Former McDonald’s CMO Deborah Wahl Joins Mediaocean to Help Marketers ‘Eliminate Friction’

She takes a position on the company's board of directors

Deborah Wahl joins Mediaocean.
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Seven months after leaving McDonald’s USA, former svp and CMO Deborah Wahl has resurfaced at media software company Mediaocean.

The company announced today that Wahl has been elected to Mediaocean’s board of directors where she will be tasked with injecting her past experience on the brand side and her CMO perspective into the company. She will also help Mediaocean, “as they create solutions that help brands succeed in driving measurable results,” Wahl said.

“I really think what [Mediaocean is] providing is critical for all of us in the industry going forward,” Wahl added.

On the Mediaocean side, the company’s CEO Bill Wise said that while Mediaocean has always known it, “had very strategic assets which were the underbelly and infrastructure for advertising,” the team, “always thought we could expand our customer presence utilizing those core assets.”

Wise added about the company’s six acquisitions, “We acquired a planning software, which we are increasingly selling more direct to brand and CMOs. What we found was that marketers, and particularly CMOs and their teams, [knew] there was an underlying operating system that was behind how the agencies process all the buys, but they didn’t necessarily know what those solutions were, who it was, who Mediaocean was.”

By bringing in Wahl, the company hopes to have a deeper connection to the brand marketing community. Wahl will also help CMOs find the right tools to innovate with and make sure that those tools, “are really practical and usable and show those returns for the client side,” Wahl said.

Wise noted that Wahl was a perfect fit for the board position because of her diverse experiences in the marketing industry. Before spending three years at McDonald’s, Wahl was svp and CMO of PulteGroup Inc. She also has extensive auto experience with Chrysler, Ford, Lexus and Toyota.

“As our go-to market is more directly to CMOs we just thought, what better way than to get someone who is entrenched in that industry? Being on the auto side, then on the real estate side and then with McDonald’s, [Wahl] just had a breadth of information and knowledge. She was also vice chair of the ANA, so [she is] very well connected,” Wise added.

Wahl also referenced her experience with the ANA, saying one thing she noticed as a vice chair was,”the pace of change and the criticality of where investments are made,” she said. “I think overall all of us are looking for those partners and firms that bring solutions. What we are looking for in the marketing point of view is to eliminate friction, deliver real-time answers and help all of our teams have intelligence at the touch of a button so we can make these really good investment decisions really quickly.”

Wahl noted that every CMO should fully understand technology, including software, advising CMOs that they now need to think like a CTO. She said Mediaocean will be making huge investments in artificial intelligence and machine learning because they’re “the next big things.”