Interview with Angelica Garcia

Join me as I have a conversation with Angelica Garcia, Vice President, Strategy and Planning at Acento Advertising in Los Angeles. As she shares her 3 pieces of advice for a strategist, her strategy journey, and what she found most helpful in joining The Planning Dirty Academy.

Hello, I’m Julian Cole. And I’m here with Angelica Garcia. Who’s vice president and director of strategy at a Cento advertising in LA. Thank you so much for coming along, Angelica and having a chat today. Firstly, I’d love to hear what are your three pieces of advice for strategists? I have, yes, I have three and maybe you’ve heard this a lot, but number one is read a lot, but not necessarily just about strategy.

So find another interest. For example, one thing that that is my interest is science physics, so that I read a lot of that. And then now it’s behavioral economics. So it’s read a lot of different topics, not all about strategy. That’s number one. Number two. It’s very fair, very to speak quiet. It’s learning to listen because sometimes we, I I’ve found that a lot of strategies think they’re the smartest in the room and they don’t listen to what’s going on.

And I have a hard time playing off the cuff remarks. When do you expose me? So I have to think about things and then react to things. So be quiet and listen, take it in. And then you can think about it. And the third one is, is just take notes. For example, walking around the street, something might spark an idea, or you saw now that I’m like, that’s an interesting thing.

Or you see someone doing something weird, but that might be an insight that you might use later. Voice notes, writing stuff. I love it. I I’ve always thought that, that I need to get into voice notes. I’ve never done it, but I’m like, I definitely someone who needs to do it. But yeah, I have, I do have the 4:00 AM thoughts though, where I’ve got to write them down and like, get them out of my brain and then go back to sleep.

But I love it. That’s great advice. And I would love to hear you, your background. How did you, how did you get to a center and, and. Kind of director of strategy that what’s your, what’s your path? I took a very, I took a very long road. I started in Mexico. I studied advertising. So I knew advertising was my thing since college.

So I started marketing there. I went into gray advertising as account services. Many years ago, then I went to the client as brand, as brand manager. And then I got married, then moved to the U S. And then started again in advertising and account services, but I’ve always been good with numbers and things like that.

So, the account, the media director wanted me to go to media. So I went to media as media planner, and then years later he said we should, but then I missed a great of part of it, right. Because I lost the creative. So we went to media and then he said, we need to start our own account planning department at the agency that was at Orsi.

Like I said, there were C and I’m like, okay, let’s do it. So that’s how I came into, into account planning. So sales part, I haven’t, and that’s why I looked for so many resources because I haven’t had a school of account planning. So it’s just different disciplines getting me to this. And then just moving along the ranks.

I love it. It’s, everyone’s got their kind of own journey in and out. And I feel like the lucky thing for you is you’ve been both sides of the fence as agency and then brand as well. And I have to think that that’s media and media. Yeah, triples right there. So not anymore with, with the way the things are complicated.

Now it’s a whole different ball game. Yeah, totally. And you’ve been, one of the oldest members in the, academy you’ve been around since September, 2019, I believe. Oh, wow. I didn’t know that. Yeah. That’s good. What, what have you found most valuable about the academy so far? At the beginning. And I think that’s why I joined because again, self thoughts, I’m always looking for other ways to learn things.

So it was all the basics. The reading lists, I thought were genius. The ones you have for each level of strategists. I’m like, okay. Read all the ones at the bottom. I’m missing like a on top. So that was my beginning of it. Then the frameworks just save a lot of time because how you’re always thinking, how do I represent this?

And they’re like, oh, there’s 500 frameworks. There are a hundred frameworks. Let’s see. And then you find it. And then, the latest one is the big T. Yeah, because I always, uh, with the evolution of how planning is, and then you have comms planning and then you have digital planners that you have so much specialization that sometimes I get scared that I’m falling behind, but I’m not.

And so that’s gives me a lot of the thinking, okay. If I know about all these things, and then I, I push it forward, then I’m a mom. I’m okay. As long as I have enough people that know those things better than me. Yup. Excellent. Thank you so much, Angelica. I really appreciate it. Taking some time, I love the advice.

Talk to you soon.


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