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WIA Profile: Katie Smith

WIA Profile: Katie Smith

February 1, 2006
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" For the last six months, I have directed and worked closely with the most amazing team of professionals for Playboy's online subscription business.  "

Each month, industry news media organization XBIZ spotlights the career accomplishments and outstanding contributions of Women in Adult. WIA profiles offer an intimate look at the professional lives of the industry's most influential female executives.

What is your role and responsibility at Playboy.com?

For the last six months, I have directed and worked closely with the most amazing team of professionals for Playboy's online subscription business. We have a growing network of premium sites. If you go to Playboy.com and click just about anywhere you'll see an upsell to our flagship site, Cyber Club or TV Jukebox, which is our video-only broadband site mirroring TV. My main task is to drive customer acquisition and retention across multiple internal vehicles such as magazine, TV, email and more. Some projects include a new promotional campaign called Not Shy, which is our best converting campaign to date. We have all new episodic tours and promotional pieces. We built an all-new TV Jukebox with corresponding content strategy and an all-new loyalty program that our customers are fanatically using. And we continue to test every single touch point for the best possible optimization of every possible traffic source. Let's just say we're busy, having fun and moving quickly forward to substantially increase revenue one month at a time.

Give us a typical Monday at your desk?

Most of my time is spent working closely with our marketing creative, technology and operational group in the Chicago office (to which I travel to each month). I mostly eat lunch at my desk but occasionally take a business meeting. I go through waves of being creative and planning and then dive into dirty details and execution. I'm on the phone half the day collaborating with key teams on various projects for or affecting the subscription business. I'm constantly looking at stats and analytic reports. Data (and my boss) are my best friends at Playboy and together help me make everything happen. I consume and research media of all kinds to stay cutting edge. I'm a marketer and that is my focus. The question is, what will make us more money today? It's my obligation to find out and do it.

What do you think is your greatest challenge or asset being a woman in the adult industry?

The biggest asset we have is the ability to collaborate effectively with others. I feel that many women have the capacity to work really well with different teams to get things done as planned and on the money. It takes a tribe and a common goal, and no one knows that more than women.

What strategies do you use to maintain balance in your life?

Working out is the absolute best way for me to keep life balanced. I try to do yoga a few times a week, spinning maybe once a week, hiking maybe once a month — anything physical to help burn energy. And I like to be with people who share common interests such as music, watching bands, dancing at clubs, going to art openings, cocktail parties, all with great political debates and silly conversations.

What advice would you give other women who want to enter your field?

Have a passion for what you do, set goals, train and educate yourself, look for good mentors, help others and don't give up. Where do you want to be in 10 years? Have a yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily plan of action. The idea that you can do anything you put your mind to is true. Also, if you act like a professional, you'll be treated like one.


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