Babs Rangaiah joins Traction

Babs Rangaiah at Futureproof Project dinner
Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Former Unilever and IBM exec to lead digital transformation consulting practice at in-house marketing accelerator

SAN FRANCISCO – Traction , the growth marketing accelerator for in-house teams, welcomes Babs Rangaiah as Senior Partner and Head of Marketing Transformation.

In the newly established role, Babs will provide Traction clients with thought leadership and consulting services in the areas of digital transformation, ad tech/mar tech data strategy, media strategy and the future of television.

Babs brings 30 years of brand-side and media experience to Traction. He previously held the positions of Vice President, Global Communications Planning & Digital Transformation for Unilever, Executive Partner, Management Consulting, Marketing Transformation iX for IBM, and Senior Vice President, Media, Promotions & Analytics for ViacomCBS. Additionally, Babs founded an executive coaching practice in 2021, cc:Babs, that he will continue to grow while being part of Traction.

"I believe the future organizational model for marketing will be what is sometimes referred to as a 'liquid workforce'—meaning that companies will have fewer full-time employees and more 'expert contractors,'" said Babs, "This will be of great benefit to both employees, who will be able to have the flexibility to pursue multiple jobs—and therefore multiple sources of revenue—and employers, who will have lower overhead costs and be able to tap into a wider array of talent."

"What I love about Traction is that they are on the forefront of this shift, having already accelerated towards that model," continued Babs, "Their mission is to solve marketers' most pressing challenges by aligning the expertise clients' need with a pool of talent that is more diverse and experienced than what an agency can typically pull from under just one roof. Their current model IS the future of agencies. Additionally, working with them allows me to consult part-time while I finish school and build my executive coaching business over the next several years. That is the beauty of this model. It is the perfect place for someone with my experience at Fortune 500 companies in marketing, as I can continue making valuable contribution to key business challenges while still working towards my ambition of becoming an executive coach, advisor and entrepreneur."

In 2019, Traction pivoted from being a full-service agency to a new model "marketing accelerator" designed to provide world-class talent to work in a truly collaborative manner with in-house teams. The firm reinvests overhead associated with agencies—rent, utilization as a metric, spec work for new business pitches—into senior talent that works directly on client businesses.

Traction CEO, Adam Kleinberg added, "Babs is a legend in the industry. I'm so excited to be able to offer this level of talent to our marketing clients—it's a transformative time in our industry and clients need trusted guidance to help navigate the changing landscape."

Last year, Brian Hovis, the former VP of Marketing at Nordstrom, joined Traction to lead its performance marketing practice. He reflected, "With its SME (subject matter expert) consulting approach, Traction can provide increased efficiency, flexibility and scalability for its clients with seasoned marketing leaders managing the account (not just in the pitch), which is a true differentiator in the agency space."

Babs joining Traction follows the company announcing their most recent win last week, becoming the first-ever "Accelerator of Record" for LinkedIn to drive growth in their LinkedIn Marketing Solutions business. Traction—which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2021—grew revenue by 30% in 2021, and after a flurry of new client wins in Q4, is poised to double revenue in 2022.

Added Kleinberg, "We're excited to add a brilliant mind like Babs' to the team to lead our digital transformation and thought leadership consulting practice. He's best-in-class."

Read more about Traction's momentum as a marketing accelerator in this article recently featured in AdAge .

About Traction

Traction is a marketing accelerator—a new breed of brand experience consultancy designed to help in-house teams get traction, fast. Founded in 2001, Traction pivoted to a new model in 2019 better suited to the needs of modern clients. Traction enhances in-house teams with a roster of subject matter experts to help adapt to change, spark creativity, hone performance, manage growth and scale teams—providing speed, efficiency, world-class talent and seamless collaboration with its clients.

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