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Ad-Land’s Finest: 10 of the Advertising Industry's Most Influential Leaders

Leaders in the marketing and communications industry are faced with new and exciting challenges daily. In today’s digital world, the pace of business has increased, while the amount of scrutinization leading marketing companies face has never been so intense.

What is clear is that the marketing and communications industry has entered into one of the most interesting periods in its development. Companies that have embraced advancements in data, programmatic, and mobile have reaped the rewards while others have been left behind.

The margin for error is very real. Now, more than ever, companies need strong leaders who are willing to adapt to the challenges they are presented with. We put together a list of 10 of the most visionary leaders in marketing and communications who have met these challenges head on.

1. RICHARD TING, EVP, GLOBAL CHIEF EXPERIENCE OFFICER, R/GA
@flytip
richard-tingIn many ways the archetype of the digital thought leader, Richard possess both the vision and the skills necessary for success today. As EVP, Richard is charged with leading R/GA’s Global Experience Design (XD) team to help strengthen and bolster R/GA’s portfolio of capabilities across mobile, social, commerce, prototyping, experiential, data visualization, and Internet of Things.

In his 13 years at R/GA, Richard has overseen successful campaigns with clients like Nike, Samsung, Google, J&J, and MasterCard. Staying on top of emerging digital trends, Richard oversees R/GA’s FutureVision program and is a co-founder of the critically acclaimed R/GA Accelerator program, which works with start-ups in the Internet of Things space.

2. CHRISTOPH BECKER, CEO AND CCO, GYRO
gyro-Having led Gyro since 2010, Christoph has worked to create a truly innovative culture. He is responsible for driving Gyro’s creative agenda on a global scale, overseeing the work created across all of its international markets and has worked on brands like Coca-Cola, Motorola and HP.

Christoph provided an interesting insight into his leadership principles in an interview with Adweek stating “If this is not a creative business then I have to go home. But it is true it is nurtured by information and data and relevance that we never had before. Not only that, the touch points that we have to deliver and extend to the world that is so layered that you have to be extremely creative to become humanly relevant.”

3. JIM BUTLER, PRESIDENT, ISOBAR
butler-jim_tablet_tight_grid_smallJim Butler, the current president of Isobar, has been an agent of change since the start of the internet era. Before assuming his current role, Jim helped to drive digital strategies for clients like Avis, Bloomberg, Deutsche Bank,and Citi.

Jim has become a key partner for executives in using the force of digital to create competitive advantage. After a successful career as a CIO, Jim joined Razorfish in 2001 eventually leading their financial services practice. He joined Roundarch in 2005 and has helped oversee 42% in annual growth during his tenure.

4. RICHARD GUEST, PRESIDENT OF NORTH AMERICAN OPERATIONS, TRIBAL WORLDWIDE
@rmguest00
richard-guestWhen it comes to building brands, Richard is a proven winner. Before taking on his current role, Richard performed leadership roles in client management and strategy at Tribal Worldwide.

In a career filled with highlights, Richard helped McDonald’s craft their first in-video game marketing strategy. This involved negotiating relationships with Electronic Arts and Activision, which resulted in McDonald’s products being placed in The Sims, The Sims Online, and other major video game titles.

In a recent interview, Richard defined effective marketing communications: “Simply put, effective communications surpass the minimum requirements within a brief while exceeding the pre-defined, expected business outcomes.”

5. ROBERT HORLER, CEO, DENTSU AEGIS NETWORK, USA
Rob Horler leadership page NEWAs one of the most powerful ad executives in the world, Dentsu Aegis Network’s Robert Horler has been consistent in his belief that digital and big data will transform advertising. In a glittering career in media, that began in 1993 with Times Newspapers, Robert also worked at Carat Interactive before launching Diffiniti, which became one of the largest standalone digital media agencies in the U.K.

