“The advertising Industry must Change or Die”

Elin Palmelius already had substantial agency experience when she joined Meta. Today, she works to transform the conservative advertising industry in her own consultancy.

Rikard Hegelund Avatar

CMO & Founder


4 min read

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With fifteen years in the advertising industry, Elin Palmelius has a wealth of experience. Her journey began at Ogilvy, and later on as planner and account director with several prestigious advertising agencies, such as Saatchi & Saatchi and B-Reel.

I’ve always had a strong interest in digital communication and in understanding human behavior and why people do what they do. However, it was far from obvious to me that I would work in marketing. I didn’t even know that Planner was a profession when I grew up in a small town outside of Borås; it wasn’t until high school when I stumbled upon a marketing course.

After many years in the agency world, Elin Palmelius found herself at Meta in the role of Creative Agency Partner responsible for Meta’s partnerships with the creative industries.

At Meta, I worked strategically with creative agencies and major advertisers to enable effective communication. It was about embracing behaviors and creating smarter ways to reach target audiences through Meta’s platforms.

That must have been a big leap from a local agency to Meta?

It was! Meta is a global and international organization where everyone is very smart and generous. Meta is also a much more diversified organization where people have different backgrounds and perspectives. The culture is also different because the only constant is change; it really changes all the time. But it suited me well because I thrive in fast-paced environments.

For some time now, Elin Palmelius has been running her own consultancy, helping marketing departments and brands adapt to the new world with lower budgets, faster pace and an increasing number of digital platforms.

At present, I help my clients with everything from strategy to business development. I am also a co-founder of the leadership podcast ‘Change or Die,’ where we explore new perspectives and ideas in leadership and change management.

What is your key take-away from your agency experience?

– That the industry must adapt to the rapid changes in the media landscape. Despite technological advancements and vast changes in media consumption, much of our industry remains unchanged. It is a challenge to get the industry to keep up with the rapid development and adapt to where people are in order to let their creativity thrive on new platforms.

How do agencies need to adapt then?

– We have agencies that are skilled in creativity, but they can’t continue to create ideas that fit best with traditional channels. Agencies must work with new conditions provided by where people spend their time today. Clients also have higher expectations today and want more value for their money. So, the old creative process needs to be updated, and so does team structure and organization. This enables more relevant communication, more efficient teams and less money in production.

Elin Palmelius talks about how the possibilities and playing field of creativity have changed, emphasizing the importance of creatives understanding how to scale an idea in a digital context without limiting creativity to traditional formats.

My advice to advertising agencies is to be faster and more flexible in their relation to digital platforms. They also need to create better opportunities for teams to educate themselves about the prerequisites that digital platforms bring and how that can generate new business for the agency, thus fostering greater motivation for teams to adapt creativity to more relevant formats.

Working with change and innovation is crucial, according to Elin Palmelius. It’s about motivating teams to experiment and find a method that combines the necessary daily operations with freedom to test new ideas.

What are you most proud of in your career?

– It’s hard to point to a specific achievement, but I’m proud of having had the opportunity to influence and drive change within the advertising industry. My passion lies in making the industry think differently, both in terms of how they work internally and the partners they have. Klingit, for example, is a service that can help advertisers change their ways of working and become more efficient. It’s perfectly timed.

Want to learn more about this?

check out Klingit’s webinar with Elin Palmelius through this link

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