Mark Penn is the Chairman and CEO of Stagwell, the newest agency holding company with over 10,000 employees in more than 24 countries.

On the show, Mark and I discuss his journey from polling in his early teens to being the lead pollster for President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, through her Senate races. In addition to these accomplishments, Mark founded his own company, which eventually got acquired by WPP. His latest venture was the creation and build of Stagwell Group and the recent merger with MDC to create the newest agency holding company—Stagwell.

Later, we talk about the future of Stagwell—what they are looking toward, their strategy, and why they are a different type of holding company for marketers and brands. Ultimately, Mark believes “digital disruption is both the biggest opportunity and the biggest threat to marketing, and our marketers need to be able to effectively harness the promise of the digital revolution.” Listen to find out how marketers should be thinking about the future.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The four layers of the “marketing cake”
  • The importance of digital-first marketing
  • Marrying media and creative to power marketing

Key Highlights:

  • [01:28] The first poll Mark ever conducted
  • [03:34] Polling for the New York State Democratic party 
  • [05:00] Mark’s career path
  • [08:53] Landing Microsoft as a client
  • [12:04] Working with MDC
  • [18:00] The vision for Stagwell
  • [20:27] The four layers of the “marketing cake”
  • [25:40] Stagwell’s global ambition
  • [29:53] An experience that defines Mark makes him who he is today
  • [32:05] Mark’s advice to his younger self
  • [34:30] What marketers should be learning more about 
  • [37:50] The brands and organizations Mark follows
  • [39:00] The biggest threat and opportunity for marketers

Resources Mentioned: 

Follow the podcast:

Connect with the Guest:

Connect with Marketing Today and Alan Hart:

Alan B. Hart is the creator and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders. Alan advises leading executives and marketing teams on brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth opportunities. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine companies.