Strategist Rises At GSD&M

As director of strategic alliances at GSD&M, Tracy Marino says she will coordinate marketing efforts for clients, sometimes recommending agencies outside the Omnicom family.

Previously senior strategist at the Austin, Texas, agency, Marino received her new title after leading team-building for the AT&T campaign that broke this year and helping guide the successful pitch for BMW’s $160 million account in November.

Marino’s new title is the result of what staffers at the agency are informally calling “the transformation,” a way of doing business that makes GSD&M’s Idea City the center of “ideation” for all who work on a client’s business, whether they be in public relations, direct response, interactive or some other aspect of marketing.

GSD&M wants to be the catalyst for new ideas for BMW, even if another agency proves “best in class” on a special assignment, Marino said.

“It’s interesting to see how different clients view integration,” said Marino, 37, who joined GSD&M as integration director in 2000. “I say we’re not in the middle, wanting to lead all the agencies. The client’s in the middle, and we just want to help facilitate.”

In the past year, the agency sought to create a blueprint to keep the agency at the forefront of culture, media and marketing, Marino said. “That idea of, ‘Let’s always be looking for what’s next and evolve ourselves,’ became more of an official thing,” she said. “It was there, but it became more official. Now, we all own the transformation.”

“We look at our job as relationship-building—in-house as well as outside,” she added.

A native of Massapequa, N.Y., Marino graduated from Boston College with a degree in English, but also took courses in advertising.

She has worked at New York’s Wunderman and Rapp Collins, where she oversaw direct marketing efforts for clients such as American Express, Mercedes-Benz and Amtrak.