For Bobcat grad, OHIO network is a catalyst for career success
For Kyle Ranally ’13, the leap from OHIO classroom to a strategist position at Facebook took just five years – and his success hasn’t stopped there.
Ranally, a vertical insights marketing strategist at Facebook since May 2018, is also an official speaker at the 2021 AdWorld conference, a global online gathering of social media and tech companies with over 50,000 attendees. After earning a bachelor of science in journalism strategic communication from OHIO in 2013, Ranally has had a constant hand in the research of marketing insights and strategy, a relatively new field that fits his interests perfectly.
Ranally uses his time at Facebook to conduct groundbreaking research and to share his findings with the tech world at large. His aim is to identify trends that can help smaller companies and locally owned stores get an edge in the world of online marketing.
“Facebook has created a vertical program that acts more as a consultant for the client,” Ranally said. “It [is] a new discipline, started from scratch, and we got to develop research on shopping strategies and breaking trends on the platform.”
Ranally kicked off his career with an internship at CNN in New York, where he did research and analysis. Working with CNN’s TV and digital teams, he looked at content, trends and the primary ways that consumers use CNN, with a goal of increasing readership and retention.
He credits his mentor at OHIO, Associate Professor Craig Davis in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, for helping him land the internship at CNN. Between guidance from Davis and other Scripps educators, Ranally is incredibly thankful for his time at OHIO, which set him on a career path he is excited to follow.
“Kyle was a natural in the research course, but his true strength came was in his ability to turn research into clear, actionable insights,” Davis said. “I can see why he has been so successful in the profession.”
After graduating from OHIO, Ranally lived in Cleveland and moved to the client relations side of advertising at Geometry Global. Balancing his focus between the products and the retail store, his work at Geometry Global gave him an opportunity to work on creative advertising and customer relations.
“I liked working on the creative side, but I really wanted to go back to insight and strategy,” Ranally said. Yet another Bobcat connection was made when a colleague of his from OHIO let him know about an open Insight analyst position at Vizeum, a media planning agency in New York. Without hesitation, Ranally moved to New York and back into his preferred type of work.
At Vizeum, he helped businesses understand the buying behavior of consumers. His research helped their clients to optimize their spending and advertising, maximize customer acquisition and retention, and find the right ways to capitalize on trends.
Ranally then transitioned to an insights manager role at Mindshare, one of the largest global media agencies. In this role, he led the creation of the company’s annual Culture Vulture Trends Report, which highlighted shifts in consumer behavior and focused on research projects for clients ranging from General Mills to Jaguar Land Rover. “I really tried to understand people, brands and sociology,” Ranally said. During this time, he saw Facebook was looking to create a new discipline, and it turned out to be exactly what he was looking for.
The recently developed vertical insights position allows Ranally’s research to provide the highest level of insights strategy for Facebook and their clients. After almost three years at Facebook, Ranally has no intention of slowing down or shifting his focus. He is presenting on his research and findings from a report in 2020, “The Future of Shopping is Come Early,” at the AdWorld online conference on May 3. In acknowledging the honor of speaking at AdWord, Ranally says he plans to use his research and expertise to illuminate Insight strategies and help guide the future of the industry.
Even with his earned expertise and natural draw toward data analysis, Ranally is eager to credit the support of fellow Bobcats for their role in his success. “I ended up in New York because of an incredible mentorship from OHIO faculty and close relationships to fellow alumni,” Ranally said. “The Bobcat connection is extremely strong, and you have an instant bond as soon as you message someone.”