"New media to me is established media to others. It's pretty exciting."

Managing Director for Carat Manchester, Pete Metcalfe, joined John Reynolds on the Media and Marketing podcast to discuss growth through differentiation, evolving client relationships and the benefits of diversity.

You can listen to Pete’s interview here.

In October 2018 Pete took on the role of Managing Director; 10 years after joining Dentsu Aegis Network as a graduate. Beginning his career with sister agency iProspect, Pete made the move to Carat after seven years to become Head of Digital.  

The podcast opens with Pete’s reflection on the transition from Carat’s Head of Digital to Managing Director and what this means for his priorities. Despite having worked with a number of clients and partners in his previous roles, the volume of people getting in touch stood out as a noticeable change.

Whilst acknowledging the rise in the number of people he’s now managing and the number of people getting in touch, Pete also recognised that what’s new for him isn’t the same as others in the industry, “Having worked primarily throughout my career in digital it is quite exciting - new media to me is established media to others.”

With consideration of the changing nature of client needs and their digital capabilities, it is acknowledged that opportunities are arising in offering a consultancy service. From Pete’s perspective, we have the talent, experience, and the relationships with technology companies to deliver a comparative service to heritage consultancy firms, but with our own innovative approach to delivery.

On the future of the team here at Carat, we’re on course to reach the IPA target of 40% female senior staff by 2020, with our current figure at 44% (43.4%).  Pete notes that while we take pride in this, and it is something that Rachel McDonald, MD of Dentsu Aegis North, is leading the charge on, there is still progress to be made. Two examples of Dentsu Aegis Network’s drive for gender equality programmes are the One Network and Women in Leadership, which we are promoting throughout the business.

Importantly, it doesn’t stop at gender. Diversity brings more to the table in terms of perspectives, ideas, and opportunities for a media agency to evolveConsidering recruitment priorities for the next 12 months, Pete emphasises that we’re certainly putting things in place to ensure that we focus on diversity in a holistic sense.

Summarising what’s on his to-do list for the next 12 months, number one was more client wins. Carat Manchester have had a lot of success over the last five years, through exponential growth, a lot of change and a lot of opportunity. Digital has been at the heart of that growth (75 per cent), and that’s something Pete wants to continue, whilst also evolving what we do some of the more traditional media channels.  

Finally, Pete speaks to John about growing our relationship with clients so we are on a more strategic level and not a transactional level. Simultaneously, we’re investing in our people, ensuring our best talent rises to the top - delivering the leaders of the future that we need in the next evolution of the media agency.

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