Media agency GroupM has appointed Ari Bluman as its chief digital investment officer for North America.
In this newly created position, Bluman will be responsible for leading GroupM’s digital strategy and ensuring that a high level of media value is achieved for all clients. He will also oversee the company’s developing relationships with key media partners across all inventory categories. Bluman will report to Rino Scanzoni, chief investment officer at GroupM.
“We created this role because we wanted to have a centralized investment manager that is responsible for placing clients’ media spend in digital. We have individuals that represent our four agencies including Maxus, MEC, MediaCom and Mindshare. They all place dollars on behalf of our clients but we thought it would be advantageous for all parties if this was managed at a group level rather than at an individual agency level. We also believe it makes sense in terms of driving the best value in ROI,” said Scanzoni.
Bluman joins GroupM from Real Media Group, a business unit of 24/7 Media, where he had worked since 1997. He held a number of senior positions at the company including the most recent as president, North America since 2008. In this role, Bluman oversaw business development, ad operations, sales, and client services for the region. His previous positions also included senior vice president, North American sales and operations.
According to Scanzoni, Bluman’s expertise lies in digital media arenas such as search, mobile, display and video, which will be beneficial to his new position. “Ari’s job is to synchronize and direct our agencies’ investment leaders in North America and harmonize our approach to the markets in both inventory and the data which informs our investment strategy for individual clients. We obviously want to get the best pricing for our clients and we want to invest in areas that will have the most long term potential to drive benefit,” Scanzoni said.
“In the online world, scale is very important and this is what drives significant value if you know how to make it work for you. With Ari’s knowledge and expertise, we’ve no doubt that we will achieve this,” he added.
Looking forward, Scanzoni said that the initial few months of Bluman’s role will include a business valuation process and a gathering of information to determine the necessary strategies needed in order to drive optimum value. From then, the company can decide exactly where to prioritize its goals.
“We need to look at what the agency has been doing as a whole and highlight those areas that we can improve on. After that we will have a better idea of how we can develop best practices and what areas we can improve on. We will also have a better understanding of where we believe we should be increasing our investment and where we should be decreasing it,” Scanzoni concluded.
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