The immediacy of digital strategy

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Venessa Jeswani 08BBA, manager of digital strategy at BBDO, NYC

Immediately after a power outage caused a bank of lights to go out in the Superdome during this year’s Super Bowl, the creative team at Oreo jumped into action. Within minutes, the team tweeted a photo of a partially obscured Oreo cookie – mimicking the scene at the Superdome – and the phrase: “Power Out? No Problem. You can still drunk in the dark.”

On a night when 30-second television spots set advertisers back as much as $3.8 million, the 11 word, no cost, real-time tweet stole the show.  It’s the kind of immediate impact that makes digital strategy so exciting, explained Venessa Jeswani 08BBA, manager of digital strategy at BBDO, NYC.  Positioned at the intersection of strategic management and marketing and business strategy, digital strategy draws on a clear understanding of an organization’s vision, goals, and advantages to maximize the effect – and business benefits – of digital initiatives.

At BBDO, Jeswani analyzes “what content people are engaging with and what they’re doing with it” across various digital platforms.  After gathering data, she drives insights and provides BBDO’s creative team with an additional, analytically informed perspective. “I get to use my analytical skills set to develop big picture strategies,” she says.

Given the relative newness of digital strategy, it’s not surprising that every member of BBDO’s 12-member digital strategy team is under the age of thirty. Perhaps more surprising is the client Jeswani is currently charged with assisting: ExxonMobil, the world’s largest company by revenue, and one whose history predates the invention of the automobile.  These days Jeswani’s job is to help the corporatation ensure that its online presence is relevant and accessible for users across all devices, especially mobile, so consumers can access real-time, relevant information about its products.

Prior to joining BBDO, Jeswani held a similar position at Digitas. She began her career at Ogilvy & Mather and while there recognized that “digital was the way to go.” Emory connections helped Jeswani land a summer internship Ogilvy that morphed into a full-time job. “Emory gave me a foot in the door,” she says.  The Emory network also gave her a base in her new city.  Several alums worked alongside Jeswani at Ogilvy, and she became a regular at Emory alumni and industry events in Manhattan.

It didn’t take long for Jeswani to fall in love with the city. From exploring new restaurants to working with Free Arts NYC, an organization that provides underserved children and families with arts, crafts, and mentoring programs, Jeswani was hooked.

On her Twitter page, Jeswani describes herself as of “Indian descent, Manila born, Barbados heritage.” She grew up in the Philippines, and her grandparents currently live in Barbados – a place Jeswani might begin visiting more often to check off an item on her to-do list: surfing. “I love water sports and adventure sports,” she says.  Jeswani has been skydiving, scuba diving, cliff diving, and parasailing, but she has yet to surf. If flying to Barbados to hang ten with her grandparents isn’t an easy option, there’s always the Jersey Shore.

-Allison Shirreffs

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