Hi, my name is Niki DeCou and I work at Horizon Media.
I joined Horizon after working at a full service digital agency for seven years. For the past four years, I’ve worked in the Brand Strategy team, evolving from a digital focused strategist to VP, Brand Group Director.
When I first arrived at Horizon, I felt a little lost. After having been at the same agency for seven years, everything at Horizon was new and the digital strategist role was relatively undefined. But I had the opportunity to create my own adventure. I was immediately struck by both the involvement of senior level leadership in managing client relationships day in day out, and by the non-existent bureaucracy and red tape. The adventure was on…
On day 42, I was presenting the upfront (an annual media plan with hundreds of millions of dollars in spend) to a major client (and doing deep breathing exercises). Three months in we were changing ad-servers for another client. These are examples of important meetings and large scale endeavors that normally take years to get involved in and systems updates that normally take months or years to change. Not the case at Horizon.
From the get go, the investment teams were extremely helpful in getting me up to speed and making me a feel a part of the team. I distinctly remember a meeting with my boss and other senior brand strategy colleagues where they guided me to make digital a part of the planning process from the top down, making it clear that digital was everyone’s responsibility on the team, versus a siloed effort.
In the short term, I was able to build a team of ‘digital’ strategists and ultimately now I have a team of strategists that work across all channels seamlessly, building out holistic integrations with networks like Turner and ESPN and doing digital programmatic deals within the upfront. This has enabled me to achieve my goal of overseeing holistic planning. I came to Horizon with a vision that included infusing my digital experience into the brand strategy team and in turn, learning the ‘traditional’ media strategy side of the business. The open and collaborative culture at Horizon made that achievable for me.
Being welcomed into meetings, conversations and projects outside my specific roles and responsibilities helped me build relationships, and learn and grow in ways that would not be possible in other more bureaucratic environments.
Horizon Life means… breaking down barriers.