Forward-thinking and willing to embrace change, Robert explained his branding philosophy in an interview with Silicon Republic: “I say this to my company and clients: ‘you have to live your brand’. It is far more important than ever how you behave and your business reflects more of what you say than ever before.”

6. SOPHIE KELLY, CEO, THE BARBARIAN GROUP
@SophieAnnKelly
sophie-kellyWith over 20 years of proven brand building, Sophie Kelly has helped to turn The Barbarian Group into of one of the most innovative marketing companies in the world.

The Barbarian Group has built up an identity as a company where people go to affect change. The challenge here, according to Sophie is to balance “a structure that allows for entrepreneurial spirit with one that ensures the right amount of operational knowledge to make educated, well-rounded decisions is a leadership challenge!”. With some big wins already in 2015 like KIND Snacks and Etihad Airways, Sophie and The Barbarian Group certainly seem to have achieved this balance.

7. DAVE ROSNER, SVP, HEAD OF MARKETING, ZEFR
Dave-Rosner-of-Zefr-3-2-15As SVP and Head of Marketing at ZEFR, a YouTube marketing and data company, Dave is focused on helping brands unlock the potential of the evolving digital landscape.

With more than 16 years experience in advertising and new media, Dave has consistently demonstrated a commitment to innovation and creative thinking. In 2010, Dave was named a Media All-Star by Mediaweek magazine and appeared on the cover of Brandweek. In 2007, Rosner recognized the power of mobile marketing when he led the creation of the first-ever 24/7 mobile channel on MobiTV promoting the launch of Lionsgate Film’s Saw III.

8. JOHN SHEA, PRESIDENT, OCTAGON MARKETING AMERICAS
Screen-Shot-2015-04-16-at-10.20.31-AM-300x200Having spent 8 years in his current role at Octagon, John leads a team of more than 400 people working to connect client brands to fans through their passion for sports and entertainment. His long-term leadership of the BMW of North America and Sprint accounts is one of the key reasons why Octagon continues to produce results year-after-year for these leading brands.

In both 2008 and 2009, he was awarded the SportsBusiness Journal’s “Forty Under 40” recognition. Undoubtedly one of the leading thinkers in Sports and Entertainment Marketing, John recently outlined where he believes sports, marketing and creativity converge: “Ultimately, we’re all marketers. So, creative ideas that are on-brand and on-message ultimately allow the best marketers to stand out. Historically, probably some of the most memorable marketing and advertising campaigns or ideas have been built around sports.”

9. ROB SCHWARZ, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, TBWA\CHIAT\​DAY, NEW YORK
@Schwartzie14
jurythumb_20141218175404Rob assumed the role of CEO at TBWA’s flagship New York Office in January 2015. He previously worked as Global Creative President for the company with global clients including Nissan, McDonald’s, GSK, PepsiCo and Johnson & Johnson. He played a crucial role in establishing the multi-discipline cross-Omnicom group, Nissan United, which is the central hub for all Nissan communications worldwide.

In an interview with Digiday, Rob outlined the management philosophy that has proved so successful at TBWA\​CHIAT\​DAY: “I don’t consider myself a manager. I consider myself a leader. I get it: Effective management is important. But being a manager feels reactive, and I want to be proactive. I want to try to execute. It’s very optimistic.”

10. KARINA WILSHER, PARTNER, PRESIDENT AT ANOMALY
Karina_hozKarina Wilsher is CEO and Partner at Anomaly New York. Prior to her move there five years ago, she spent a decade at the multi-award winning agency Fallon London, which she helped grow from the ground up.

Never one to be found lacking in creativity, Karina did not start out with a specific career plan in mind, instead gravitating where her talent led her – which is not a bad approach given today’s​ rapidly evolving landscape.

Speaking to Ad Age, Karina provided a glimpse into her leadership at Anomaly: “There’s no time for office politics or bullshit. We always celebrate the people who get it and work in this way.”

This article was originally published in Docurated.

9/28/2015

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