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Q&A with Stephanie Gutnik

Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Stephanie Gutnik, Doctoral Candidate in emerging media.

Let’s start with a brief recap of your career path.

I feel fortunate for my career to date in the advertising technology industry, where I have held executive-level sales, business development, marketing and strategy roles at publicly-traded and privately-held companies. I am often brought into newly created roles, allowing me to identify and organize a business as if it were a puzzle, which I very much enjoy. I have travelled the world to meet clients, open offices and engage in public speaking, and have lived in multiple cities as a result. In addition to my day job, I participate in association and philanthropic work. Currently, I am on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Association of New York and the DSE Advisory Board, and am Co-Chair of the OAAA Innovations Committee. Holding a Bachelor of Arts from McGill and a MBA, I will soon be receiving a doctorate on emerging media.

Based on your experience, which digital innovation trends are becoming more important in 2023?

2023 has been quite a year for digital innovation! Privacy regulations and features are being implemented by governments and tech companies worldwide. These are helping to ensure that consumers are aware of their rights when using technology and consuming media, and enabling them to provide consent for their valuable data. Said regulations are also provoking a shift in the ad tech landscape toward more direct engagements between advertisers and consumers instead of a large swath of touch points, which is why we are seeing concepts like retail media networks emerge and flourish. The efficiency that comes from eliminating unnecessary noise and players is also being mandated by the economic climate we are in and a push toward more sustainable corporate and consumer behaviour. Sustainability efforts cannot be understated. Finally, AI will likely be (one of) the most loaded and transformational two-letter words of this decade.

How can these trends create high value for organizations?

The most important aspect of applying any digital innovation to a business is fully understanding what the innovation actually is and what it does, and clearly defining how it will solve business problems or inefficiencies. A lot of time and money will be wasted if a company adopts innovative technology for the sake of being “current” instead of for an intentional purpose. The organization needs to either hire or train employees to conduct the necessary due diligence on whether to bring in a vendor partner or build a proprietary solution. Expertise will also be needed by the operational teams using said technology and all of the employees involved in the go-to-market part of selling a product or service influenced by this technology. In addition, the impact of any newly adopted innovation should be measured throughout the process. In summary, education is key across the company so everyone understands the value of digital innovation and can work to apply and extract its value where it makes sense in the organization.

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