Global independent media agency Crossmedia has hired former Publicis executive Dr. Ram Singh to bolster its performance advertising offering. Singh joins as the media agency’s first chief performance media officer.
In the role, which he began in August, Singh oversees the agency’s performance media and performance analytics functions and reports to U.S. CEO, and Adweek’s 2022 Media Executive of the Year, Kamran Asghar.
Before Crossmedia, Singh spent seven years as the chief analytics and product officer at Publicis Groupe’s performance media shop, Performics. He was formerly a CMO at Brandman (Chapman University System), and also previously worked at Sprint, AOL and IBM.
“Clients are aligning in a manner where nobody’s saying brand budget is separate and performance budget is separate. They’re bringing it all together,” said Singh, noting that performance advertising is receiving more attention than it used to.
Recalling his time as a CMO, Singh said that he didn’t feel comfortable with performance and brand channels isolated from each other. Crossmedia offered Singh an opportunity to build out more holistic strategies that prioritize both disciplines.
Asghar is simultaneously investing in solidifying Crossmedia’s position as a full-funnel media agency. “We don’t often get the credit for being performance marketers–even though we do that day in and day out,” he said.
The agency often finds itself working with clients that are at an inflection point, according to its CEO. Some clients maximized lower-funnel performance media investments and wonder how to connect lower-funnel marketing initiatives with high-funnel brand marketing.
With Singh at the helm, Crossmedia will not only focus on delivering full-funnel campaign execution to clients that want it, but also on attracting clients that invest more in performance media, like DTC brands.
“I think it will play right to large-scale marketers, but also play right to traditional performance marketers who eventually need the kind of thinking that we provide anyway,” Asghar said.
Offering clients flexibility is something Singh is excited about. Whereas some holding companies offer clients preferred technology and solutions like Publicis’ Epsilon PeopleCloud, Singh noted, Crossmedia does not have preferred solutions and works with clients to customize their approach.
“We’re not approaching it with a set mindset—that I have to use solution X or solution Y,” said Singh.
Singh’s hire is part of a broader leadership expansion, rounding out a C-Suite comprised of 43% women and 43% people of color. Recently, the agency elevated longtime employee and Adweek Media All Star Ali Plonchak to the COO role and hired agency veteran Anne Bologna as CSO, Kristen Metzger as chief people officer and Christine Merrifield-Wehrle as head of investment.
Plonchak, along with Lee Beale, who leads the agency’s Redbox Intelligence unit, are Crossmedia managing partners.