeaways:

[2:09] I introduce today’s guest, Leslie Laredo, and asks her about how she came to be where she is today.

[6:04] Leslie touches on the differences between executives and teams who believe in training and those who don’t: having a learning culture and being committed creates teams that excel and challenge assumptions about the business and the marketplace.

She shares an anecdote about proud members of the dead tree society from an NAA conference she once spoke at.

[9:50] Once you understand your business, you can begin to be creative in how you approach things. Leslie shares the three important aspects of training she touches on first:

1. WHY? Why is this happening, why is it important.

2. HOW? How does it happen, how do they create, sell and monetize their content and audience

3. WHAT? What tools do they have to do it with

[13:56] People get it now! There was a holy grail moment in 2016-17 where people started talking about attribution and its eventual ability to resolve part of the “which half of your advertising budget is wasted” question.

Leslie shares a story from the Advertising Club of New York session where she heard a Toyota rep talk about how their CTR metrics had become institutionalized.

[19:52] Institutionalized metrics create a grey area: whose job is it to flag them and enable better measurements to be put in place? Leslie touches on what she thinks is the solution.

She also discusses what attribution helps us get to: the why as well as the story; we’ve been very bad at telling a story of decision making out of data, and attribution helps us in this regard because it’s not just data points.

[25:48] For the future of attribution, Leslie hopes that it becomes a ubiquitous part of marketing decisions: a holy grail has to be used! The future is about changing the outcomes and getting better at what we do.

[28:21] Leslie and I share GPS analogies! Would you get on a plane whose GPS and compass are out?

[32:42] There is a fear of telling people they’ve been doing things wrong, and I believe it’s from a lack of certainty which also amounts to lack of training. Leslie shares some tips: learn to fail fast, and don’t wait until things go wrong to try to improve your processes. Changes are coming, the most important question has to be, “What’s next?”

[42:39] What should a training cadence look like in the digital world? Leslie points out that it isn’t so much about a schedule or budget as it is an upgrade in company or department culture.

She shares the example of Outbrain who has a one-hour training session a week where the conference rooms are dedicated, and the employees are encouraged to share their newfound knowledge.

She also touches on common mistakes she sees in budget allocations and where people should invest more.

[47:47] Adtech is in the technology field and is something of a scientific beast, but companies haven’t really been treating it as such and a lot of employees are in over their heads at an educational level. This needs to be addressed!

[52:29] How can you get in touch with Leslie? — I thank her for coming on the podcast and sharing so much of her experience.

Connect with Leslie:

Leslie’s email [email protected]

Leslie Laredo at Laredo Group

Leslie Laredo on Twitter

Leslie Laredo on Pinterest

Leslie Laredo on LinkedIn

Mentioned in this episode:

Laredo Group

Academy of Digital Media

Book: The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail, by Clayton M. Christensen

NAA Conference

The Advertising Club of New York

Anthony Pitts


Adult Learning Theory

Book: The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation, by Matthew Dixon