Together with the belief in “People First, Better Results,” MediaCom is continuously investing in professional development and meaningful career growth across their team. With a 76 percent boost in headcount within a year, it’s all hands on deck to unlock the team’s full growth potential.
We met with three of MediaCom’s leaders to learn more about their emphasis on teamwork, inclusive individuality and lifelong learning.
EMPLOYEES: 8,000 worldwide; 100 in LA
WHAT THEY DO: MediaCom helps brands unlock growth through media by applying their unique Systems Thinking approach to data, technology and creativity to design communication strategies that build brands and generate sales.
WHERE THEY DO IT: LA
'PEOPLE FIRST, BETTER RESULTS': MediaCom’s core belief for over 15 years — if there's an investment in people, the result will be better for MediaCom's internal teams, as well as their clients.
Mark Egan, Managing Director, Head of MediaCom LA
Mark leads the MediaCom LA team, working to steer the direction of the agency’s footprint in LA and to strengthen and grow the business for MediaCom and its clients.
SUNDAY DRIVE: Outside of the office, Mark works on his 1960 Karmann Ghia convertible and enjoys sharing his appreciation for its unique design and character with others.
Company culture is always evolving. What process do you use to evaluate your company’s culture?
Formally, we survey the agency periodically for trends. Less formally, I sit in the middle of the agency at a desk — I may be busy, but I see the importance of rolling up my sleeves and working alongside my team members who work with our clients hands-on. I feel the impact it has when I can be in the moment, listening and observing team interactions, excitement or challenges. I always try and have “micro moments” with people, too. Grabbing coffee, simple hellos, informal questions and jokes build comfort with people and give you a bit more humanity. It helps me to stay connected — my hope is that nobody feels like they can’t have a chat with me. That just wouldn’t be me, or MediaCom.
What questions do you ask to determine culture fit when interviewing for new roles on your team?
Rather than find a fit, we encourage people to bring their difference. We find that the things that are the most unique about our people — different backgrounds in life and career, varied interests and passions — are what make them so valuable within their teams. When you approach any challenge from different perspectives, the solution you get is going to be stronger than if you were thinking in isolation. Someone who has a creative background might have the chance to shine in one situation, while someone with a passion for sports may shine in another.
I always try and have ‘micro moments’ with people. Grabbing coffee, simple hellos, informal questions and jokes build comfort with people and give you a bit more humanity.”
In your 16 months at MediaCom, what has been the most important transformation to company culture?
I believe that setting an ambition for the agency to be a ‘compass’ for the global network reset expectations for the entire agency. Importantly, it set a new tone and created a mission that was ‘stretchy’ and ambitious but with goals and a plan that was achievable. It also gave people an elevated sense of importance and responsibility in that mission. These types of missions quickly evaporate without demonstrable progress and accountability.
We have several objectives and key results (OKRs) that represent agency challenges, prioritized by importance. Different people contribute to these initiatives, and we have progress trackers and report cards, which I believe helps keep the momentum for our mission while putting our employees at the heart of that transformation.
Jasmine Yee Joy Bland, Director, Business Science & Analytics
Jasmine directs the MediaCom Analytics team and has an eye for reevaluating the way data is presented to clients and developing improved visualizations.
OFFICE TO ORCHESTRA: Jasmine appreciates the creative process of trial and error that accompanies music composition and songwriting. In her spare time, Jasmine transforms into a master guitarist, finding calm amongst the chords.
What role has culture played in shaping the direction of your company or team?
After joining MediaCom, I very quickly recognized that each department was driven to be experts in their space. That created an opportunity for me to follow suit and add further value. I get passionate about solutions, and I have never felt more appreciated and empowered to execute on those ideas. There’s so much that can be accomplished when a company recognizes the value of individual strengths in a team setting. Individually we have great people, and collectively we achieve great results.
How do you develop your team’s skills and empower them to share new ideas?
One of the things I love about MediaCom is their education pillar. Outside of just having an accessible learning portal, we have great teachers amongst us who are always willing to train. Everyone on my team has a diverse set of skills — this naturally opens opportunities to cross-develop when collaborating on projects. By giving every person their moment to shine, I find that it has a very positive impact on motivation and productivity. We also have “pop” huddles where we will tackle learning as a team, as well as brainstorms over lunches and happy hours, which have been the origin of many great ideas.
Individually we have great people, and collectively we achieve great results.”
Tell us about a moment in your company’s history that made you proud to be one of its leaders. How did it reflect the values you’ve instilled here?
I was recently given an opportunity to represent our office in London for a data and analytics kick-off. That experience allowed me to take a step back and realize how far we have come as an office in less than a year. I was so proud to be one of the leaders who presented our innovative analytics solutions in an open forum. This was a significant moment for my team to be recognized for their great work and value. It also represented the synergy that we created within MediaCom; without that, we would not have been able to drive positive change. All teams from ad ops, activation and investment worked with analytics to raise the bar.
Deana Baron, Account Lead, adidas
Deana manages the adidas account, with a vested dedication in building out the MediaCom team. She works to ensure all members of the MediaCom office have a platform to share and work toward individual professional goals.
TASTEFUL TRADITIONS: Deana continues her family’s culinary traditions, sharing and expanding upon her parents’ Cuban and French-Canadian cuisines with her husband and 2-year-old son.
Over time, strong cultures tend to develop beloved traditions. Tell us about a team or company tradition. Why is it meaningful to you? How did you participate in it?
One beloved tradition is the Behaviors Award, which gets announced at our Town Hall each month. It’s an opportunity for the agency to nominate a member of the organization who exemplifies our values: mastering the craft, while having the passion and curiosity to learn from others; strives to make the ordinary, extraordinary; shares and receives ideas openly; enriches and inspires everyone around them; and takes responsibility for their work and can be relied on to get the job done — this person knows we succeed together as One MediaCom. The individual selected is presented with the trophy and a prize.
What I love about our office is that we are a mid-sized agency, which allows for a start-up culture, but we're backed by the resources and support of our larger agency network. ”
How do you empower employees to shape their careers? Similarly, how are employees empowered to help shape or participate in the office culture?
Working on an exciting account like adidas that is so rooted in culture is definitely a highlight of my career, but what inspires me is building a team and seeing team members grow towards their goals.
What I love about our office is that we are a mid-sized agency, which allows for a start-up culture, but we’re backed by the resources and support of our larger agency network. With that in mind, we have our own Fun Committee dedicated to organizing amazing events and team outings that are ideated by members of the team themselves. Our Halloween costume parties are pretty legendary.
In what ways has MediaCom provided you with work-life balance?
As a mother of a 2-year-old boy, it’s difficult to find a balance between work and parent responsibilities. In my case, I am the primary caregiver, on the hook to get home by 6 p.m. each night to relieve our nanny. It’s not easy to find an agency as supportive and accommodating as MediaCom has. Thanks to MediaCom’s flexibility, I’m able to tuck my lil’ guy into bed each night and feel the support of my team to do so. I’m forever grateful for that flexibility.