CEO To-Do List: Talent Search, Content Management, Cope With Pace Of Change

Talent, adapting to the pace of change and managing content flow across multiple platforms are some of the big issues CEOs in the media and marketing space are grappling with today, according to CEOs who spoke at an Advertising Week event.

The pace of change is relentless and will continue to accelerate Susan Gianinno, North America Chairman Publicis Worldwide told attendees at the session. That has forced the agency to change in many ways to remain competitive.

“You have to innovate daily and be hyper-responsive,” Gianinno said. “We’ve had to redefine creativity,” using a much broader definition that includes building new companies and helping clients with business transformation objectives.

At agencies, Gianinno added that change has to occur on numerous levels including people and the way they work and their general mindset. “We’re broadening and diversifying our talent pool and creating new concepts, tools and methodologies to help people think differently,” she said.



Office space at the agency has changed as well. Gianinno described it as “function based work spaces” with no offices and no paper. The result, she said, has been “much more spontaneous conversation which leads to innovative thought.”

MDC Partners CEO Scott Kauffman said that the “crush for great talent” is one of the most pressing issues today. Attracting the best talent is much more difficult today given the added choices that candidates have from the technology and startup sectors as well as the client side of the marketing industry, he said. “It’s a constant battle,” he added and the industry remains challenged to come to terms with it.

Jacki Kelley, COO Bloomberg Media Group said that a major issue for the industry is managing the huge influx of content and how it flows across the ever-growing number of platforms that are being developed.

How content is managed, Kelley added, depends on the marketing objectives of individual companies. She said that Bloomberg is investing in its marketing services operation “in a much bigger way than in the past” because it sees a growth opportunity in bringing its content management expertise to agency and marketing clients.

Content management is also a big focus for AT&T Adworks according to its president Rick Welday. With the recent acquisition of DirecTV, AT&T has placed a big bet on the mobile video business, he said. The acquisition, he noted, has driven a 50% increase in the amount of mobile video streams generated by the combined assets.

Data also remains an issue—specifically how to make the best use of it. “Nobody is at a loss for data,” said Kelley. “We’re at a loss for intelligence about how to use it effectively. That’s what we’re all striving for.”

Kauffman agreed. Gleaning insights from data is essential to creating effective work for clients. “That is one of the skillsets we’re constantly looking for,” he said. 

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