Talent Champion – Katie Ferrigno

Talent Champion Spotlight

2022 AEF Talent Champion - Katie Ferrigno

Katie Ferrigno
Director of Social Strategy
Ogilvy

Seasoned digital marketing professional, entrepreneur, and AEF Campus Speaker since 2017, Katie brings a wealth of experience in social strategy and branding. Katie has led some category-challenging work on the Merck business (like “Periodic Odyssey,” a science education focused Minecraft world, “Born to Invent” highlighting Merck employees’ passion for science and Pride 2021, “Care Takes a Community” advocating for LGBTQ+ health care equity.) and now leads the Health & Wellness social strategy department at Ogilvy.

Before Ogilvy, Katie worked on the J&J portfolio at DDB, the Ulta Beauty business at McCann, Dos Equis, Benefiber, and Prevacid at Havas – and many others – all in addition to two entrepreneurial consulting ventures.

 

What prompted you to get involved with the AEF?

A coworker of mine at the time complimented my leadership managing an intern and mentioned I might be a great campus speaker. I’ve always loved teaching others, so I reached out.

Why are you passionate about the future of the industry?

It’s such a nebulous world, advertising. You learn at 1000mph and hope you pick it up as you go. And every now and then you’ll meet a kind person that just wants to share what they know and it makes a big impact on your career. I’m so thankful to have experienced that so may different times and I wondered where I’d be if I hadn’t had that perspective. It made me want to pass it forward to as many others as I can so it’s less of a challenge to learn it all while you’re in the role versus getting the cogs turning early. For the love of the work.

What is the best career advice you've ever received?

People like to work with people they like. Just be good at what you do and be kind as you do it.

Why do you feel it is so important to inspire the next generation of diverse talent?

Advertising is a reflection of culture. So much of it is about understanding the consumer. How can you reach people if you don’t really know who they are or what they need and want?

Beyond that, it’s so accessible. Media is powerful for that reason. So we need to be responsible with it. Everyone has a place in it.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I learn for a living! How amazing is it that I get to intimately know so many brands and help them achieve their goals simply by learning – about the brand itself, the people they exist to serve, the category in which they do it, the culture in which it all takes place. Learning enough to inspire a team of thinkers and writers and makers to translate a brief into something beautiful; something that moves someone, makes someone laugh, help someone feel seen.

What advice would you give to students as they consider entering the industry?

Your experience is your own. If you are committed to learning all the time, thinking on many levels at once, and finding the joy in producing good, impactful work, you’re in for the ride of your life.

"I developed a much higher respect for social marketing by seeing the value and complexity of this function which seemed very ambiguous to me before."
— Student at Boston College after AEF sent speakers from DigitasLBi