How did you get started in advertising? What's been your career road map?
After earning a degree in Economics and Accounting from UCSB, I spent the first two years of my career in Accounting at Conversant. My career in Accounting was progressing well, but I felt I was underutilizing other skill sets I possessed. So I looked to make a change. Luckily, I was working for an AdTech company at the time and was able to move into and Account Manager role on the media team.
After a little over a year, I was promoted to Account Executive (AE). I spent a little over two years in an AE role with my prior company before joining Adelphic-Viant as a Senior Account Executive about a year ago.
What has been a surprising lesson you've learned so far in your career?
I’ve learned that emotional intelligence is one of the most important traits to possess and consistently work on. When I was younger, my thought process was very linear: Work Hard > Get Promoted > Make More Money > Success. However, there will be so many highs and lows during your career that learning how to treat people and react to situations during the lows becomes more important than your behavior during the highs in regard to your long-term success.
What keeps you motivated? Do you have a motto?
I’ve found the happiest people I have come across in my life are those who continue to strive for progress. So, my motivation every day is to make progress whether that be professionally, mentally, spiritually or physically.
Two of my favorite quotes which I often reference are:
- "I do not believe in taking the right decision; I take a decision and make it right."
- "You know the comfort zone is never static. It’s always in a state of expansion or retraction."
Photos: Don Lupo
What excites you most about this industry?
I love how the industry is constantly changing, forcing me to adapt, and continue learning. But more important than that, I love the diversity and inclusion of our industry. I have been able to interact and forge meaningful relationships with individuals from so many different walks of life.
Where is advertising heading? What do the next five years look like?
The industry is going to continue to consolidate with only truly differentiated companies remaining. With the consolidation, I feel the need for great customer service will be at an all-time high.
Transparency will continue to be a hot button, and I see advertisers moving more and more away from traditional digital KPIs while focusing more on meaningful measurement such as actual online/offline sales.
What advice do you have for those just starting in advertising?
I would advise anyone that is new to advertising to be as open-minded as possible and to try different roles/responsibilities until they find a truly great fit. Luckily for them, our industry has a plethora of job types within our industry ranging from Sales to Engineering to Creative to Analytics, etc.
Sunny Behniwal currently serves on ThinkLA's Emerging Leaders Council, and is a Senior Account Executive at Adelphic (a Viant, Inc. company). Prior to joining Adelphic, Sunny worked at Conversant.