During this episode of “Marketing Today,” I interview Anas Ghazi, growth officer at Kantar. Ghazi’s path to Kantar stems from his background in computer programming, his work in data analysis at TransUnion and then data analytics and digital marketing roles at American Express. He then headed to WPP, working on their data alliance initiative, where he eventually became CEO, before moving to his current role of driving growth and partnerships at Kantar. 

Ghazi discusses growing up in Wembley outside of London, watching a lot of Sylvester Stallone movies and initially becoming an actor. He also talks about transitioning to a data engineer at TransUnion in Chicago and working on portfolio reviews for customer banks. Ghazi also opens up about his move to New York with American Express, as well as his early days of digital data at WPP working on the company’s data alliance initiative. We also talk about the current state of WPP’s proposed sale of a majority stake in Kantar and how Kantar is transforming and consolidating under the parent brand.

What did Ghazi do when he went from Chicago at TransUnion over to New York City, the center of the world’s financial markets, to work for American Express? “I was a part of the analytics and capabilities group, and for about four weeks, my role was to oversee the relationships with the credit bureaus.” But his role changed quickly, as he was immediately tapped to help the company’s digital transformation efforts for risk management and card management units and bring in data partnerships. Anas then made another leap over to WPP, “I started off as a director, moved to work on partnerships, then began doing expansion and then moved my way up from director to global director to managing director, and then to CEO in about three and a half-ish years.” Anas on his latest role at Kantar, “We are in really exciting times at Kantar. We are a data, insight and consultancy firm. We do all three, and we do them well.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Anas Ghazi introduces himself and his experience once pursuing a career in acting. (01:24)
  • Anas talks about his business experience at TransUnion. (04:33)
  • What was the prompt for Anas to go from TransUnion to American Express? (11:13)
  • Has data been the common thread for his career? (14:52)
  • Anas talks about his transition into WPP. (17:00)
  • What was it that brought Anas over to Kantar? (23:34) 
  • Multi-skilled people that think outside of the box are often overlooked in the business world. (30:30)
  • What types of thoughtful and meaningful work is Kantar doing? (33:02)
  • What does the recapitalization of WPP mean? (35:35)
  • How can businesses effectively apply diversity reports? (37:26)
  • Is there an experience in Anas’s life that has defined who he is today? (38:00)
  • What advice would he give to his younger self? (45:15)
  • What fuels Anas to keep going in his career and life? (46:08)
  • Are there brands that we should pay attention to? (46:56)
  • Where does Anas see the future of marketing going? (50:48)

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 opportunities around brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine startups.