EO Spotlight: Eric Morgan
CEO, Morgan & Co. • Media Planning and Marketing • EO Member Since 2008
Eric Morgan always knew he was going to hit a home run, but he never expected that it would take a curveball to get him there.
“I was the guy in undergrad and graduate school who got an A in Statistics class without any effort,” Morgan said. “When it came to things like stats, it just clicked for me. So, being comfortable with numbers and knee-deep in advertising classes, I gravitated towards media planning and buying. It was a natural fit.”
Morgan let that knack for numbers carry him a long way, and he found a job with a media agency that allowed him to marry his passion for marketing with his natural abilities. Fast forward a few years and to another agency, Morgan’s plan was disrupted when the agency was taken under new ownership. He suddenly faced a new decision: either he could move away from his home to continue working for that same agency, or he could start a company of his own.
The decision was easy.
“Being the New Orleans boy that I am, I decided to stay here and do some contract work along with a colleague,” Morgan said. “Twenty-one years later, I’m still at it, albeit on a much larger scale.”
But Morgan didn’t want to simply recreate the agency he’d been working for — there was no incentive to go his own way if he didn’t innovate. For inspiration, he turned toward evaluating market trends to determine what other agencies were doing that he could do better, and from that, the inspiration for Morgan & Co. was born.
“I realized that most brands and marketers never spoke to their media agency people,” Morgan said. “Instead, they only had access to the creative and account people inside an ad agency. This was common practice despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of a brand’s marketing budget was allocated to media, and there was a dramatic shift on the horizon due to the Internet. So we built an agency whose core focus was on audience analysis, media strategy and buying, and analytics, with the goal of offering clients a direct connection to media experts.”
Morgan was finally carving out his own path, but he realized that making a company’s every decision was not always easy to do alone. For guidance, he turned to EO, whose five core values were exactly what he hoped to embody in his professional life.
“They act as a north star in how I make decisions in my life and what I strive to accomplish,” Morgan said. “They remind me to push myself to live in a way that has a positive impact on my family, my team and those around me. Life goes by quickly, so it’s great to keep these values in focus.”
One particular exercise at an EO retreat had a profound impact on Morgan and helped him to “stay grounded and put life into context.” At this retreat, each member was asked to look back on everyone that had played a part in their journey and to write a letter to one of them. Morgan chose to write to his father.
“My father is a retired physician but also has a PhD in Chemistry,” Morgan said. “I learned from him that hard work pays off. He was always on the go, but he also found time for his passions and for family time. While it wasn’t easy, and he put in many late nights and long weekends, I realized that once you’re focused on something, it’s easy to be successful, no matter how you define success.”
In Morgan’s case, he defines success by the marks he leaves behind: whether he is teaching or influencing his employees, his clients or even his own children, he said he aims to do “something good that people will remember me by.”
And where does this drive to leave his mark come from? Morgan has one idea.
“Throughout my childhood, when I thought about my career and life, I always imagined myself doing my own thing,” Morgan said. “So maybe it’s in my blood.”