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Life at Cadent: Annie Bickel, Senior Director of Advanced TV Solutions

Meet Annie – a Midwest transplant, she left her home state of Iowa after college to pursue a career in advertising in New York City. Early in her career, Annie worked for GroupM (at MEC, now Wavemaker), in their national broadcast buying department, and later Starcom, as an Activation Associate. Annie would then take a role at CBS as an account service representative for primetime advertisers. Now, for over four years, Annie has been an integral part of Cadent as the company’s advanced TV solutions evolved. When she is not supporting the Advanced TV Solutions team, you’ll find Annie kayaking, DIYing, or wedding planning with her fiancé. Recently, we spoke with Annie to learn more about her role and experiences since joining Cadent.  

Tell us a fun fact about yourself. 

I was born and raised in Iowa and grew up in a small rural community. Farming and agriculture have always played a big role in my life. I was the Vice President of my school’s FFA chapter and showed livestock when I was growing up.

Where can we find you when you are not at work?  

This past June, my fiancé and I bought a house on Indian Lake in New Jersey! So, when I’m not working, I’m either kayaking and enjoying the lake, fixing up our house, or planning our wedding. Traveling home and spending time with my family is also one of my favorite ways to spend my time off. 

You recently bought a new house, that’s exciting can you tell us a little more about it? 

After moving to the city and living there for 12 years, I finally moved out to the ‘burbs! My home is on a private lake which has provided an amazing sense of community to us – especially considering we didn’t know anyone who lived there before we moved. The lake club organizes parties and fundraisers for the lake community, which has been a great way to get to know our neighbors and other community members. Everyone has been super friendly! It’s been a great transition which I’m very thankful for – so far, being a new homeowner has been very fulfilling. 

What is the most interesting part of your job? 

Working on the Advanced TV Solutions team requires a versatile set of skills; although our primary role is sales support, I love being able to help clients with their questions. I get to help them understand how they can leverage data and technology to better harness the power of audience targeting through television. 

Since starting to work at Cadent, how has your view on TV changed?  

Oh man, this is a tough one because it’s changed an incredible amount! My experience prior to working at Cadent had strictly been in linear television, so buying based on Nielsen demos. Since working here, I’ve been able to learn so much about data, targeting audiences, and measurement. Before, I never knew that, outside of ratings, there is tangible data that proves TV advertising works. I love that with addressable TV, for example, we can show the path a consumer takes from start to finish. For instance, a consumer views an ad, which triggers them to take action – whether that be to look online at a website, learn more about a specific product, or visit a brick-and-mortar store – and finally, that consumer makes a purchase – all of which can be measured. We have the data to show clients how their ad dollars and media campaigns are generating real results. 

What is one thing you wish you would have known prior to joining Cadent? 

Prior to working at Cadent, I worked at larger companies, like GroupM and CBS. It’s been exciting seeing just how much change and progress a smaller company can go through! I originally joined one2one media working on the addressable team. Since then, we’ve joined forces with Cadent and merged teams. I have also had the experience of working in several different capacities within the company, which is a luxury I don’t think many people get at larger companies.

Learn more about life at Cadent and see available roles on our Careers page.  

Celebrating National STEM Day at Cadent

According to the Census Bureau, there were +10.8 million workers in STEM occupations in 2019 – this means these professions account for nearly 7% of all workers in the U.S. STEM workers play a critical role in driving innovation as they include engineers, medical scientists, and informational security analysts. Yet despite making up almost half of the overall workforce, women are still significantly underrepresented in these fields.  

National STEM Day takes place each year on November 8th to encourage kids to explore their interests in the fields of science, technology, engineering, art, and math (abbreviated to STEM or STEAM). To celebrate, Cadent spoke to several people in our Engineering and Data Analytics teams to learn more about their professional experiences and what advice they would offer to others interested in pursuing a career in STEM.  

Darius Guillory, an Analytics Engineer, is responsible for developing cloud analytics solutions that are leveraged by our business to help develop innovative product offerings for our clients.  

Did you always know you wanted to work in a STEM-related role?    

