In this installment of DMW’s “5 Questions With” we speak with Starz’ Chief Marketing Officer Alison Hoffman, who is speaking at NY Media Festival on September 29. In her role, Alison spearheads consumer and affiliate marketing for the network, leading all facets of marketing strategy and planning for the brand, the STARZ app and the original productions, including digital and social marketing, creative strategy and media planning. This year, Alison and her teams worked to build a master brand strategy for STARZ and repositioned the network as a destination for acclaimed and diverse original programming.
“Alison has been instrumental in the success of the company’s original programming expansion and building the Starz brand. Alison is a talented marketing executive who brings a wealth of expertise to the position,” said Starz CEO Chris Albrecht.
Alison was named Multichannel News’ “Women to Watch” and CableFax’s Social Media Marketer of the Year. She has been invited to speak at several events/conferences including The Cablefax Multiscreen Summit in March, 2016 as well as VentureBeat’s #growthbeat event and Promax in 2015. Together with the Head of Strategy at Facebook, the focus of their presentation was innovative ways to use social media to drive TV discovery and measurable results.
She joined Starz in 2012 after serving as Vice President of Creative and Brand Strategy at AMC Networks where she was a key architect of award-winning marketing campaigns for series such as “Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead.”
Digital Media Wire was excited for the opportunity to speak with Alison about early challenges in her career, her mentors, and what the future holds for Starz. Read the full interview below.
1.What are some of the early challenges you overcame early on in your career?
My first job out of college was management consulting and it just wasn’t for me. I had to wend my way, job by job, into entertainment marketing, which meant a lot of years of not doing something I loved. But I’ve learned that a career path is not linear and as long as you’re getting closer (even by inches) to your goal, then you’re on the right track.
2. How do you go about interacting with and growing fan bases of Starz Original Series?
Our fundamental philosophy in building a fan base for our shows is that every fan deserves a story. And, in telling that story, every detail and every interaction matters. So whether you are a superfan or a casual viewer, we interact with you in a unique and very specific way. Ultimately, we’re working to unlock your interest with inspired and tailored campaigns that compel you to view.
3. Did you have any important mentors throughout your career?
Linda Schupack, head of marketing at AMC, hired me just as the network was filming its first original production. I had no TV or entertainment background, but she gave me a chance and then supported me throughout my tenure at the network.
Also, Chris Albrecht (Starz CEO and President) has been a great mentor to me. I’ve learned a lot about how to be a strong leader from Chris and also honed my creative skills immensely working for him.
4. How do you personally manage your time?
Things get a bit crazy trying to balance kids and career. Luckily there’s an app for that. It’s called Cozi and it’s helped a lot.
5. What is next for your company?
In the past year, we’ve rebranded, launched an OTT product and had some of our most successful show launches to date. We are hoping to continue to grow the STARZ subscriber base on whichever platform they choose to watch. In an era of unprecedented competition, fragmentation and disruption, we believe Starz is uniquely positioned to compete and thrive.