The Marketing Institute: What does a Managing Director at MediaCom do?
Ian McGrath: As a communications business, MediaCom operates in a highly energetic, expansive and competitive environment. The extent of specialism across this industry, and its pace, keeps it refreshing. Our central belief in MediaCom is that our people defines us – People First. Instilling this across everything we do is my number one priority.
MII: What were your key career moves to get to your current role?
I.M: I’ve worked in media agencies throughout my career. If you know me, you know I genuinely love this business. Few industries are driven by such an extent of exploration, learning and proof as marketing is.
MII: What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?
I.M: In one word – Leadership. I would not believe anyone who says that leadership is easy, but it is hugely rewarding.
MII: What key skills do you need to be effective in your role?
I.M: Our core purpose in MediaCom is to grow clients’ businesses. The capability and motivation of our team is what moves business forward. Understanding people is how you really grow penetration, so to be truly effective in my role I need to ensure this is the focus of everything we do.
MII: Describe a typical working day.
I.M: There is no day that is wash, rinse, repeat. As I mentioned, that’s what I love about this business. In MediaCom we work with a stellar list of clients, many in tough markets. No two days could be the same. I do like to get an early start as I believe that sets you up for the rest of the day.
Reading and exercise are important no matter how busy you are. And make sure you have time to think. Lasting solutions are often better than quick solutions.
MII: What do you love most about your role?
I.M: I believe that brands are cultural. Understanding how to influence choice, commitment and intent is something you have to immerse yourself in. I also like to know the technical ins-and-outs of how things work. Both these areas excite me.
The people in this business are also generally hard working, passionate and nice. That makes a big difference in any industry.
MII: Looking ahead, where might your career path lead to next?
I.M: I’m a big believer ‘that chance favours the well prepared’. I’m always open to opportunities, once I keep to this I’m sure I’ll keep finding them. In the meantime I’ll keep trying to improve myself and continue to learn.
MII: To whom do you look for professional inspiration in your role?
I.M: Sometimes people forget that musicians are big fans of music. There is a lot of inspiration to take from the Irish marketing industry over the years. We should be proud. And the privilege we have today is that it's never been more accessible. Please find it, read it and share it.
And lastly I can never overlook the support of my family and friends. I always have to give a special thank you to these people.