Marketing agency leaders reveal their post-pandemic predictions, top areas of concern and share tips for growth
AMA Toronto’s signature, annual Agency Panel explores the opinions and experiences of bellwether marketers from the Canadian agency sector in order to predict and discuss emerging or ongoing trends, as well as challenges and opportunities facing our industry in the upcoming year. Against a backdrop of COVID and a looming recession, discover how these marketing agency leaders intend to tackle next year’s challenges.
Founder, The T1 Agency
A lifelong volunteer and entrepreneur, Mark Harrison is an experienced marketer and big believer in purpose. Mark is the founder of the Mh3 Collective, including T1, a sponsorship agency that works with impactful brands, and SponsorshipX, a global community of marketing practitioners.
In addition, he co-founded the Black Talent Initiative to support the Black community in professional workplaces and Sidekick consulting to provide strategic solutions for businesses. Also, Mark helped launch Humanity, a creative agency for the Human Age, and Park Street Education, a non-profit that works to remove all barriers to children’s education.
His community involvement includes being a Board Chair of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto, a Board Member of the CAMH Foundation and an advisor to several ventures, including the Crankworx World Tour, Riff, and NFL Canada. In addition, Mark sits on the Board of Playmaker Capital, a leading digital sports media company. Mark is a recipient of the Harry Jerome Award for Business, announced by the Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA). In addition, his success in marketing over the last thirty years has led him to be the Association of Canadian Advertisers’ 2022 Gold Medal Award winner.
EVP, Strategic Operations Consultant
Institute of Canadian Agencies (ICA)
A proven results-oriented finance and operations executive, Leah has 20 years of agency-side experience supporting agency leaders and their executive teams. She has worked closely with leadership throughout her career to develop and achieve strategic plans that led to consistent growth and award-winning client work.
She has advised C-level execs at the operational, regional and global levels on issues of financial leadership, agency acquisitions, operating system implementation, information technology integration, agency transitions, capital project management, as well as fee, scope and contract negotiations.
Her agency experience includes time most recently at Grey Canada as Chief Operating Officer plus financial leadership roles at Grey SF, DDB Canada, Downtown Partners, Echo Advertising, and Rapp Collins Worldwide. Since 2017, she has created and spearhead many ICA business transformation, growth and talent engagement initiatives in the support of agencies and their leaders.
President and CEO, Zulu Alpha Kilo
As Zulu Alpha Kilo’s President & CEO, Mike oversees all aspects of the agency’s business. His passion for building high-performance teams has made him a highly sought-after leader in the advertising industry. Throughout his career, Mike has built a reputation as a thought leader in digital, social and non-traditional marketing.
He’s been an integral part of Zulu’s success - being named Ad Age’s International Small Agency of the Year and Campaign US Independent Agency of the Year. The shop was also named to Forbes list of Best 25 Small Companies and one of Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures. As an independently-owned creative agency of 150 “Zuligans”, Zulu has built an international reputation as an industry outlier and one of the world’s most respected independent agencies.
The 14-year-old shop has grown with big-name clients such as Subaru, Bell, Campbell’s, Whirlpool, Harry Rosen, HomeEquity Bank, Interac, Booking.com, Destination BC, and Save-On-Foods, and has recently expanded with offices now in Toronto, Vancouver, and New York.
President, Track DDB North America
A 25-year marketing industry veteran, Paul has spent his career focusing on using data, technology and analytics to deliver the right message to the right customer at the right time. This journey has led from mass advertising to promotions, shopper marketing, digital and 1:1 CRM.
Paul currently heads up the North American operations of Track DDB, a leading digital, data, technology and analytics agency focusing on delivering connected experiences to some of the world’s best brands. In addition, Paul teaches Customer Value Creation and Marketing Analytics at the DeGroote School of Business as part of their MBA faculty.
President, Dentsu Media
Sarah Thompson is the President of Dentsu Media overseeing Carat, DentsuX and iProspect agency brands in Canada. She is the former CSO of Theo (an agency for Rogers) and the CSO of Mindshare. Sarah is an advocate of diversity and inclusion representation as well as local news in Canada.
She sits on the CMA Thought Leaders Council, the ACA Cross-Media Measurement Organization, the CMDC Board and Local News Committee and PrideAM with the ICA. She is a mentor for the ACA and other programs. She is the winner of the 2020 CMDC Award for Media Leader of the Year. Sarah prides herself on supporting the next generation of people coming into advertising and marketing.
Head of Globe Content Studio, The Globe & Mail
Sean Stanleigh is Head of Globe Content Studio, the content-marketing division of The Globe and Mail. His team blends audience data with journalistic intuition and experience to craft great storytelling on behalf of brands, positioning them as thought leaders with influential audiences across multiple platforms. He also hosts the award-winning podcast Industry Interrupted. Sean has held a number of senior editing roles at The Globe and the Toronto Star in disciplines that include international, national and local news, small business, and entertainment. He regularly appears at events as a host, speaker and moderator. Follow him @seanstanleigh on Twitter and @sstanleigh on Instagram.
Tickets for this AMA Toronto event are priced at $50 for Members and $75 for Non-Members, plus applicable transaction fees and taxes.
Launched in 2015, the Agency Panel is one of AMA Toronto’s longest running and most popular events. The last in-person Agency Panel was held in December 2019, just prior to the pandemic. In 2021, the panel was a virtual event. 2022 marks a return to form!
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