Staff Reporters
Sep 2, 2021

Women to Watch 2021: Mali Wuestenhagen, Essence

Empathetic and selfless, Wuestenhagen’s willingness to help out others has made her a favourite with clients and colleagues alike, delivering solid business success in the process.

Women to Watch 2021: Mali Wuestenhagen, Essence
Celebrating the torchbearers in the APAC marcomms industry

Mali Wuestenhagen

Senior media director

Having grown up in Germany, studied in Thailand, begun her advertising career while single-handedly raising her daughter and eventually moved to Korea to become a media agency difference-maker—Wuestenhagen’s multicultural background and journey of defying odds from her youth is what makes her the empathetic, selfless, altruistic and inspirational person she is today, her colleagues say.

Known for putting others’ needs above her own and sharing her learnings, she has helped to create a strong support network across several GroupM agencies where she’s worked and earned the trust of clients who know she can solve the most challenging problems.

Since entering the Korean market in 2010, success has followed wherever Wuestenhagen goes. From contributing to MediaCom’s wins for P&G’s planning and buying business, heading up digital exchange at Mindshare, growing the Hyundai Kia global business for Havas Group’s Affiperf and rebuilding the Chanel team at Wavemaker, receiving the highest client satisfaction score—she has made her mark with results to prove it.

Within three months of joining Essence in February 2020, Wuestenhagen led the strategic direction and learning agenda for their major client during a business review, winning over the client leadership with her ambitions to elevate the agency’s digital proficiency. In the past year, Wuestenhagen contributed significantly to the growth of Essence Korea’s B2B and B2C key client businesses, leading exponential gains in media investment, record savings and campaign growth, and receiving the agency’s highest client feedback score to boot.

Wuestenhagen’s desire to share and swap best practices have made her an ideal mentor and collaboration partner. She has worked with publishers to improve third-party measurability of ad delivery and performance and helped to set up private marketplace partnerships to secure better campaign inventory. Beyond mentoring colleagues who are now senior marketers at Chanel, Prada and Google, Wuestenhagen has been a speaker at the Asia Business Forum and Media Agency Association of Thailand on topics such as digital measurement, experiential advertising and youth marketing.

Celebrating the torchbearers in the APAC marcomms industry


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