Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Media Hero: Ryan Kangisser, MediaSense

Ryan Kangisser, Managing Partner at MediaSense, joined the media advisory firm in 2010 to build a more strategic and digital first consulting offering to brands.  Starting his career at digital agency Profero, he has spent the last 15 years advising leading advertisers in areas of digital transformation, agency models and performance management.

Who is your media hero?

Simon Peel, Global Media Director at adidas

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

Having worked very closely with Simon for a number of years, I’ve been fortunate to follow his quiet crusade to move the industry forward.  During this time, we have collaborated through an in-housing programme, various technology deployments, global media transformation and a global media pitch.

Simon’s no-nonsense approach is a lesson to many in not always taking the path of least resistance but to ask the difficult questions no one wants to ask, be a good student of the industry and to always put the consumer first over chasing the zeitgeist.

How has his heroism helped drive media?

The vision Simon has instilled at adidas has created a highly progressive approach to media management with disciplines closely organised around the consumer, media positioned as an important lever of growth, an advanced approach to measurement, and all alongside a more strategic relationship with its media agency built upon strong foundations.

It is a great blueprint for brands seeking greater control of their media supply chain and for those looking to organise their brand and direct/ecommerce channels in a more consumer centric way.

Most recently Simon was bold enough to highlight the journey adidas has been on with its media strategy and approach to measurement with an admission they had been over investing in performance media. Never afraid to call out the question many are thinking, this openness has forced many in the industry to re-evaluate conventional approaches and adopt a more iterative and empirical based system.

What are the biggest challenges in media we need another hero to solve?

Ultimately to make ‘buying the best’ so much easier and interoperable than it is today. Legacy business models have pushed so many towards consolidated or simplified models (agencies, technologies, media platforms etc) leaving little room or appetite for independence and specialism where innovation can flourish.

Especially in this post-Covid world, we should expect to see new challengers and business models emerge but integrating them should not be seen so much as a chore but an opportunity for growth, and to create greater plurality in the industry. 

Leadership will be required at all levels. For brands to prioritise talent, agility and innovation over assumed efficiency and ease; for agencies to be the ‘systems integrator’ and organise the best capabilities irrespective of P&L and logo; for platforms and technologies to be more open, and put consumers and their paymasters (i.e. brands) over self-interest.

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

Helping to influence and transform some of the world’s leading brands is something I personally draw a lot of energy from but that aside, I’m particularly proud of the business and culture we have built at MediaSense over the last 10 years. 

From the humble beginnings of a few borrowed desks in Fitzrovia, we have grown into a significant global business with the support of our exceptional colleagues and clients who continually challenge and improve us every day.