June 27, 2019 | Share this article

By Hallie Johnston

We all know the doom-and-gloom headlines about the short lifecycle of CMOs, the squeeze on the agency business model and the continuous fragmentation in the media ecosystem.

Never before in the history of marketing and advertising have clients and brands been as overwhelmed with new ways to connect with consumers. And while this fragmentation in consumer media consumption is hardly news, many media agencies have been slow to shift their client management accordingly. They are continuing to act as planners and buyers rather than adopting the more holistic, consultative client-centric approach that has traditionally been the hallmark of the creative side of our business.

Therein lies the need for the tried-and-true “Mad Men” era of the “agency suit”—the Pete Campbell character who owns the client relationship. But gone are the days when this role just meant having multiple martini lunches with clients and wheeling and dealing new business.

The media agency industry as a whole needs to wake up to the fact that clients need trusted business leadership that will stand by their side, shoulder to shoulder, dive into their business and lead them to new heights. This goes beyond just quarterbacking the day-to-day deliverables, but proactive transformational leadership across all aspects of their business.

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