A distinguished digital and direct marketing industry veteran, Martin Reidy has previously served as CEO of Meredith Xcelerated Marketing, Publicis Modem and Dialog, and R/GA Interactive. In his prior positions, Martin has led teams as large as 2,500 employees spread across 50 countries managing marquee client accounts with Fortune 500 global brands. Martin started his career as a partner at consulting firm, Bain & Co., before moving to EMI Music/Capitol Records as senior vice president; he has also served as an advisor to major industry players and investment firms in digital and data driven marketing solutions.
Martin graduated with a bachelor of science degree from the University of California Berkeley, Walter A. Haas School of Business and received his master of business administration from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
How did you get into the Advertising industry?
As Jerry Garcia said, “What a long, strange trip it’s been.” After graduating from Wharton, I joined Bain & Company working for Mitt Romney and became a partner. I was then approached by EMI Music/Capital Records to head up Global Strategy and Acquisitions. I went from working with one of the most conservative people in business, to some of the craziest, including Keith Richards and Michael Jackson. I completed the Virgin Records deal, where I was also fortunate to work with Sir Richard Branson. Years later, I was asked to help True North (a leading advertising holding company in 1995) acquire emerging agencies in the digital space. After acquiring a number of agencies (including Modem Media), True North asked me to join Bob Greenberg to build out R/GA. These were the very early days of the digital industry. As with most start-up industries, we were making it up as we went along. I knew marketing and learned the technology. At R/GA, I liked what I saw. I knew I could make a difference and decided to join the digital revolution. I have never looked back.
Tell us about Ansira. What is your vision for the agency?
Ansira’s primary goal is to develop profitable and long-term relationships between our clients and their customers. This can only be achieved by thoroughly understanding what drives consumer behavior. Our vision is to be the leader in customer engagement and data-driven marketing. We see analytics as the engine of our business, and strategy as the fuel for everything we do. We want to be known as the largest, smartest, most strategic and successful player in the space. We are well on our way to doing just that.
What strategic partnerships/marketing strategies have you implemented that have attributed to Ansira’s success?
We look at all of our clients as partners. We have a legacy reputation, and trust, in certain sectors like automotive, where we have long-term, embedded relationships with clients like Coca-Cola, Domino’s, Ford and Chrysler. We also have strategic partnerships with top tech companies to make sure we are on the cutting edge of offerings. We are always looking to partner with emerging, innovative partners to create unique product offerings and solutions. Recently we created a unique orchestration platform that we call Ansira Engagement Marketing, or AEM, that coordinates across multiple databases and systems, thus eliminating channel silos. It works in real time and allows marketers to make immediate decisions and modifications on the journey to engaging customers.
What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?
Timeliness is critical. Everything needs to be done in real time. With the proliferation of smarter and more nimble mobile devices, people want and demand access to products immediately. And people expect every engagement to be hyper-individualized. Marketers have to operate an always-on, always-connected mentality. Marketers need to understand their customers in great detail — from demographics to choice of channels and products — and provide timely, relevant and individualized offerings. Once you have that kind of intimate and active relationship with your customers, a whole new world of opportunities opens up.
I know it’s only rock and roll, but I like it.
It’s all about the customer.
Your greatest success as president/CEO of Ansira? Most difficult moment — how did you overcome and what did you learn
Ansira expanded through acquisition and prior to my joining, was still really operating as two companies (both operationally and aspirationally). My greatest success was continuing to bring the company together under one united vision. I take great pride in being the new kid on the block and winning people over. Knock on wood, we haven’t had a difficult time over the past year. We have not lost a single client, we have maintained a very low employee turnover rate and we are batting 700 in new business pitches. Moving forward at full speed.
Your advice to an aspiring talent in the business?
Be fearless. Always keep your eye out for the next thing, because it will happen before you know it.
How do you motivate your employees?
Everybody shares in the success. We work as a team. You can see the difference between teams with a few stars, and those with a real team ethos. We are the latter.
One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?
A Domino’s cheese pizza (with creamy tomato soup from Panera), washed down with a frosty cold Diet Coke. (All three are Ansira’s clients.)
What literature is on your bed stand?
Rereading “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” … I am a big Mark Twain fan.
Role model — business and personal?
Business: Richard Branson. I always have admired his visionary strength. Personal: My twins (son and daughter).
Guitar – I own over 200 guitars. I only play about five of them, though.
Favorite travel destination?
What's next for Ansira?
Ansira will be a name with a very prominent position in the marketing industry. We are about to release some very compelling tools (including our real-time orchestration platform) that will change the way companies connect and actively engage their customers.