Quad’s Gwen Maass on why flexibility is the new norm

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Quad is a leading marketing solutions partner that uses its unique integrated marketing platform to help marketers and content creators improve efficiencies and effectiveness. Gwen Maass, a new member of the Alliance for Audited Media’s board of directors, serves as vice president of media services at Quad. Here she shares insights about Quad’s evolution, the value of audited print media and the pandemic’s long-term impact on media buying.

AAM: Tell us about your role at Quad.

Gwen Maass: Many people probably know Quad as a printer, but in recent years we’ve acquired several agencies and evolved into a marketing solutions company. My job is to integrate the legacy media offering from within those agencies, continue our evolution by strengthening it and ultimately compete as a full-service media agency that offers comprehensive end-to-end solutions.

For the second year in a row, Quad was recognized as a top 25 agency by Ad Age, and I’m proud of that and proud that we’re bringing a different type of agency to the market.

I’m also proud of the efforts Quad has taken in the diversity, equity and inclusion space. We have robust education and support programs to help people manage and lead in an inclusive manner. I think it has helped employees feel valued, given us a sense of belonging and freed everyone to join in and become part of a greater purpose.

AAM: How did you get involved with AAM?

Gwen Maass: I’ve been in the industry for 25 years and I’ve always known about AAM. As a young person in the industry, we were trained on using audits to ensure we were giving our clients the very best information by using the gold standard of rigor.

We’re at a pivotal time in media with service providers to the print industry working to expand and reinvent themselves. When the opportunity arose to join the AAM board, I was excited to help provide guidance to move AAM forward, and to be the voice of agencies and our clients in that process.

AAM: Are you seeing any long-lasting impacts from the pandemic?

Gwen Maass: 2020 was the year where everything shut down, and 2021 is the year where we try to find the right balance, compensate for disruptions last year, or continue to build on successes. The trend is there is no trend because everyone is just trying to figure it out. Our plans are being reviewed weekly and monthly, not quarterly. We’re moving faster and developing plans that are flexible versus static over a period of time.

AAM: How do you share data with your clients?

Gwen Maass: Data is the name of the game right now. Our clients expect us to deliver a plan that has data to back it up. It is embedded in everything we do. AAM’s Media Intelligence Center is a great place for us to start to make sure we’re getting the best possible data and the media team uses it daily.

AAM: What do you find valuable about audited print data?

Gwen Maass: When we choose newspapers for a plan, there is a hierarchy. Audited paid circulation is at the top and those that fall outside of the hierarchy frequently don’t get chosen.

To learn more about how buyers interact with AAM verified data, check out this media buying infographic at auditedmedia.com.

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