Media agency UM, part of IPG Mediabrands, has promoted Kasha Cacy to the post of U.S. president. She replaces Sarah Personette, who the agency said has opted not to return to the shop after maternity leave and instead is returning to Facebook, where she will head global business marketing. Before joining UM in early 2013 she was head of the social network’s Global Agency Team.
Cacy is a six-year-plus veteran of the agency and was most recently UM global chief product officer. In addition to honing the shop’s product offering, Cacy is credited with leading the teams that won two of the agency’s biggest new business wins in recent years, including the Hershey Global business in 2013 (with estimated U.S. spending of $500 million) and the U.S. Postal Service in 2012 (estimated ad spend is $100 million).
UM Global CEO Daryl Lee, to whom Cacy reports, credits her with being a “great client consultant,” who has helped clients navigate a complex media/marketing landscape by combining ‘the art of strategy with the science of analytics.” Increasingly, he said, “analytics is driving the planning, which is the beginning of real-time” marketing, where the industry is quickly heading.
Simply put, he added, “clients love her.”
The feeling is mutual, Cacy said, noting that she will continue to be very involved with both Hershey’s and USPS as well as other clients on the agency’s roster. She will be spending “a lot of time” both growing existing client relationships and pursuing new business.
Another top priority, Cacy said, will be a relentless focus on product improvement. The U.S., she notes, is where much of the action is on that front. “There’s a lot of opportunity to innovate and accelerate” the implementation of new tools and solutions, she said.
Cacy is the latest strategist to be put in charge of a major region at the agency. And that’s by design, said Lee, noting that the shop’s UK, Australian, German and New York operations are now also led by strategists. “As technology comes further up the media stack, client strategic advice will be core,” to the agency’s mission, he said.
Lee added that he has confidence that Cacy is a “product innovator.” And success in that area usually translates to both organic and new business growth, he said.
Cacy joined UM in 2008 and created the agency’s communications planning practice. She developed a next generation forecasting, measurement, tracking and optimization tool for client Johnson & Johnson called the Business Analytics Engine. Similar solutions have since migrated to other clients at the agency.
Earlier Cacy served at creative agencies, including McCann Erickson, Ogilvy & Mather, Cheil Communications and Wunderman. She started her career at Accenture as a change management manager.