Episode 26
Brand Story Podcast

Running Toward Challenges

featuring Kristen Cavallo

CEO at The Martin Agency

Kristen Cavallo, CEO of The Martin Agency, talks with our president, Steve Gilman, about finding new challenges and how their team is fighting invisibility.

In today’s world, 84% of advertising goes unnoticed. It’s a shocking statistic that’s led advertisers to adapt their strategies and discover new ways to become relevant. Nowadays it’s more about recollection and conversation than general awareness, so your messaging matters more than ever. For Kristen Cavallo and The Martin Agency, this is just one small way they fight invisibility.

Whether it’s producing double-digit growth, embracing diversity, or leading her team to win AdWeek’s Ad Agency of the Year (twice), Kristen has always ran toward the next challenge. For her, fear and change are motivators, and she encourages her team to embrace them as well. Her career journey and experience as CEO of The Martin Agency is full of inspiring lessons that will help you guide your team toward your next big goal.

About the Guest

Kristen Cavallo

CEO at The Martin Agency

As the first female CEO of The Martin Agency, Kristen works to create impactful ideas for clients like GEICO, Oreo, UPS, CarMax, Old Navy, DoorDash and Axe. Her mission is to help fight invisibility – with breakthrough work and an inclusive culture. Whether she’s tackling key issues or traveling to new places, she’s most comfortable when she’s outside her comfort zone.

Quickfire Q&A

What is the worst thing and what is the best thing about being a CEO?

The worst thing I would say that in advertising, the higher you go, past a certain level, the more removed you are from the work. And so I sometimes don’t see the ads until you do. The best part is that I am not an incrementalist. And I came into that position in a moment when people were demanding change, and that has been probably one of the most invigorating feelings of my career.

If you weren't the CEO of Martin, what would you be?

I would want to be in the United Nations because I feel like those are really big problems that need really big solutions with a lot on the line. It needs our best thinkers and our best negotiators and our best compromisers and our best out-of-the-box thinkers.

If you could give your younger self any advice where you're sitting now, what would it be?

I think I worried too much over what I studied and whether or not it would be a direct line to my vocation and it’s really not. I would say take a lot more debate classes, make sure you’ve mastered public speaking, learn how to write. I would take more chances. I would trust my gut more. I would just tell myself to hang in there.

About The Host

Steve Gilman

As the President of Gravity Group, Steve is passionate about helping brands reach their goals through honest, creative marketing and powerful brand stories.