To be honest, I didn’t know that I wanted to work in a STEM-related role until after I graduated from college in 2014. I originally wanted to be an accountant… but that quickly changed when I became a financial auditor. Eventually, I left that job to enroll in a Master of Science program at Villanova University (Go Cats!). From there I learned various programming languages such as Python, Java, and R. I also learned Database Design, Data Modeling, and other technology-related concepts. The graduate program was challenging and fun, so I knew that STEM was the industry for me – I’m incredibly happy I made the switch!  

Are there any resources you have found valuable to building your career?  

I love community resources such as Stack Overflow and GitHub. I also read a lot of AWS documentation on their various cloud services. YouTube is another great resource when it comes to tutorial videos. I will have to say my favorite resources in building my career are my fellow colleagues! I have received so much help and guidance, from my peers and mentors, that has allowed me to succeed in my career. 

What advice do you have for people interested in pursuing a career in STEM?   

I will say that for the people who are interested in pursuing a career in STEM to have a researcher’s mindset. What I mean by that is to ask questions, never stop learning and to not be afraid to experiment and innovate. 

Melissa Flores, an Associate Frontend Engineer, and former Cadent Intern, helps to build, enhance, and improve the user interface of Cadent’s platform applications. 

Did you always know you wanted to work in a STEM-related role?  

I didn’t – I began my college career majoring in business. However, I soon realized that this field was not the right fit for me and started to explore other career paths. During this moment of my life, I felt lost and didn’t know what direction I would be headed. I only knew two things — that I loved creativity and innovation. From there, I spent days and nights exploring other potential professions, researching, and watching videos. That’s when I stumbled upon software engineering, and more specifically, frontend development. I was immediately captivated by this role’s combination of creativity and technology. Soon after, I declared my major in Computer Science and a minor in Graphic Design. My knowledge and education in these two areas helped me land a role in the STEM field.  

Are there any resources you have found valuable to building your career?  

Some resources I found valuable are websites like Udemy, FreeCodeCamp, Stack Overflow and roadmap.sh – a website that provides roadmaps for a specific field, guiding new developers on what path to take. I also like to explore the internet to read blogs about recent tech developments and people sharing their firsthand experiences.  

What advice do you have for people interested in pursuing a career in STEM? 

Pursuing a career in STEM takes passion and grit. It’s important that you project these passions into learning new technologies, building or designing new projects. The journey to a career in STEM consists of many moments of doubt and struggle but having a dedicated support system will help you through. Build a strong network of people who will empower and lead you in the right direction is particularly important, especially if you are a woman in this male-dominant field. In terms of looking for jobs, go where you are valued and identify your mentors and role models. Lastly, recognize that failure is a step forward, not backwards! It is a necessary part of the journey, helping you improve and become better at your craft. And while you apply these tips, don’t forget to take care and be kind to yourself! At the end of the day, your wellbeing is what matters the most. Trust in yourself and your desire to make a difference in this world. 

Stephen DeFusco, a Data Architect, works on a team that focuses on solving big data and big data processing problems in the cloud. In his previous role at Cadent, Stephen was a software engineer, building software and databases still used throughout the organization today. 

Did you always know you wanted to work in a STEM-related role? 

In high school, physics and mathematics were by far my best subjects, and teachers encouraged me to take computer programming courses. It took two programming courses in basic and visual basic (in 1999, mind you) for me to decide that a career in computer science was for me! I appreciated the fact that there were many ways to solve programming problems and that there was a bit of an art to it. I was genuinely interested in understanding how things worked, much like someone taking apart an electronic device to see what’s inside or building a computer from scratch. 

Are there any resources you have found valuable to building your career?  

Experience in solving real world problems was a major factor in my growth as a programmer. For younger people, I would highly recommend things like coding camps or robotics camps. For those entering college, having an internship or co-op where you apply the theories you’re learning in school was most valuable for me. Other helpful resources were websites sharing knowledge and techniques about programming patterns like codeproject.com. 

What advice do you have for people interested in pursuing a career in STEM? 

