Anna Banks has black belts in two different styles of Kung Fu, more than 10 years of classical piano training and a 9-month-old. And that's just what she's accomplished in her personal life. Professionally, she's in a high-demand job as marketers look to senior digital strategists to help them navigate a complicated media landscape.
"The opportunity is to connect experiences across all marketing channels and angles at your disposal -- location-based insight, multiple screens, mobile, social, to make the experiences highly participatory and irresistibly sharable," she said.
Ms. Banks' introduction to the industry was not through an internship or first job, but an academic pursuit. At Radcliffe and Harvard -- she graduated from one of the last all-female classes -- she did her senior thesis on the evolving image of the African-American woman in print advertising.
From there she worked at a number of agencies, including McCann Worldgroup, and was selected as a fellow in WPP's MBA marketing program. During her time in the program she helped roll out a new division at JWT combining digital content and traditional media. She joined Organic in 2009 and currently leads a team tasked with growing data capabilities via IP and research, as well as cross-digital-platform strategies for marketers like Kimberly-Clark, Nike, Intel and Quaker.
What's the best advice she ever got? "Success hinges not just on working hard, but building great personal networks. It's advice I wish I'd paid more attention to earlier in my career," she said.
San Francisco Bay Area
Ever lived abroad?
Exchange student in Accra, Ghana; Marketing at an internet startup in Nairobi, Kenya, and extended assignment with McCann Worldgroup to work with Microsoft in Munich, Germany.
Done time at an agency?
Way too many. Organic, McCann Worldgroup, MRM, JWT, Ogilvy, RTCRM
Summer librarian at the Metropolitan Club, a historic private women's club in downtown San Francisco, age 15. The job was through a high school student's program. I read more books that summer than the entire school year and made close friends with the Dewey Decimal System.