The past year and a half has sparked so much business transformation that if you don’t take massive steps forward in terms of how you think about and interact with media, you’ll be left behind. You can’t take baby steps anymore.
Catherine Sullivan is the CEO of PHD and an accomplished leader in the advertising world, having spent many years leading sales and investments for several well-known media organizations. She joined me on this episode of Conversation Nation to discuss leadership learnings and transforming the media landscape.
During our chat, Catherine and I discussed the evolution of content consumption. She noted that the pandemic had a heavy hand in transforming the way content is distributed by brands and obtained by consumers. Catherine said that throughout the past year and a half, people have become even more screen agnostic than they were before, which has caused a surge in success for streaming platforms and video overall.
When it comes to consuming content, she stressed, “People are realizing that it doesn’t just have to be in your living room anymore.”
At Holler, we saw firsthand how content usage increased since the pandemic, particularly in messaging. Our 2021 Media in Our Messages report revealed that 57% of people are having “visuals only” conversations in chat environments and 50% of millennials are sharing content in messaging “all the time.” It’s clear that the way we communicate has also become extremely content-driven.
Shifting gears away from digital trends and toward diverse leadership, Catherine and I talked about how she handles promoting diversity and, more specifically, female leadership within her organization. Having risen through the ranks herself, she dedicates a lot of her time to creating opportunities for minority groups at PHD. She knows that she can’t advise clients to think about diverse and multicultural audiences if her team doesn’t live up to the same standards.
As a leader, Catherine makes sure there is diverse representation at all seniority levels within PHD by being mindful about whom she hires and by creating leadership opportunities for people of all backgrounds. Diversity only makes for stronger teams and more successful business outcomes; organizations need to embrace and foster inclusivity at all levels.
Some Key Takeaways
Based on my conversation with Catherine, there are three things i'd like to stress:
- Don’t take baby steps. The past year and a half has been so transformative for media that we can’t think small anymore or else we’ll be left behind.
- The journey of the consumer has changed, especially as a result of the pandemic. People have become even more screen agnostic, with content consumption happening in many places. Brands need to adapt.
- There should be diverse representation of individuals at each career level within organizations. You can’t advise brands to think about diversity strategically if you aren’t doing the same internally.
Catherine has had a seasoned career and offers a strong perspective on a wide range of topics, from media and advertising to diversity and female leadership. Don’t miss this episode.