Rita Gutiérrez on her new role as CEO Starcom Spain

By June 6, 2017 No Comments

Rita Gutiérrez has just been appointed CEO of Starcom Spain. After 9 years directing the Barcelona office gives the leap to Madrid to lead the transformation of Starcom after the new organization of the group Publicis Media.

In we have taken advantage of his visit to our offices to talk about her point of view regarding the future of the industry and the challenges that she faces from her new role.

1. Despite the organizational transformation that has led to the restructuring and consolidation of the new Publicis Media Group, what is the reason why Starcom has decided to maintain the essence and positioning of its brand?

This was one of the major issues addressed in the Starcom Global Committee led by our CEO Lisa Donohue. We had to ask ourselves if our global brand positioning with regard to the design of human experiences still made sense since if the answer was negative, we were at the right time to change it
So, after bringing together all the local leaders and some of our most relevant clients, we came to the conclusion that remaining “The Human Experience Company” had more reason than ever. In our industry, having the human side in focus is fundamental.

In general, consumers are referred to as “targets”, that is, as faceless people and we want to target people rather than sociodemographic clusters that do not take into account the particularities and emotions of those consumers.

Being a “Human Experience Company” does not mean that we do not know how to make the most of the amount of data we have to manage to be more efficient in our work

2. Could the “Human Experience” label put Starcom at a disadvantage vis-a-vis other agencies and consultants that are more focused on return and also offer tangible business results?

Yes, it is part of the feedback we receive from one of our clients. While everyone agreed that the “human experiences” factor was very important to their brands, we should also be able to show how those experiences worked and were effective for their business.

But we can not forget that our industry coexists art and science and this is something that will not change. Even in spite of the relevance of the data, everything that has to do with the more human side of our industry will continue to have enormous importance.

In addition and although in Starcom and of course in the group Publicis Media, we have more than 4 years reinforcing the equipment with talent in scientific and analytical capacities, that does not remove so that we also need equipment “anthropologists”, specialists in understanding and understanding the people . Our talent must be transversal and be able to solve problems from a creative approach.

Our customer service managers have vast amounts of information available to them, thousands of insights provided by our research teams. It is their responsibility to put order into all of these data, to simplify them, to extract relevant insights and conclusions and to apply them with meaning and value in the strategies of their clients.This means that we have a great challenge in hiring the best talent to achieve it

3. Taking into account that our industry is also formed by people who have been working on it before the digital take-off. Do you think that you are able to develop these new skills that I talked about in the previous question?

It is true that those who started working when the online world did not even exist, we have had to reset ourselves and evolve in the way we understand our profession. Before we worked in a very hierarchical way and in silos and now those silos have disappeared and transversality and flexibility are ubiquitous in the way we work.

Of course this transition has taken a huge effort for a large majority but in general our teams have been very receptive to change and have accepted it with energy and eagerness to catch up.

It’s funny, because in my particular case I think that today’s industry is much more challenging and exciting than when I started in this world. If I look back I can only say, “My God, but boring.” Everything so pre-established, the media and formats were white or black, there was hardly any creative thinking … Now our industry is like an oyster where you never know what you’re going to find.
If you can think of any idea or innovative solution you can always find who can help you make it happen. We are in a wonderful and inspiring moment that can only improve.

When I started to lead the Starcom office in Barcelona at the beginning of the crisis, I came across an important challenge. The industry was in full transformation but the customers behaved in a very conservative way due to the cuts in their marketing budgets and investing only in those media and formats that they knew would work.

This situation has caused the implementation of so much innovation has been delayed and we have to make up for lost time.

4. But surely you have seen a lot of technological change in the last decade?

Obviously this has been the case, but I think it has been a sin to take any technological innovation for granted without having given time to try and experiment to know if it was a perishable and temporary movement. That part has been the most complicated to understand by the market since people tend to cling to everything that shines without stopping to think what the benefit of it.
I think that when we talk about technology what we have to understand is what kind of change is going to provoke people’s behavior and that unmet need tries to give a solution. Only then will we know if it will have permanence or we are just talking about a fad.

Right now I’m fascinated with the whole issue of Artificial Intelligence and the devices that act to the sound of our voices like Alexa from Amazon and Google Home. I am interested in knowing the influence that will have on the business of our customers and how it will affect the development of their brands and products.

The first most obvious change will occur in the way we have as users interact with search engines and the evolution of the word to the voice when it comes to interacting with brands.

And this is just one of the examples that come to mind. We are in a fascinating time that surprises us every day with new advances and I am delighted of the opportunity that Starcom has given me to lead the team of Spain in this new venture.

For the original article, click here.