In 15 years, Mediology has experienced many defining moments – from opening its doors in 2006, to winning a major contract in 2009, and becoming the first media agency to start a digital division. It won its first AdReview Hotshop award in 2009, opened a branch in Cape Town in 2013 and was named Financial Mail’s Media Independent of the Year in 2019. It bought the building it occupied, now Mediology House, and appointed a GCFO in 2017 and a Group MD in 2020.
Ana Carrapichano, CEO of Mediology, shares some insights into their journey, lessons learnt and the values they embrace. Having previously held executive positions at multinationals such as Saatchi & Saatchi and McCann-Erickson, Carrapichano had a solid foundation of skills and experience under her belt. But then her new role as the mother of twins became her focus and she paused her career to raise them. She took on freelance work and found that clients wanted her to manage their accounts, so she built up a small client base, hired her first employee, and Mediology was born.
Carrapichano’s purpose for the business was to provide strategic focus and business results for her clients. ‘I wanted to create a magic space where clever media thinking could thrive – to build a media company founded on love, creativity and passion and to unleash the full potential of delivering magic. We call it #WhereLogicMeetsMagic.’
Mediology now employs 50-plus creative thinkers. Their offering includes traditional media services, a broad-spectrum digital marketing and media service and an array of analytic and reporting tools, with integrated traditional and digital solutions. The company also subscribes to thenetworkone, a global network for independent agencies.
Any great leader would agree that a company’s most valuable assets are its people. ‘A great agency is great talent. We have a lot of smart people at Mediology whom I love and respect. Our new CEO Chats with all employees are aimed at getting to know what makes them happy and what they want for their future. I don’t want people to be disengaged, dissatisfied and frustrated at work,’ said Carrapichano. She also has great respect for her management team, whom she credits with making the agency what it is.
Carrapichano is a media veteran who has experienced the industry over several decades, and the radical changes that have shaped it. ‘From old-school direct marketing and sales promotion, to digital, e-commerce, media fragmentation, social content and ad tech, the agency model has completely transformed. I’ve been around for 30 years, so you can imagine the speed at which we do things now compared to the late ’80s,’ she said. ‘What hasn’t changed is that I still work as hard as I did then and I still get a kick out of coming up with a great idea.’
Adapting to industry changes is essential for survival. ‘The beauty of being independent is that we are agile and can adapt to market needs,’ said Carrapichano. ‘Our monthly #WhereLogicMeetsMagic strategy sessions are all about evolving and inspiring creative and integrated media campaigns. Our latest evolution is the full automation of the agency and the adoption of one of the world’s best media and marketing methodologies.’
Mediology has exciting plans for the next five years. ‘We have an awesome machine ready to take on the world – we are opening our first office in North America later this year, and will continue to focus on expanding our network in Africa.’
Mediology will be launching an ‘adopt an entrepreneur’ programme, which will soon be announced. For entrepreneurs with dreams of starting their own media agency, Carrapichano said, ‘Believe in yourself, work hard, stay on top of your finances, find a mentor and don’t give up too easily.’