A couple of decades has brought about massive transformation for both brand marketers and their media agencies. One linguistic but telling example offered by Publicis Media’s Richard Hartell is that when Zenith was created and before it became part of Publicis, it was called Zenith Media Buying Services.

“They never really back then had any aspirations to do anything differently” than buying media, Hartell recalls in an interview with Beet.TV. “It’s the importance of media for clients that has made that change happen” for both marketers and agencies.

The Global President of Business Transformation at Publicis Media notes that understanding the customer journey had traditionally been viewed through a paid-media lens, but now media agencies need to be transformation partners with clients. “Now it’s much broader end to end,” Hartell says.

With this in mind, Publicis Media earlier this year “unfolded” its global operations by executing broad changes in structure and leadership roles “in order to be able to make it much easier for clients to navigate our organization,” Hartell says. “They can come into Publicis Groupe from wherever they need to but can access the best talent and the best skills and capabilities. We’ve made ourselves much simpler for clients.”

He points to the acquisition of Sapient Corp. for its technology and consulting credentials as augmenting Publicis’ brand, creativity and media skillsets. “We stand alone as agencies but can snap together around client problems or solutions whenever we need to,” says Hartell.

Looking ahead to DEMEXCO 2016 in Cologne, Germany, the global business and innovation gathering, Hartell expects to hear more discussion of topics that were front and center at Cannes: data and “the ability to get the right AdTech and MarTech in place for clients.”

Additionally, Hartell believes there is “a big conversation still to be had about trust,” as the Association of National Advertisers and American Association of Advertising Agencies continue to parry with each other over issues of transparency in media agency compensation.

This video is part of “The Road to DMEXCO ’16,” a lead-up series with key influencers on the topics and trends to be addressed at DMEXCO. This series is presented by YuMe. Please visit this page for additional segments.