Cultivating a Powerful Platform Through Leadership

March 1, 2018


Cultivating a Powerful Platform Through Leadership

Publicis Media is the media solutions hub of Publicis Groupe. We spoke to CEO of the Mexican group Publicis Media Mexico, Marta Ruiz-Cuevas, as we aim to find out the secrets behind her success.

Publicis Media is the media solutions hub of Publicis Groupe, and is home to leading world-class media agencies such as Starcom, Zenith, Spark Foundry, Blue 449 and Performics. Plus, there are a range of centralised global practices that focus on everything from analytics to business transformation to content. Marta provides us with an overview of the company and the markets that it usually operates in, talking about how the benefits and different environment within Mexico.

“In keeping with Publicis Groupe’s ‘Power of One’ model, Publicis Media Mexico provides a seamless and flexible way for our clients to get the best media services available. They specifically benefit from the scale and clout we hold collectively in the marketplace; the range of services we provide; the centralised, data-driven practice specialties that help power some of our best work; and broader access to the best solutions from across Publicis Groupe. In Mexico, Publicis Media is currently the number one media group in the market.

“Mexico is a very dynamic market full of contrasts and challenges from a communication perspective. It is a market with a lot of influence from the U.S., being a reference for us in terms of innovation and thought leadership. The technology adoption is different compared to Europe and the U.S. There is a very rapid adoption of technology by Mexicans in general, especially among the emerging and younger targets.

“More mature markets such as the U.S would relate to a ‘Mobile first approach’, while Mexico stands as a ‘Mobile only’ market. An important segment of the Mexican population never owned a PC or laptop and became connected though smartphones, enabling marketers with many new opportunities. On the other side, we currently face Data challenges due to the lack of data sources compared to other markets. Our main goal is to provide our clients with data richness in a data poor marketplace.”

Describing her role as CEO, Marta outlines her leadership style, and discusses what methods she utilisies in order to get the best out of her staff. As CEO, Marta always has one eye on the future, and it is her objective to develop and train staff to enable them to deliver the best service possible.

“As CEO of Publicis Media Mexico, I am responsible for cultivating a powerful platform for which our agency brands can flourish. In addition, I drive operations and transformation across the business through our Data, Technology and Innovation practice. Together, with our global agency brand and practice teams, we are continuously looking for ways to innovate, refine and deliver on our clients’ business objectives.

“Throughout my role, my greatest responsibility will be delivering on Publicis Media’s three pillars of Talent, Trust and Transformation, as well as continuing to shape and differentiate the agency of the future and this is what I would like the people in my team to focus on. I have always surrounded myself with a team of people that complemented each other, people with a variety of skills that made the team bigger and better than the sum of each one of us individually. Motivation and a participative mind-set get the best of each individual. If you want your team to believe in the project, you have to truly believe in it first; and if you are passionate about it, the team will embrace it 100%.”

In order to develop others, and lead a firm full of motivated and passionate employees, Marta must be able to lead by example, and she explains what attributes she possesses that have helped, and continue to help, shape her success as CEO. She talks about the importance of surrounding herself with good people and being dedicated to delivering the best service.

“Firstly, I would say that it is the combination of several things. Be surrounded of good talent is one of the most important, determination, enthusiasm and the firm belief that with hard work we can achieve our goals.

“Another key pillar is listen to our clients, understand their needs and breathe their brands. We want to be part of their business and be aligned with their goals. Thanks to data, that is indispensable in communication nowadays, we can have a real approach to precision marketing, giving every time recommendations more ad hoc. Finally, I would say, that I put my heart in everything I do. I think it´s key to love what one does and make things happen.”

Within the company, staff adhere to three significant pillars which help them to provide quality services. Marta alludes to these values when discussing the internal culture within Publicis Media Mexico, touching on the importance of trust, talent and transformation.

“Talent is what makes the difference in our company, and we are committed to achieving Trust and Transformation through talent. We are a people business, and strive to make Publicis Media a destination for the best talent in our industry. As a result, we have rolled out a number of programs to further education, offer unique experiences and continue to grow talent. In addition to what is offered on a Publicis Media-level, I am also personally dedicated to our people in Mexico and will look for opportunities to localise these programs, as well as mentor talent, both men and women.

“Finally, in this ever-changing industry we need to continue challenging the status quo, technology and new consumer behaviour makes our industry incredibly dynamic. Also, transformation needs to become a must in order to help our clients stay relevant in the mind of their consumers.”

For anyone else looking to make a success of their career in the same way Marta has done, she offers some advice and wisdom, citing a fine balance between work and home life as a key factor in her enjoyment of the role. Patience is important, and being there for her family is incredibly important to Marta.

“To be honest, I do not think about my career in terms of success. For me, decisions need to be in line with what we want as a family. I have been lucky enough to live in four different countries throughout my life, and I believe experiences like this are priceless for children, helping them be more open-minded and tolerant, socially responsible and better people. Publicis Groupe has helped me combine my career with what we want as a family, and for me that is invaluable and I will always be grateful for the opportunity. The most important thing is to have a passion for what you do and believe that you can make a difference. It is never an overnight thing, but rather a journey. I guess I define success by being able to balance my family and my work. As a woman and as a mom, I need to be there for my two children and my husband, but I also love my job. So many young women look to me at work to see whether is possible to do both, and it is my responsibility to show them that they can.”

In her concluding comments, Marta predicts what the future holds for Publicis Media Mexico, believing there is still a lot of work to be done, but she is excited for the times ahead. Transforming the landscape, the company will adapt to any developments which may arise in the industry and continue to provide the best service possible.

“Ultimately, the lines are blurring between innovation and marketing. It is up to us to employ technology to deliver across the whole consumer journey. As new patterns of consumer behaviour are increasingly built on access to mobile, it forces companies to adapt the way they design, market and deliver products and services. We are helping clients drive transformation and business in this new environment. It is not an easy journey, but it sure is fascinating.

“My greatest responsibility will continue to be delivering on Publicis Media’s three pillars of Talent, Trust and Transformation, as well as continuing to shape and differentiate the agency of the future. My hands are definitely still full.”

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