Mission North’s Allison Gittings on the Agency’s Integrated Studio and Helping Clients Reach New Audiences

Senior Director of Strategy, Allison Gittings

Between economic uncertainty and the pandemic recovery, 2022 posed unique challenges for many companies. As a result, we saw brands shift their strategy, defund marketing initiatives, and adjust their approach to brand building. Coupled with media preferences continuing to evolve, marketing and communications leaders faced new hurdles. Here at Mission North, we’ve recognized these developments, and we’ve moved to unify our internal teams to better equip our agency and our clients for success. We’re now deepening traditional media campaigns and providing more value by making sure audiences see our earned efforts across social channels, experimenting with new content formats like live streaming, and reaching new audiences with paid media, to name a few.

This work falls under our Integrated Studio, led by members of the Content Studio, Digital, Design, and Research & Insights teams. This collaborative powerhouse is having a big impact, and we are confident this work will help companies break through in 2023. To better understand our integrated efforts and what that might mean for clients, we sat down with Allison Gittings, senior director of strategy here at Mission North (who’s responsible for building the collaborative threads across the organization). She described a bit about herself and the evolution of this team since 2022, as well as the impressive results they’re already seeing.

Here’s what she shared:

To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your role at Mission North?

I’ve been working in PR and marketing since 2011. I’ve always been fascinated by psychology, the power of working together, and human motivation. After majoring in Psychology at Bucknell, I went on to get my master’s at Georgetown University where I dug deeper into how this translated into marketing and communications.

My husband says I am a marketer’s dream – I actively laugh out loud at commercials – I’m thinking Progressive and Liberty Mutual – and am easily persuaded by advertising. I love to analyze marketing strategy and have long appreciated the value of storytelling. I also enjoy helping brands bring this story to life. Over the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to work on some of the biggest advertising campaigns of my career and I’ve loved the challenge of moving audiences toward a collective goal. That’s what we’re focused on for our clients, and also what we’re doing across our Integrated Studio. I’m a huge believer that a smart strategy with multiple touchpoints can move the needle for any group.

Personally, I am just a lover of life – the outdoors, yoga, handstands, good food and good people. And of course, I try to bring this positive energy to our integrated team.

<split-lines>"I’m a huge believer that a smart strategy with multiple touchpoints can move the needle for any group."<split-lines>

Picking back up with the integrated work, can you explain the vision behind the studio and how you think it can help brands build new audiences?

Last summer, we refocused and reintroduced the studio across the agency. While not a completely new concept, we evolved how we collaborate and we’re taking a more holistic approach to strategic planning. We’ve put more rigor behind our structure, skill-building, and outputs to ensure the highest quality and caliber of work.

By taking the time to refine tools and resources, and develop skills and capacity needed to execute strong results, we’ve found incredible new opportunities to complement the PR and thought leadership work our team is already doing. This means we’re pushing our clients to take a step back and think more strategically about how they can broaden their marketing efforts. Whether that is promoting their attendance at events, extending the life of their content, getting more eyeballs on their PR, generating leads or extending their reach into new audiences, we’re approaching this work with a more holistic mindset.

This is already paying dividends for our clients. Through our ‘Surprise and Delight’ program, we show our clients what we can do free of charge, allowing us to test performance and stretch our strategic thinking and break through in the crowded tech market. There’s always room to break new ground, and that’s the mantra for this team.

<split-lines>"There’s always room to break new ground, and that’s the mantra for this team."<split-lines>

Since last summer, what types of projects have you worked on?

The best thing about working at an agency is that there’s always something new and exciting to work on. At Mission North, it’s even more exciting because our client mix in the science and tech space gives us access to some of the most exciting brands shaping our future. 

Since last summer, we’ve accomplished some pretty incredible things with smart content strategy, paid media, and creative support – all based on a research-driven approach. We know that through these efforts, clients are getting their messaging in front of the right audiences at the right time.

Here are some highlights from a few projects that have brought our cross-functional team to life: 

  • Amplified an IPO moment for a client across earned, print media, out-of-home (OOH), digital and social
  • Generated over 15 billion impressions around a major regulatory milestone for another, increasing web traffic by more than 1,000%
  • Created media moments hosted on LinkedIn Live, elevating our client’s thought leadership on key topics in the tech space
  • Revamped a client’s paid social strategy, resulting in a 300% increase in impressions 
  • Implemented a new social strategy for another client, increasing organic followers by 140% and engagement by 20%. Minimal paid boosting drove another 600,000-plus impressions and more than 3,000 clicks
  • We also launched our first TikTok for a pro-bono client
<split-lines>"At Mission North, [this work is very] exciting because our client mix in the science and tech space gives us access to some of the most exciting brands shaping our future."<split-lines>

Finally, is there anything else you’d like to share about the studio or what has you excited about the next 12 months?

I am so proud of this team’s commitment to collaboration, openness to learn, innate curiosity and drive to provide the best results for our clients. Last year, we ran over 50 digitally integrated programs, and hosted 16 agency-wide trainings, among other milestones. We have some exciting and challenging work ahead of us, but I know that through these efforts, we’re not only growing our own business, but we’re measurably moving the needle for our clients – expanding their reach beyond the capabilities of traditional one-off campaigns.

We’re looking forward to what’s in store for 2023, and I encourage teams to reach out to us to learn more about how we can partner strategically to address some of the most pressing challenges of the day – all through our unique brand of storytelling and creativity.

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