Before he tried on agency life, Babs Rangaiah was a bit of a star on the CPG circuit.
After more than a decade driving media innovation for global CPG Unilever, a shakeup in Unilever’s marketing org last spring led Rangaiah agency-side.
Now, as a partner leading global marketing solutions for IBM’s in-house agency, Interactive Experience (iX), Rangaiah is working on the problems he, as a brand marketing leader, used to hire agencies to solve.
IBM iX recently acquired new capabilities like commerce and design, but Rangaiah predicts the next wave of agency services will focus on artificial intelligence and innovations like blockchain.
“We are very much about looking at a client or brand’s problem and seeing what we can do with technology not as this shiny object, but to really solve problems for consumers,” he said.
Rangaiah spoke with AdExchanger about his first year at IBM after a long stint at Unilever, the trend toward zero-based budgeting and the changing dynamic between agencies, brands and publishers.
AdExchanger: What’s the biggest shift moving from brand to agency-side?
BABS RANGAIAH: The big ad agency used to house everything and it even managed, to some extent, below-the-line agencies. It was fairly straightforward for CMOs and heads of marketing to manage the creative product that came out of the agency and all of the measures that were used to amplify it.
Over the last few years, because of the volume of digital, social and mobile agencies [under one umbrella], it became very difficult and highly complex to put together an integrated program for any brand.
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