The media and advertising ecosystem is one which depends on data to thrive, and that information is precisely what the team at Kantar IBOPE Media. Led by Antonio Wanderley, the business has become a major part of how leading businesses work. Now named Most Influential CEO 2023 – LATAM (Marketing Data & Analytics) in the Most Influential CEO Awards 2023, we take a closer look at precisely how he has brought about such enviable success.
The media industry is one which is constantly changing, and staying ahead relies on being able to predict precisely what the market demands as early on as possible. The team at Kantar IBOPE Media, under the leadership of Antonio Wanderley, have managed to secure a prominent position thanks to a digital transformation in 2014. As CMO, Antonio was able to reinvigorate Kantar IBOPE Media for a whole new generation leading a merger with the leading global company (Kantar Media) to form Kantar IBOPE Media.
Kantar IBOPE Media focuses on the needs of media producers as well as sellers and buyers of advertising. If a company has a touchpoint with media and advertising, they will want the impressive services of Antonio and his team. The team’s data is a vital part of informing all advertising trading transactions the length and breadth of Latin America.
Antonio’s style of leadership has seen him establish a remit that covers not only Latin America, but Spain, Asia and Africa too. Having such reach has meant that his leadership methods have been forced to change when compared to the smaller responsibilities he once held. “I have more and more shifted into more horizontal structures,” he tells us. “We focused on creating and empowering leadership teams, rather than individual leaders. These teams are held accountable for delivering against a small number of high-impact OKRs.” This approach to the sector has worked well indeed creating a business model which is always moving forward but always testing itself to ensure the best path possible.
Key to this success, therefore, is finding the right talent to achieve exceptional results and managing their performances successfully. “To assure focus and consistency, we create management principles that guide our team’s decision-making and behavior. These principles are reviewed and updated annually during our planning process.,” he explains. “these include being impatient with internally focused decisions, putting clients above politics, and holding everyone accountable for delivering to clients, not just their own part of the process..” That everyone is empowered to deliver with such care and attention is why Antonio and his team have been able to secure such tremendous success so far.
Needless to say, however, that the growth of the media landscape has forced Antonio to adjust swiftly to meet changing demands.“It is always very hard to change while winning,” Antonio says wryly, “Developing and solidifying a culture of proactively disrupting ourselves is a major task. This means being willing to challenge the status quo and make changes ahead of the curve.” Needless to say that Antonio and his team have managed to establish their attitude as disrupters at precisely the right time.
Change is hard, but if companies do not change then they will become irrelevant in the rapidly changing world in which we live. “I believe many companies are talking about digital transformation,” he says, “but few companies take any serious steps towards it, and only a handful of those have been successful at it!” In a world where forms of broadcasting have been usurped by streaming, professionally produced content by user generated content and linear mass advertising by targeting, change is vital.
None of this even considers one of the biggest forces for change in the 21st Century, namely the blockchain and AI. The instability of the world today is why the team focuses so much on being experts at adaptation. It means that Kantar IBOPE Media will thrive beyond the limits of what media companies currently demand. “We managed to change,” says Antonio, “and we were able to take an approach which is scalable and could benefit our clients too.”
Despite all this talk of change, however, it’s clear that Antonio does, in fact, value those aspects which will never waver despite the state of the markets. This include, frankly, the incredible team which he has managed to build around him and which has been able to secure such amazing success for Kantar IBOPE Media. “It’s seems counter intuitive but I have focused on what’s constant and not what’s changing,” he says. “I feel most people do the opposite.” In an era where automation is playing a bigger and bigger role, his aim has been to humanise his approach to leadership and interpersonal connections in order to support clients.
One of the key aspects where Antonio has been able to provide incredible support has been through the development and empowerment of a diverse talent base that can bring vital new perspectives to the table. Kantar IBOPE Media is not just a large media empire that stagnates, but one which depends on a unique set of skills and creativity that will unlock growth for many years to come.
Looking ahead, it’s clear that Kantar IBOPE Media has a great future ahead. The team have been able to take Brazil to the global forefront of media measurement. “It’s arguably the most developed market globally in terms on media currency data,” Antonio tells us. “In the immediate future, our focus is to scale this solution to the next LATAM markets such as Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Peru as well as to other continents. Spain and Vietnam should be the next markets that Kantar IBOPE Media aims to penetrate.
We can see that Antonio is an immensely responsible leader, pushing his business to adapt constantly while also supporting his team to thrive in a traditional manner. People come first at all times at Kantar IBOPE Media, and that’s why the team has been able to secure such tremendous growth over the years.