EP358: Unlock Growth with Strategic Media Solutions With Alison Mayes


Table Of Contents


Alison's Journey: From Top Brands to Independent Success

Can someone transition from managing a large agency with over 75 employees to working at a startup with fewer than 10? The answer is, yes and Alison Mayes, the managing director at Apollo Partners, knows all the ins and outs on how to make that happen. 

Drawing upon her extensive experience working at prominent agencies for several years, Alison leveraged her expertise to establish her own startup. She now offers effective strategies that drive clients' businesses to unparalleled heights of success. In this blog, Hollywood Branded highlights the differences in approach between independent and large agencies, emphasizing the importance of building trust-based relationships to avoid marketing mistakes.


A Little More About Alison

Alison's extensive 15-year career in renowned agencies such as Starcom, Maxus, Horizon, OMD, and Essence has equipped her with a wealth of knowledge in media strategy, client service, and branded content. With her remarkable achievements, including spearheading media for the Pepsi account and bringing the Mountain Dew League to life, Alison has proven herself as an influential figure in the industry.

She also champions female mentorship and support within the media and tech sectors

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Interview Transcript Highlights

Stacy: How did you get here today after working for all those top brands and then turning to be an independent after going through all that work? 

Alison: When I was a child, my dad actually had a creative agency he ran out of Manhattan. So, I was always kind exposed to the advertising industry as a whole, much more obviously from the creative side of it. 

BUT! I did not inherit the creativity side and I am terrible with design, so don't trust me with photoshop. I always was interested in advertising and took the first media class at my college and  shore lots of people saw the description and saw " media math" and said, " sign me up thats so interesting."

And from there, I just have this connection that I found really exciting. You can understand how a consumer clicks and decides on brand over another and what they value, so you can actually match that. Also with what they are doing in their daily lives to actually reach them which is really the core of what we do in this industry. 

But ya, it was a big transition from running a large agency background and large team I managed at Essence ( 75 people) to then to move to a small " quote on quote" startup media agency was a big change. 

Stacy: Working with clients now, what is the difference in the approach from an independent to a large agency? How are you coming to the table to change the approach? 

Alison: My philosophy has always been, because it is very relationship driven, to be honest. Sometimes you have to say no. You can provide an alternative or a solution, absolutely, but in order for a client to really trust you, they need to know you are going to give a push back and then maybe they will want to go into a partnership or you know partner on the plan that really doesn't make sense for them.

We need to be able to rely back on that trust building relationship that, "I don't recommend this and it is not right for your business."  

Stacy: With your team, how is it been working with a smaller team or does it feel the same? 

Alison: No it is great! We have a huge success. Because we are spread out, which I think is a lot more of the normal in the post Covid world, where I actually appreciate and have flexibility to work from home or we have WEWORK locations. 

One of the things that we are able to do is make quick decisions and actions against that stuff and really make decisions on the fly and do quickly with a core set. 

Stacy: What is it that you see is happening right now for younger women in the space? 

Alison: I am proud to say the industry is changing. I will couch that with the fact that, you know, do I think it is changing enough? NO! Is it changing dramatically as I would like it too? Also, NO! 

But, I do see some change which is overall positive I would say. I entered the large scale media agency world 15+ years ago and there were a lot of women in the lower or like mid tier runs of the leadership ladder but everyone up above was heavily male and you know, homogeneous I would say, and I have seen a lot of success in seeing change and I do think it is a long road but I think it is really important for we as women, see one another in those places and support in those places. 

Little Snippet of Alison on Marketing Mistakes (+ How to Avoid Them)

Stacy: So Alison, how can our listeners find out more about y'all? 

Alison: You can find us on Apollo Partners. We are very active on our LinkedIn and we look forward too engaging with you guys there!

Check Out The Podcast!

Women in the marketing industry can be tough but with empowering founders like Stacy and Alison, they show a new light on how to break through this space. If you're eager to learn about the media world and how to help brands grow successful, listen to our podcast below!

Every week we have a marketing professional on our show to share their tips, tricks and lessons learned from their professional experience. Check out some of our other podcast blogs from earlier this year: 

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