Philip L. McKenzie is an anthropologist who uses his expertise in culture to advise organizations on how best to thrive in an increasingly challenging and uncertain environment. Philip uses his quantitative background and Wall Street experience in combination with a qualitative understanding of social, economic and cultural movements to unmask complex opportunities and identify significant trends that drive our future.
My experience in the world of influencers and influencer marketing happened like most things in life: unintentionally. I had left the trading desk at Goldman Sachs behind and was working with a group of partners managing FREE DMC, a multicultural agency. We published a lifestyle magazine called FREE Magazine and designed strategy and events for clients like Belvedere, Jaguar and others who were seeking access to a world they didn't quite understand. As the work multiplied and the expertise grew, I discovered there was less common ground between brands and those who were moving culture forward and pushing boundaries. These people that brands would covet would eventually become known as influencers, though back in the early days very few people used that term. Hell, we were wrestling with the definition and the meaning of influencers as a term.
In the world of overused business jargon there are few terms that have been used more exhaustively than "content." The quest for content that will resonate with an audience has become a media arms race. Networks across the board are seeking their next big hit in a crowded content market. Identifying and growing content that is representative and reflective of a diverse audience is one of the most significant challenges faced by media companies. AspireTV, home to original series such as Butter + Brown (pictured at top), Unboxed with Nikki Chu and Icons, Idols + Influencers, has responded to that challenge by building a slate of original content uniquely designed to deliver on the network's programming promise.
This month in Atlanta, Publicis Media launched the ninth edition of the Multicultural Talent Pipeline (MCTP), its annual two-day workshop that introduces potential new talent to the advertising/marketing industry. Over the years, the MCTP has become a vital piece of the overall Publicis Media strategy to increase diversity within its walls and to bring greater awareness of the advertising industry to young talent. Prior to the most recent MCTP, MediaVillage spoke with Brian Vaught, Senior Vice President of Talent Inclusion at Publicis Media, who shared his perspective on the MCTP event and the existing challenges and promise of diversity and inclusion within the industry.