Do as much research as you can about a career you think you might be interested in. Then, do your best to find a friend, family member, or acquaintance currently in that career who can talk to you about their job. Try to understand their day to day, the tools they use, the problems they solve, and simply get a feel for it. Try and work in your field while in school whenever you can – like I mentioned before, internships and co-ops are great experiences, but pet projects can broaden your understanding, too. Fully dedicate yourself to school and learn as much as possible while you’re there. It can be a competitive field, so aim to separate yourself from the pack. 

Tien Nguyen, a Software Engineer, supports front-end development for our Unified Creative team. Tien is a former intern that has been with Cadent full-time for over a year and was recently promoted! 

Did you always know you wanted to work in a STEM-related role?    

I always knew that I wanted to do something within STEM, just didn’t know what. When I took a CS course in High school, that was when I was confident that I wanted to pursue CS. 

Are there any resources you have found valuable to building your career?  

Some resources that I found valuable were just networking with people who worked in this field. It was helpful to hear about the experiences of those already in the industry. Also take advantage of the school career fairs. There are a bunch of companies looking for interns or new hires – that is how I got my start at Cadent!

What advice do you have for people interested in pursuing a career in STEM?   

Having a career in STEM can be rewarding, but it can easily lead to burn out. To avoid this, make sure you enjoy what you are doing. 

Learn more about life at Cadent and see available roles on our Careers page. 

How an Award-Winning Data-Driven TV Strategy Drove Sales Success for Applegate

In recent years, the CPG industry has been met with a variety of challenges. From lingering supply chain issues to rising costs associated with inflation to competition among emerging brands, to changing consumer preferences.  

Recent research from McKinsey & Company indicated that several key trends are top of mind for consumers: 

  • 45% of consumers plan to find more ways to save money when shopping  
  • 29% of consumers will actively research the best promotions more frequently 
  • 40% of consumers plan to increase their focus on healthy eating and nutrition 

As a result of these industry-wide changes, CPG companies are seeking ways to stand out from the crowd and rethinking their marketing strategy to reach shoppers at critical points on the path to purchase. Among the innovative ways to reach shoppers, Connected TV (CTV) has emerged as an invaluable tool.  

Applegate’s Challenge 

Over the past two years, Applegate’s diverse range of products has steadily generated increased sales. For this campaign, Applegate was looking for a way to efficiently continue to acquire new buyers, bring back lapsed buyers, and defend loyal customers – all while driving cross-category purchases across their entire portfolio.

• Increase customer acquisition  
• Boost customer loyalty  
• Lift sales and dollars spent per customer  
• Improve campaign efficiency

To boost sales, Applegate would need to find a creative way to reach and engage these customers. 

The Solution 

By partnering with Cadent and Catalina, Applegate was able to implement a targeted and cost-effective CTV campaign.  

The Plan 

Together, Cadent and Catalina developed a sequential messaging strategy to deliver household-level targeted CTV ads to 4.2MM existing and new shoppers. By monitoring consumption and purchase behavior in real time, they were able to activate a responsive marketing approach to promotions.  

Shoppers who were exposed to 3 CTV ads but did not make a purchase received an in-store offer to try the new Applegate product. On the other hand, shoppers who were exposed to the ads but did make a purchase did not receive the initial offer and were instead delivered a promotion to try other products, with the aim of expanding these customers’ share of wallet.  

The Results 

Through CTV ad impressions and in-store sequential offers, the campaign generated a significant return on ad spend (ROAS) and sales lift, as well as providing Applegate with powerful buyer insights.  

By The Numbers
• $2.13 Incremental ROAS 
• 24.9% Sales Lift42% Increase in Dollars Spent Per Transaction$250,000 in Savings through Targeted Promotions

This strategic activation drove a 24.9% lift in sales and a 42% increase in dollars spent by customers per shopping trip. The campaign also resulted in an impressive $250k in promotional savings.   

Recently, the campaign earned the 2022 AdExchanger Award for Best Data-Driven TV Campaign. 

Next Steps 

Want to learn more about how Cadent and Catalina partnered for Applegate’s CTV and responsive marketing campaign?