Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Media Hero – Stephanie Marks, MD, Havas Media Group

Stephanie Marks is MD at Havas Media Group, joining in 2017 from Maxus, where she was Deputy MD.

Who is your media hero?

Jen Smith, founder of Craft Media.

What has she done to win hero status in your eyes?

So much I don’t know where to start. Jen and I have worked together on and off over 20 years in media. We’ve navigated life’s trials and tribulations together, learnt our craft at the same time (though she is infinitely better at media planning than I am) and most importantly she’s been a rock of support.  

She only ever lifts people up and makes them better at what they do. However, her true hero status comes from her bravery in working with Sally Weavers to set up Craft.

To take a leap of faith, to work tirelessly to win new business, to create a brand that stands for all she believes in, to make friends all over the place (she knows everyone) and to create outstanding work.

How has their heroism helped drive media?

Jen is passionate about what she does, and she’s bloody brilliant at it. We hear all about the ‘lost art of planning’ and Jen has never lost it.

She’s always been super clear on the business challenge her clients face and has always clearly articulated how media can help solve those problems.

Wiz bang new channels and opportunities come along and Jen is always first in there to understand them more, to know how audiences are using them, but never gets lost in the buzz. She always brings it back to what’s right in a way that clients understand.

What is the biggest challenge in media we need another hero to solve?

Media is everywhere. Media is big and it is powerful. It has the power to do so much good when used in the right way.

How do we (the royal we being advertisers, media owners, agencies, industry bodies etc.) ensure that happens? How do we make the right calls and navigate this together?

Our team are working hard to ensure that we’re making better, more meaningful recommendations when it comes to the media channels our clients invest in.

What is your most heroic personal achievement so far in media?

My last two and half years at Havas Media Group have been some of the most rewarding times of my career. The business has been on a real journey of transformation and to look back on everything we have achieved as a team gives a huge sense of accomplishment.

I guess the real measure of this was in 2019. We had a stellar year, finishing at the top of Campaign’s New Business League based on billings and number of accounts won. This certainly stands out as a significant personal achievement of mine.