Worked in: Although Andy has only permanently lived in New York and London, his work has taken him across the US, France, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and The Netherlands.
Name an innovative idea or business solution for which you are most proud. Andy has been integral to the development of MEC’s current mobile marketing offering including formulating GroupM’s partnership with Joule, along with counterparts at both Mindshare and MediaCom.
Why do people see you as an innovator? Andy’s role for the past 3 years has been dedicated to driving understanding and application of emerging media and technology for MEC in multiple markets. In the UK Andy helped initiate MEC’s social media practice and introduced new revenue streams through the agency’s buzz monitoring service. He also created Emerging Platforms networks in the UK and EMEA.
Andy has also championed monthly innovations and ideas presentations to be shared among the global network.
What role does innovation play in your marketing strategy today? For our clients, innovation and technology have become increasingly important over the last several years. The speed of change in digital technology affects consumer behavior and brings new opportunities in marketing. As a result, innovation is no longer a luxury for a few elite brands, but a necessity for almost everyone. Innovation in our strategies plays a variety of different roles in meeting client objectives, but most importantly it should do something more effectively or more efficiently than what came before it by adding value to the consumer and their experience with the brand.
What is the biggest challenge you face in applying innovative thinking to international projects? The greatest challenge, undoubtedly, is the application of new and emerging platforms/technology across multiple markets where levels of consumer adoption and the sophistication of use vary significantly. Additionally, technology standards vary across markets so implementing an initiative internationally can be extremely complex, costly and resource intensive—especially relevant given the nature of innovation means it’s often untested and therefore more risky.
Dictionary definitions aside, how would you characterize innovation in the work you do? By helping to keep MEC at the forefront of developments in digital technology and marketing—on such platforms as mobile marketing, gaming, advanced targeting, digital out of home, next generation TV, social media and content distribution—
Andy’s responsibilities are characterized by innovation. He plays a key role in developing the
agency’s products/services in these areas, educating the agency staff on emerging platforms,
developing best practice guidelines, and creating partnerships with best-in-class suppliers.
Any other interesting aspects to your international background? Andy ran an emerging platforms network across MEC EMEA in his previous role from London. He’s worked on several global new business pitches and has helped develop the latest agency planning process in conjunction with a global taskforce.
Any internationalist trivia about yourself? His father is Egyptian and grew up in Cairo until he was about 20 years old, when he met Andy’s mother in a hostel in London!