How Steve Baer Got Ahead

“I base my success on my obsessive personality, strong mentors, an abundance of energy, competitive athletics, learning what Im not good at, and a bit of luck/timing.”

Name: Steve Baer

Company: FullSIX Agency

Job title: Managing Director

What made you want to get into marketing?
Clever ad headlines

How did you get into the industry (including relevant qualifications and professional training)?
I got my degree in advertising and marketing, but in reality, getting into the industry has been about networking, starting at the bottom, showing a propensity to work hard and delivering on it.

What was good and bad about your first job?
Working around the smartest people in the business…the good thing is that, if you pay attention, you can soak up the best training you’ll ever get.  The bad thing is that this sometimes means you have to carry suitcases and order lunches.

List your jobs to date:
MGM / UA – editorial assistant (Los Angeles)
Young & Rubicam – several levels of account management (NY)
Engage – business development director (NY)
SPF15 – co-founder and director (London)
Fullsix – group account director, chief operating officer, managing director (London)

What were the best and worst, and why?
You experience good and bad things in every job.  At the big companies (MGM, Young & Rubicam), it was great being involved with huge brands, big budgets, strong teams and critically important projects.  There is also an enormous amount of support at big companies, the flipside being your ability to reach up and sideways can be limited by the specificity of your job role.
At small to mid-size companies I have enjoyed the flexibility to define a vision and a way of working, as well as wearing many hats – creative, strategy, management, client development.  However, there is less support in smaller companies – which can be a disadvantage, too.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?
Linda Srere, ex CEO of Young & Rubicam NY.  Linda stood out for me because she understood people.  She would do things like invite 4 employees at random to have breakfast in her office every Friday, just to talk about anything they wanted.  In an office of 1,000 employees, little touches like that have a huge impact.

Who in the industry do you most admire?

The honest answer is Paul Kingsley – CEO FullSIX Group. He’s good at every aspect of the business, and we’ve doubled the FullSIX business in less than a year.  This achievement speaks for itself.

What is your biggest achievement to date?
New business wins always stand out for me – winning clients like Sony and Hertz.  In our business, there is no achievement quite like pitching and winning a new client.

On what do you base your success so far?
Obsessive personality, strong mentors, an abundance of energy, competitive athletics, learning what I’m not good at, and a bit of luck/timing.

What are your ambitions?:
I’ve got a few book ideas in mind (industry and non-industry related) and I’d like to help shape the ‘agency of the future’. Oh, and at some point I’d like Apple as a client.

Change one thing about your job:
Everything administrative.

Change one thing about your industry:
The jargon.

Change one thing about the world:
Wars in the name of religion.

What is your favourite brand?
Virgin Atlantic.

What is the next big brand in your view?
The individual.

List your “media diet”:
The Metro, Youtube, every Saturday and Sunday newspaper I can get my hands on, lots of films, virtually every e-mail newsletter from my client’s competitors,, a few podcasts, the industry trades, X-Factor.


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