Carat USA, a Dentsu Aegis Network media agency, announced today the appointment of 20-plus years marketing veteran Angela Steele to the new role of chief strategy officer.
Steele, who most recently served two years as Dentsu’s global product lead for the General Motors account, will be responsible for expanding on Carat’s product and technology strategies and will oversee the agency’s insights, strategy and innovation teams. She will report to Carat USA CEO Michael Epstein.
“Angela is a seminal talent,” Epstein said in a statement. “Carat is making a strategic pivot to marketing based on true person-based identity rather than proxies, via the M1 platform. Angela’s digital centric background, as well as her deep knowledge of the mobile and content space, make her the perfect choice to scale the M1 platform across the agency to deliver improved business outcomes for our clients.”
Steele’s primary role of developing Carat’s product strategy will be centered around Dentsu’s data platform, M1, which was created after the network purchased a majority stake in private performance marketing agency Merkle last year. M1 aims to advance the people-based marketing capabilities of Dentsu, the ad world’s fifth-largest holding company.
“This is unquestionably the best time to be a part of Carat,” Steele said in a statement. “The agency has always differentiated itself through its deep understanding of consumers, and this expertise is more important now than ever given our consumer-led media landscape and the focus on personalization and user experience.”
Steele said programmatic media “has driven us to people-based marketing” and Carat, with the help of insights from M1, is at the forefront of this shift.
Since its launch this year, M1 has identified 8,000 different attributes “based on real people” and behaviors, which helps Carat understand and target individuals, Steele noted.
“We drive significantly better results for our clients the more personalized we become,” she said.
In her previous position on the General Motors account, Steele worked alongside Carat in integrating all of Dentsu’s media capabilities including programmatic media and mobile and data disciplines. Through her work with GM, Steele said her biggest takeaway was that advertising “needs to be beneficial, not disruptive to consumers.”
The easiest way for advertisers to avoid being “click-baity” and instead help consumers is by understanding them, according to Steele.
Before GM, Steele served as CEO of Ansible, Interpublic Group’s mobile agency where she was recognized for rebuilding the agency.
Justine Bloome, Carat’s former executive vice president and head of strategy and innovation, most recently handled some of the duties Steele will be responsible for now. Bloome’s LinkedIn profile states that she left Carat in June to take on the position of chief strategy officer at private digital agency VaynerMedia.