Chris Copeland is CEO of GroupM Search – The Americas, the search specialist division within GroupM, the world’s largest media investment management organization responsible for more than 1/3 of the world’s media buying. Chris is responsible for understanding and staying abreast of the direction the search industry is taking, and is responsible for helping clients understand the search industry and how their campaigns can benefit from search by leading the various search organizations within GroupM’s media communications planning companies – Maxus, Mediaedge:cia (MEC), MediaCom and Mindshare, as well as the stand-alone brand, Outrider.
Chris serves a dual role as CEO for Outrider, and is responsible for the global oversight and strategic vision and stewardship of Outrider within the WPP network of companies and in the external marketing space. He has played a critical role in developing industry best practices for search and cross-channel integration, and continues to develop and provide strategic direction on integration at the media agency and client levels. Chris is also credited with the development of Relevant Segmentation of Consumer Search, a proven, advanced search strategy that connects advertisers with consumers through search by targeting them based on where they are in the purchase funnel. This strategy has had a significant impact on integrated search programs for multiple market-leading advertisers in Pharmaceutical, Automotive, Retail, Consumer-Packaged Goods and more.
A seasoned search expert with 12 years of dedicated search experience, Chris has helped lead Outrider since its inception in 1995, managing 500% growth in the past five years, significant employee/search talent growth, and developing new services as they apply to search marketing to help clients stay ahead of the evolution of online advertising. Today, he continues to drive thought and best practices in the search space for a search marketing agency that is the largest buyer on both Google and Yahoo, with 400 global employees and an internationall footprint of more than 40 offices spanning 40 countries. Chris works regularly with the industry’s leading media and marketing executives and provides senior-level integrated strategy direction for more than 12 of the nation’s Fortune 100 companies, including AT&T, Dell, Monster.com, Microsoft, Ford Motors, Chevron and Citigroup. He is an active member on the Google Advisory Board, Google Agency Council, Yahoo! Advisory Board, MSN Advisory Board, and 4 A’s Advisory Board. Chris also is a regular contributor to MediaPost’s The Search Insider, and serves as a regular resource for industry and consumer press.
Under Chris’ leadership, Outrider has won multiple industry awards. In 2008, Outrider was named winner of the Yahoo! Searchlight awards for the Diageo, Smirnoff Ice® and Smirnoff® Raw Tea™ Summer campaign for its innovative approach to search marketing and cross-channel integration with display advertising. In 2007, Outrider was awarded two IAB MIXX Awards for the search program for Showtime/The Tudors new series launch. (Gold: IAB MIXX Award – Lead Generations/Direct Response; Silver: IAB MIXX Award – Product Launch). Both awards fall outside the traditional scope of search marketing. To have the interactive advertising industry recognize the impact search can have on more traditional marketing objectives speaks volumes of where the search industry and search strategy is going, how advertiser’s view understanding of search is evolving, and the value it holds for advertisers. Other awards include: • Recipient: Microsoft 2007-2008 Approved RM Specialty Vendor • Winner: 2006 OMMA Award for Best Search Copy Campaign – Sears.com • Finalist: 2006 OMMA Award for Best Search Copy Campaign – Sears In-Home Repair • Finalist: 2006 Creative Media Awards for Best Search Copy Campaign-Sears.com • Recipient: Sears “Partner in Progress Award (2004), a distinction awarded by the retailer to less than one percent of more then 10,000 vendors for superior service. • Earlier in his career, Chris was named on of St. Louis’ “30 Under 30” by the St. Louis Business Journal, recognizing the top 30 emerging professionals in the metropolitan area.
Prior to the company’s acquisition in 2003 by WPP, Chris played a significant role in the company’s evolution. He served as Director of Sales and Marketing, and later Vice President of the company under its original name, Webster Group International (WGI). He was named Managing Director after the company’s acquisition by Tempus Group, and guided the company through its acquisition by WPP, thus orchestrating the re-branding of WGI as it became the first search marketing agency within a major holding company and the company it is today – Outrider.
Chris holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Radio and TV Journalism and Minor in Sports Journalism from Webster University. Chris resides in St. Louis, Mo., with is wife, Tara, and children Mya and Nicholas.
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