Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Path to the Top podcast: Anne Stagg, UK CEO Merkle

In this podcast series, we’ll be talking to agency leaders to discover the stories behind their journey to the top of the industry and what lessons others can learn from them.

Anne Stagg is the UK CEO of dentsu’s Customer Experience Management Line of Business (CXM). Leading a business of 940 people, she was previously Head of Client Services at Merkle UK.

“I started in the engine room of marketing, data. And who knew data would one day be cool,” she says. “The pace of digital acceleration has been dramatic in recent years but prior to that it felt a gradual process getting into data. But now it’s at the heart of the end-to-end customer experience.”

She may now be at the very top of the industry but in the conversation below, she is disarmingly frank and honest about her own challenges and how she overcome her own perceived failings, always putting people first, then and now.

How to find mentors and coaches and the critical difference between the two is an area of huge importance to her.

“It begins with self-reflection, we need to know and understand our own failings or limitations. You need a really good view of exactly what you want to get out of it.

The best advice I was given was ‘stop working like you have something to prove’ as you’ll be focussed on the wrong things. like pace or impressing the right people, rather than focussing your efforts in the right areas.Just do what you do best and the rest will follow.”

She also discusses how to step up into the role you don’t think is rightfully yours but actually is perfect for you.

“I always say to my managers, look around your team to identify the people that are doing a great job and make sure you pull them with you, rather than focus on the people who shout the loudest.”