Michael Russell

Michael Russell

Chief Growth officer at Dentsu Aegis Network
New York, United States

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Chief Growth Officer
New York, United States
April 2018 - Present (1 year)
Chief Marketing Officer (interim)
New York, United States
October 2017 - April 2018 (6 months)
Edelman Financial is one of the largest independent financial planning firms in the nation, managing $22 billion for 36,000 clients, who are taken care of by 160 planners in 43 offices. The firm was founded by Ric and Jean Edelman, a husband and wife team who believed financial planning could be better and that planning is for everyone. Ric is widely regarded as one of the nation’s top financial advisors and ranked the nation’s #1 Independent Financial Advisor three times by Barron’s. I joined in October with a specific mission: guide a 48-person marketing team into stronger short-term performance, applying the expertise and experience I've gained from 20+ years at some of the world's best agencies. Marketing's primary role at Edelman has been lead generation. The reason I joined, unfortunately, is that we were 40% under our lead gen goal for the 1st 3Qs of 2017. With rapid enhancements and a focus on consumer centricity, we quickly turned things around. In 3 months, we exceeded our monthly lead gen goal, a first in over a year. And through Q1 2018, we hit 100% of our lead gen target, which was fueling strong growth at the company.As we maximize marketing performance in the short-term, we are setting the stage for an exciting future - kicking off a brand and experience evolution, with a new brand strategy, persona development and journey mapping, and redesigning our digital ecosystem. We are creating client-centric and contextually relevant media, content and experiences that power the brand and business towards even stronger future growth.
CMO, Head of Marketing
New York, United States
March 2016 - May 2017 (1 year 2 months)
+ Ad Age "Agency to Watch" - 2017+ Leader in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Global Digital Marketing Agencies - 2017 and 2016+ "Strong Performer" in Forrester Search Marketing Agency Wave - 2016iCrossing is the marketing agency for a modern world, an integrated and independent agency that delivers strategically led creative, media, technology and commerce solutions. Owned by Hearst, we turn brand potential into business performance for ambitious marketers. We unleash potential through brand performance marketing, which harmonizes brand strategy, creativity and storytelling with the power of data, technology and performance marketing. Our clients include Amazon, Bayer, Bridgestone, Blue Cross Blue Shield, BMW Group, Church & Dwight, DIRECTV, LEGO, LG, L’Oréal, Microsoft, NBA, Starwood and Toyota. Headquartered in New York, the business has nearly 1,000 employees in 10 countries.My role as head of marketing was to share the exciting story and maximize the visibility/discoverability of the iCrossing brand during our transformative journey from digital marketing and performance media specialist to a full-service marketing agency - and most importantly, stimulate demand for our services. I led external positioning, including paid, earned and owned activity, and played a leadership role on new business. I helped create and express the narrative that redefined the agency and pushed iCrossing into new categories and consideration. On top of being named an Ad Age “Agency to Watch” and twice under my watch, a Leader in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Global Digital Marketing Agencies, the agency grew 22% overall in 2016, with 21 wins and 33 total brands, including creative, DAOR and technology assignments. Gartner summed it up nicely: "Moving beyond its core strengths in search, social and media, iCrossing is increasingly winning brand work by leveraging the deeper consumer insights enabled by Hearst data and expertise."
Chief Growth Officer
New York, United States
May 2015 - March 2016 (10 months)
As a new CEO took over and a new management team was put into place, I was hired to lead agency growth. With a mission to become the marketing agency for a modern world, iCrossing was evolving from a performance marketing specialist and search marketing pioneer, making major strides to become a full-service marketing agency. Owned by Hearst, the agency offers consumer insights, talent and audiences that other agencies cannot match. I reorganized and right-sized the business development organization, which had resembled more of a software sales team. I created new qualification criteria and implemented a more efficient business development process. We upgraded our arsenal of new business tools – including narrative, case studies and audits of prospect activity. I’ve led or contributed to 150+ total RFIs, RFPs and pitches, delivering $35MM in new business - including AOR assignments at Bayer, Church & Dwight, MFS, NBA and SiriusXM. This set the stage for a strong future: 2016 saw 22% overall agency growth, 21 wins and 33 total brands, and an improved agency win rate (69% in 2016 from 35% in 2015).
