Lived in: Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Miami, New York
Mauricio Sabogal has an amazing number of industry honors and recognitions—ranging from one of “The Most Powerful Latinos in the Media Agency Business” to one of “The 100 Most Influential Colombians” to one of “The 20 Most Influential People of the Decade in the Advertising Business in Latin America.” However, he has now moved beyond his beloved Latin America to an extraordinarily challenging role as President of World Markets at Mediabrands with responsibility for those 52 countries considered to be “emerging” or “fast growth.”
Mediabrands (comprised of Initiative and UM) created a new structure earlier this year to group countries by business similarity rather than geographical location. Their three key clusters include: North America, G14 and World Markets. Mauricio overseas the expansive group of World Markets, which includes: The Middle East and Africa; Latin America; Asia-Pacific; and those European markets not included among the well-established countries in the G14.
This may be a long evolution from his 1990 start in Media Research at Nielsen Colombia. However, a background in data and audience measurement can only be a plus in today’s fully accountable media world.
What role does innovation play in your marketing strategy today? “Innovation is the key element of the advertising and media industry today. Nothing else is as significant when striving to deliver measurable BUSINESS OUTCOMES. Today’s world demands the application of innovative ideas; without them, our work will be left behind.”
Dictionary definitions aside, how would you characterize innovation in the work you do? Today innovation in media must be characterized by: Results and Business Outcomes.
Why do people see you as an innovator? I'm always thinking one step ahead, and asking what comes next. I’m never at ease following the trends; I’m more comfortable creating them and encouraging others to embrace new ideas and innovative behaviors.
Name an innovative idea or business solution for which you are most proud. I am still very proud of winning the 2006 Cannes Grand Prix for Chile’s Cristal Beer. The case study was based on an innovative idea, but at the beginning few believed this concept was possible. However, we not only demonstrated that it was totally doable, but it also could win the highest prize given by the industry.
What is the biggest challenge you face in applying innovative thinking to international projects? Innovation is a core commitment of our company, yet it takes great determination to insure that innovative thinking and performance-led communications is applied in every market. By removing the traditional geographic structure, we have created a wonderful opportunity for our markets across Initiative and UM to share learnings and experience and to drive creativity and innovation for the collective good of our clients.