The Internationalist names 27 Agency Innovators for 2017
INTERNATIONALIST – This year’s Innovators are transforming our concepts of a contemporary advertising business. This extraordinary group of individuals from all corners of the globe are embracing change and making a difference for their organizations and for their clients. Many are reinventing business models, while being scrupulous about hot-button issues like return-on-investment, transparency and brand safety.
Today, innovation is integral to so many new disciplines that underscore the breadth of expanding responsibilities for agencies and marketing partners- content creation, programmatic buying, data, analytics, strategy, eCommerce, mobility, as well as creative, media, digital, and, of course, inspirational leadership that embraces future vision.
Many of the Innovators named are exploring new and nimble ways of working, as well as testing exciting approaches to collaboration and effectiveness. Without question, we’re seeing a greater focus on the sophisticated use of data, insights and actionable ideas, as well as a trend in new leaders who operate at the intersection of innovation, technology, creativity and contemporary culture.
Meet MediaCom’s Innovators:
Andy Littlewood, Head of Knowledge, MediaCom NA
Andy is responsible for working with key agency departments including Planning, Digital, Analytics and Insights to ensure that data, research, and knowledge benchmarks are at the center of MediaCom’s operations to drive business outcomes for clients.
He jokes that he has a habit of getting job titles that signal change.
“Seven years ago I became a Chief Data Officer – I think I was among the first in any media agency globally. Over that time my focus was to create truly holistic data teams who could flex from digital and direct response analytics right through to complex statistical models. Now I have a Knowledge title, which is a great privilege, but also a great challenge! The title represents a shift that I see in our industry. As we gradually automate advertising, there will be a greater requirement for people with a holistic skill set to pull the levers/push the buttons.”
With over 14 years of industry experience, Littlewood began his tenure with MediaCom Australia. Since then, he has been extremely successful in the establishment and leadership of the agency’s Business Science team. He has also been responsible for the leadership of key econometric and analytical engagements with blue chip clients including Queensland and New South Wales Governments (former client), Energy Australia, Revlon, P&G, Audi and Volkswagen.
Hannah Mirza, Head of Partnerships, MediaCom Global
Hannah is redefining what the media agency is all about. Taking it beyond buying, planning and content and into the consulting and technology partnerships business.
Her vision of a media agency is one that sits at the center of a web of knowledge, has unprecedented contacts in the tech space, expertise in knowing how to apply technology and the partnerships that can make that happen.
This new media agency is all about bringing new technology opportunities to clients, be they from existing vendors or new start-ups, and using them to solve business and marketing challenges. The answers will not just come from traditional media vendors but from innovations and collaborations at the juncture of media, creative, technology and consumers.
But while many may have that dream, Hannah has turned it into reality:
Hannah has led the development of Launchpad for Mars (the global FMCG brand’s solution for the rapid pace of consumer tech evolution) and is currently working with the Australian, Polish, French, American and Singapore offices to help them establish innovation consultancy offerings for local clients.
In addition to these achievements, she also manages MediaCom’s strategic digital partnerships working with Google, Facebook, Snapchat, Yahoo and Twitter amongst others, as well as collaborating with Venture Capitalists Firms and Accelerator programs to develop a pipeline for future partnerships.
Imran Ismail, Senior Partner, Director Business Science and Analytics, MediaCom USA
Imran has practiced in the many fields of data and analytics and is experienced in data solutions, econometrics and advanced digital analytics. He believes that the humanization of data is what matters most to delivering client solutions, and that great data infrastructure relies on systems thinking, or the belief that everything is connected.
“The world of data is more complex than ever before,” he says.
“One of the challenges I faced was sourcing an advanced solution that allowed for a single source of truth globally. Not all data is equal nor available in a way that delivers near real time insights.
To solve, I designed and built a data management platform that uses technology applications to make cross-country/region data accessible in real time. This led to the building of global effectiveness coefficients that informs any plan linking media performance to business outcomes.”
Born in Karachi, Pakistan, Imran attended Lahore University of Management Sciences where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Economics. He continued his education in Dallas Texas at Southern Methodist University for his Masters of Science in Operations Research.