Vice President of Business Development
Brooklyn, United States
July 2014 - May 2015 (10 months)
Huge creates experiences that transform brands, grow businesses and make people’s lives better. The agency is part of IPG and has 1,200 people and 14 offices globally. I led proactive pursuit of agency new business targets, creating an outbound business development function - a first for the agency. I was responsible for office-agnostic lead gen, pipeline development and winning new business. In a year, I delivered 19 net new opportunities to the agency pipeline and led 50+ capabilities meetings. I led relationships with search consultants and created a global outbound email program, reaching 3,000+ prospects and clients per month. You could find me at CES, SXSW, Adobe Summit, eTail, Peer 150, CDX, ANA, Digiday and Mashable events, networking with brands and technology partners. I helped deepen relationships with key technology alliance partners like Adobe, Elastic Path, Sitecore, Demandware and Acquia.
Senior Vice President, Sales and Business Development
New York, United States
October 2011 - July 2014 (2 years 9 months)
I was hired to transform business development at MSLGROUP North America, a 630-person, 11-office, $130MM business. MSLGROUP is Publicis Groupe’s flagship speciality communications, PR and events network. As a member of the North America executive team, I was responsible for agency growth in the US and Canada. Over three years, I eliminated subservience, improved qualification, and instilled rigor and consistency into the new business process – which significantly increased our win rate and improved the quality of client brands. This paid off with a series of significant new business wins, including assignments at BMW, Rolls-Royce, Wells Fargo, Vicks, PayPal, Netflix, Tourismo Mexico, Emirates Airline, Reckitt-Benckiser, Siemens, March of Dimes and Morgan Stanley. PR is a high-volume, transactional new business game. I managed a pipeline of 500+ net new opportunities annually. Under my guidance, we improved the agency win rate by nearly 50%. It was my role to marshal the agency’s best resources for multi-office and multi-national pitches - and we transitioned to a "best teams" approach, drawing the best talent and most experienced SMEs from the network vs. pitching office by office. I led a lean, centralized new business team with dotted-line reports in local offices. One of our biggest successes was creating a list of 250 high-value targets, from which over the course of a year, we created 80+ meetings, 32 RFPs, 20 pitches, and won $5MM+ in new business.
Managing Director, Business Development
New York, United States
October 2007 - October 2011 (4 years)
Responsible for building new client relationships, managing inbound and outbound opportunities, and pitching new business for Meredith Xcelerated Marketing. MXM is a 725-person direct and digital marketing agency that's part of Meredith Corporation. In this role, I was a hunter – and delivered $15MM in new business revenue over four years. Wins included Wells Fargo, Volkswagen, NEA Member Benefits, SunTrust, Aetna, Leading Hotels of the World and GSK. In 2011, I delivered what was then agency’s 4th largest client (approx. $6MM+ revenue). I led RFI and RFP development, and managed cross-discipline teams during AOR and project-based pitches. I led capabilities and pitch presentations to dozens of Fortune 500 prospects. I built relationships with top search consultants. And I partnered with corporate sales teams and MDP brands to create new leads and opportunities for the agency.
National Sales Director, Custom Solutions from SmartMoney
Hearst Corp.
May 1999 - September 2007 (8 years 4 months)
Managed the sales team, pitched for new business and supported client relationships for Custom Solutions from SmartMoney, a custom communications agency that represents SmartMoney magazine and it's corporate parents, Hearst and Dow Jones.
Sales Manager
Time Inc.
May 1998 - May 1999 (1 year)
Sales and business development for Money Education Services and Time Inc. Custom Publishing.


Bachelor of Arts

July 2018 - July 2018 ()

July 2018 - July 2018 ()

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