At agencies, data-driven talent is rising to the very top.
Hearts & Science CEO Scott Hagedorn was named CEO of Omnicom Media Group (OMG) Thursday after 15 years with the company. Hagedorn succeeds Page Thompson, who will retire after 40 years at Omnicom.
Omnicom has not yet named a replacement for Hagedorn at Hearts & Science.
Over the course of his career, Hagedorn has worked across OMG at OMD, PHD and RAPP, which is now part of Omnicom Precision Marketing Group. As head of Omnicom’s data science platform Annalect, Hagedorn helped pioneer programmatic media buying across OMG.
In his new role, Hagedorn will build platforms and products that lead to client growth and recruit the right talent. OMG has already deployed Omni, an identity-based data platform that pulls media planning, buying and creative processes into one system, across all its media buying subsidiaries.
Next, Hagedorn aims to provide verticalized data packages to clients. For example, a CPG client may want to use Omni based on IRI or Nielsen Catalina data, while an auto client might want to focus on Polk data.
“I’m going to pull the vertical teams out of each agency and chat about which data sets can have the most effectiveness for a client through Omni,” Hagedorn said. “We’re modeling data and using that to write the marketing rules for how the business should behave.”
Hagedorn will also fight against what he sees as the “existential threat” to agencies: a myth perpetuated by tech companies and consultancies that holding company clout doesn’t matter in auction-based digital media. OMG built its own supply-side platform and retrained its TV investment teams to negotiate private marketplace deals in digital, as if they were upfront buys.
“We’re creating clout where it didn’t exist before,” he said. “That’s how I see the future: linking digital clout with TV clout.”
While Hagedorn wants to facilitate cross-agency collaboration, he intends to maintain individual agency cultures and brands rather than merging shops together.
“We don’t have to go too far into Marcel-land in terms of mixing talent on the fly,” Hagedorn said, referencing Publicis Groupe’s AI platform that aims to connect talent across the holding company on different projects. “But we need to think about how we organize talent.”
Hagedorn believes he’s well known enough at OMG to bring the different teams together.
“Having a system that can organize resources is important, but it doesn’t trump knowing everybody and having relationships to get stuff done,” he said.
In addition to Hagedorn’s promotion, OMG named John Swift as its first chief operating officer after serving as head of investment and integrated services for North America. And former NBC and Disney exec Catherine Sullivan will become OMG’s chief investment officer.