If there was a prize for “Most Organized”, it might go to Kaitlyn Belafonte who describes herself as, “a little bit OCD”. But, her colleagues prefer to describe her as a very organized person who is super helpful, no matter what the question is.
Those are certainly two great traits to have in the account management profession! Her organized personality and love for travel perhaps have been influenced by her dad who was in the military. So although she was born in Montana, she grew up in Florida, North Carolina and Arizona as they moved around a lot. Meet a LiveIntenter, Kaitlyn Belafonte – Director, Account Management Media. She and her team manage accounts which include Hearst Magazines, CBS and NBC, Wenner Media and WebMD.
What led you to LiveIntent?
I started off my career as a media buyer and a client of LiveIntent. When I decided to move to NYC, my account manager reached out to refer me for an open position. A few interviews later, and after moving cross country from San Diego, I found myself sitting in the colorful office of LiveIntent!
Has your perception about email changed since working for LiveIntent and what does people-based marketing mean to you?
Not at all. I knew the value of email in my career from the get-go. My previous boss was an email FANATIC (looking at you Corey O’neal), and a good chunk of what I did in media buying was in the email space. It has been fun educating advertisers and publishers about the power of email and what it can do to take their businesses to the next level. I believe the email address is also the key to people-based marketing and in reaching consumers on that one-to-one level which is what all brands and publishers desire. Cookies just aren’t enough!
How did you get into this industry?
I went to school for business with a concentration in marketing. My first job out of college was in San Francisco at One Kings Lane, where I worked in customer support and supply chain. I was looking to get my foot in the door, even if it had nothing to do with advertising. After I had some professional experience under my belt, I applied for every advertising or marketing job I could find. I finally hit gold and moved to San Diego, where I was hired as a media buyer at the start-up, Zeeto Media. It was such a good experience working at a thriving start-up, because I got to wear LOTS of hats, and that helped to greatly expand my experiences in the industry.
Congrats on your new promotion! Any advice for people entering the account management field specifically?
Put your blood, sweat, and tears into everything!
No, but really, the most important thing people need to remember is to not be afraid to do things outside of their job description. The best learning experiences I have ever had involved me taking on responsibilities that had nothing to do with my day-to-day. Finally, you can give the best account support if you treat all your clients like your mom. Let’s face it, everyone goes above and beyond to please their mom!
What are three things most people don’t know about you?
1. I won a multiplication bee in 4th grade. Most people would not know that, because I am TERRIBLE at doing mental math now. I’ll admit it – Excel has ruined me!
2. I have two amazing dogs and a billion outfits for each. They are both rescues and their names are Patrick Swayze and Louie. Patrick is sharp as a tack and Louie is a bundle of love. To this day, we are not convinced that Louie knows his name, but he cuddles his heart out to make up for it.
3. Most people don’t know I was born in Montana. Recently I was sitting in a Montana airport and felt like an outcast, because I was not sporting a ten-gallon hat. Do people know what a ten-gallon hat is, or do I just know that because I’m from Montana?
Tell us about one of your proudest moments?
I am really proud of how many major cities I have lived and worked in. I wonder how many more I will be able to cross off before I retire.
What do you enjoy most when you’re not working?
My fiancé and I really enjoy going to concerts and trying new restaurants. I think we have about 8 different shows lined up this summer that we are really excited about. We also have a list of about 100 restaurants we want to try in NYC (Don’t even get me started on other cities). This week we are going to Ivan Ramen, which was featured in the Netflix original, Chef’s Table. Let’s see if it stands up to the hype!
What book or movie best describes your life?
All my favorite books are about serial killers or other murder mysteries, so hopefully those do not describe my life. I took two online quizzes and got Legally Blonde and The Sound of Music – I am unclear if either of those are accurate. Although, sometimes I do wish I was a spunky lawyer with a dog in my purse or nanny who takes care of a family of singers.