Inside Talon: Laura Colona

Inside Talon: Exploring the Professional Journey of Laura Colona.

Outside thinking – it runs in the Talon family. We pride ourselves on being a company built on people with big ideas. People who constantly challenge themselves and the industry to re-imagine and re-invent the possibilities of what Out of Home can be. ​ 

In this series, we’ll be getting to know more about the people of Talon, their roles, advice and what they get up to outside of OOH. This week, we sat down with Laura Colona, Senior VP Marketing, North America.

Explain your role with Talon?

Joining Talon at the start of 2024, I am delighted to have been tasked with providing executive leadership and management of the North America marketing organization. In my role, I govern a full-scale marketing program designed to build our brand in the US and Canada, educate agencies and brands on the unrivalled value of OOH, and demonstrate why Talon is the best partner for navigating the fast moving and fragmented OOH landscape.

What does a typical day at work look like for you? 

I am up with the sunrise and am good at not reaching for the phone for at least an hour, when I am amped from caffeine and ready to roll.  

I spend my commute organizing for the day, scrolling through & responding to emails and taking note of all the OOH I am experiencing during my journey. Once the day “officially” starts I check in with the team to make sure they have what they need to deliver and provide coaching where needed to ensure they are empowered.  

While the team keeps the trains on track, my day is spent switching gears between fine tuning the marketing strategy, to designing marketing plans, reviewing communications, and engaging with my new colleagues and industry partners and friends on how we can collaborate to get more lean-in by marketers to OOH.  

What do you enjoy most about working in OOH?

The people! When I transitioned from ad tech to OOH, the welcome I received from the community was incredible. Now, as part of the Talon team, the support I’ve received from the same community for my new role has been just as enthusiastic.

One thing that I have observed and continue to be impressed with is how each stakeholder in the OOH value chain comes together to champion the value of OOH and fight for our rightful share of the media plan pie. This is a community of competitors and friends who believe that with a unified voice all boats will rise, and when I see this in action, I am reminded that I have found my people.

Most memorable moment or achievement in your time in the industry?

During my tenure at the OAAA, I launched an advocacy program focused on OOH education for brands and agencies that included the formation of the OAAA Brand Council with leading advertisers including IBM, Pepsi, L’Oreal, Allstate and Logitech.  

The Brand Council is still in action today and is shaping the future of OOH through active dialogue on issues, developing trends and advocating for the medium’s value in an omnichannel marketing mix.  

I am eager to replicate this effort here at Talon with a client advisory board, furthering our position as a champion for OOH. 

Any tips or advice for someone interested in joining the industry or pursuing a similar career path?  

Don’t be afraid to ask questions – knowledge is power!

What do you get up to outside of work? 

I am always listening to music – another day another soundtrack! I love going to see live music as often as I can and recently picked up my electric bass guitar after a very long time. Who wants to start a band?!  

I also spend a lot of time outdoors. I recently moved out of NYC to the beach on Long Island, so I have enjoyed the nature that the beach and state parks have to offer. I love to cook and entertain, and love going to restaurants.  

If you could quickly and easily learn any new skill, what would it be? 

I would be fluent in Italian. 

Share a memorable adventure or travel experience you’ve had during your free time. How did it impact your personal growth or perspective? 

My friend and I had been robbed on the beach in Brazil and decided that jumping off the side of a mountain in a hang glider seemed like the logical thing to do in response. I have a fear of heights – but only in certain circumstances like driving up mountains.  

The ride up to the platform we were jumping off was terrifying. I cried all the way up, covering my eyes! The lesson I learned was not to empower fear to let you miss a single moment of life. I should have been looking out the window taking in the views, but I was too worried about the car driving off the side of the road to spot a blue butterfly. I am still afraid of heights…