Announcing “The Global Agency Interview Collection”

March 22, 2017

Agency executives have a unique perspective on the changes in the marketing world. They have a built-in wider perspective, because they work with so many clients in a range of industries. It pays to listen when they speak.

At LinkedIn, we were very curious about how the most effective advertising and marketing agencies around the world are handling the onslaught of digital change they’re facing. That’s why we launched the “Agency Interview” series on the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions blog.

In this Q&A series we’ve been interviewing the leaders of Edelman, gyro, OMD, Publicis, and other thriving agencies around the globe about how digital has transformed marketing — and how these agencies are adapting. We’ve collected the first batch of these illuminating interviews in our new ebook, “The Global Agency Interview Collection.”

In these “Agency Interviews,” we’ve asked a combination of serious and lighthearted questions to enable these executives show their smarts and their creativity. For instance, we’ve asked about how their survival skills on a professional level: How has your agency adapted? And on a personal level: How long would you survive the zombie apocalypse?

We’ve also asked how they’re dealing with media change professionally: What is the future of programmatic advertising? And personally: What’s the last great thing you’ve binge watched?

And we inquired about bothersome things professionally: What’s the advertising industry’s most annoying buzzword? And personally: What do have an irrational hatred for?

Below we’ve collected a small sampling of the most insightful answers to the questions we asked. But to get the full, in-depth insights from these executives, you’ll want to download, “The Global Agency Interview Collection.”

Patrick O’Hara, Global Chief Strategic Officer, gyro

Q. You have a theology degree from Cambridge. How has what you learned there affected how you approach your job at gyro?

A. It’s not the similarities between people and cultures that matter; it’s the differences that make the difference.

Israel Mirsky, Global Managing Director for Intel, OMD Worldwide

Q. How do you use LinkedIn advertising for your clients, and what’s working well for them?

A. We use LinkedIn for our B2B work — both B2B “branding” and driving actions. We do extensive content marketing on LinkedIn as well, and are often cited as a case study. We created the LinkedIn IT Center Showcase Page as a stand-alone resource for IT professionals and as a destination that would encourage an exchange of ideas. We’ve engaged that audience and have been constantly improving the content to meet the audience’s interests and using LinkedIn’s tools to bring more people into the conversation. We’re currently the No. 1 page followed by IT professionals in eight different global markets on LinkedIn. I find there are very few datasets as valuable or accurate as Linkedin for B2B media. It’s quite effective for us.

Lauren Goldstein, Partner, Revelry Agency

Q. Digital ad spending is poised to surpass TV ad spending. Is this a problem for agencies or an opportunity?

A. Absolute opportunity! Stories will always be told… through multiple mediums. There’s more visual storytelling now than ever — whether it be via the TV or computer… it’s still MORE.

Steve Rubel, Chief Content Strategist, Edelman

Q. What’s the last great thing you binged watched and why?

A. NFL Films has a great series called “A Football Life” that basically are mini biographies of players, coaches and even owners. No one tells stories like NFL Films does, so the series is not only great for football nuts but for all creatives.

Thad Kahlow, Founder, BusinessOnline

Q. Is the industrial sector taking full advantage of digital marketing?

A. Unfortunately not. Recently we partnered with the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) to conduct some research about digital marketing in the manufacturing industry and found that about 65 percent of respondents said their digital marketing programs are still only new or in the experimental phase. There’s this disconnect between marketing initiatives and consumer buying patterns in the industrial sector, and we’re hoping to help fill that gap.

Tom Stein, Chairman & Chief Client Officer, SteinIAS

Q. What’s the biggest change in the agency business since you started?

A. Digital-social-mobile-technological-palooza. The way this has had and continues to have an impact on everything — not least of which is a fundamental, positive-and-negative impact on human behavior.

Sean C. Reardon, CEO of Zenith, Moxie

Q. How has the availability of data changed marketing (or not)?

A. You could base a thesis on this question. I’ll try to avoid the temptation. Said simply, the future of our industry is not a mystery. Consumer connectivity will be personal, mobile, tech-enabled and data-enhanced. The impact of data to date is probably overstated a bit, but we’re in formative years. To deny the impact of data that is likely ahead…not a mistake I’ll make.

Warren Griffiths, EVP-Global Investments & Partnerships, Publicis Groupe

Q. What’s the biggest change in the agency business since you started?

A. Having been in the game for the past 17 years, I have seen a variety of truly pivotal changes, including:

  • Media expertise, moving from a back-office creative agency function, to a standalone force in the industry.
  • The birth and maturation of digital, as a truly viable part of the marketing mix… ultimately overtaking many “traditional” forms of advertising.
  • The meteoric rise of social as a connecting platform across the planet.
  • More recently, video becoming truly cross-platform.
  • Over the past couple years the massive revolution seen through data and technology, giving rise to programmatic and truly addressable media. 

Koyi Wu, Head of Digital at OMD in Hong Kong

Q. What’s the industry buzzword that annoys you the most these days?

A. “Mobile is king.” To me, mobile shouldn’t be singled out and treated as a silo media. People nowadays are multi-screen users across TV, smartphone, tablet, desktop, etc. Therefore, mobile is ONLY acting as the bridge, but it’s not the king. Multi-screen is the truth.

Olesh Piddubriwnyj, Managing Director & Founder, Fifteen Design

Q. What’s the most important way the rise of social media, from YouTube to Facebook to LinkedIn, has changed the way companies reach their audiences?

A. You have to offer value. You can’t just shout about yourself anymore. There’s so much content to consume online and through social, you have to focus on what customers or users want. It’s a noisy world online and you really have to stand out.

James Campbell, General Manager, Mindshare, Singapore

Q. What are you most looking forward to in 2017?

A. The agency business is ripe for disruption. It’s a battle. We have a great team, and we have some awesome plans afoot. So bring it on.

For even more insight into the changing world of advertising and marketing, download the complete “Global Agency Interview Collection” today.