MindShare today announced a global reengineering of its business structure that streamlines the company’s operations by integrating traditional and digital services and staff into a new model, full-service marketing agency powered by best-in-class media services.
The restructuring—the first since MindShare was founded in 1997—was announced simultaneously in New York and at the agency’s worldwide headquarters in London by Chief Executive Officer Dominic Proctor, Chief Strategy Officer Nick Emery, the principal architect of the plan and North American CEO Scott Neslund.
The goal of the restructuring is to create a new breed of marketing services agency dedicated to developing fully integrated, media-neutral business solutions for clients. The core idea is to move beyond the realm of media solutions to fully integrate content creation and related areas to realize the optimum value of exchange between brands, consumers and corporations to create competitive advantage for MindShare’s clients.
“Brands are no longer driven by simple ideas or ideals but by a series of exchanges between the brand and the consumer” said Proctor. “We are re-inventing our form, our thinking and our process, underpinning all that we do with digital expertise, to be our clients’ lead business partner in meeting the challenges this new landscape creates for them.”
Neslund and Emery stressed that there is now a pressing need for media agencies to concentrate on the invention of intellectual property and the integration of all marketing services, particularly in the area of digital communications. To that end, the unit known as MindShare Interaction will cease to exist in its current autonomous form; all aspects of its function and responsibilities, as well as its entire staff, will be woven into the overall MindShare organization.
“Content and integration are more important than ever and, in fact, MindShare has been heading in that direction over the past several years by making substantial investments in the areas of research and production-not just traditional media planning and buying,” said Neslund. “In many respects these moves codify what we’ve already been doing.”
The comprehensive restructuring integrates almost a dozen separate agency units and disciplines into four new areas spanning all MindShare services, creating an agency framework focused on collaboration and consisting of integrated client teams. The four newly established areas are Client Leadership, Business Planning, Invention and The Exchange.
Briefly, here is what each will cover:
- Client Leadership. A group formed of senior agency executives who essentially serve as the primary client contacts for each account. The group will be formed of Client Leaders who will serve as the lead business partner to each client and be responsible for setting the vision, developing the team work plan and building C-level relationships with the client. The role will also be held accountable for P&L, performance & quality. Working together with Client Leaders will be Operations Leaders, responsible for managing the delivery of the vision and work plan as well as supervising client team integration across the agency. Operations Leaders will also be accountable for media client deliverables and managing staff KPIs, performance appraisals and career plans.
- Business Planning. This group effectively consolidates several MindShare units combining analytic and strategic expertise to focus on solving real business issues for the CEO; business planning rather than simply communications plan development. Business Planning will weave deep consumer understanding and communications planning with real-time business data-streams and click-streams across digital platforms and search to clearly define a client’s business opportunities and marketing challenges and develop a “go to market” strategy through a disciplined and fact-based process.
- Invention. Invention will be the hub of the agency’s creative thinking, bringing together experts across disciplines including entertainment creation, sponsorship creation and amplification, retail, digital and strategic planning. Further to a brief originated in collaboration with Business Planning, Invention will define and develop a media neutral communications platform and determine how it is manifested across the entire consumer journey, vitally fusing content and contact planning. The role of this group also is to oversee creative development and production of content rooted in the platforms and journeys defined.
- The Exchange. This group combines all trading-digital and non-digital, distribution leverage, inventory management, data management, arbitrage and tactical planning. The Exchange will consult with Invention during the creation of the architecture for the communications strategy and will translate this into actionable plans, being ultimately responsible to both the client and client leadership team for stewarding and activating the brand vision in the real world, maintaining budget and quality control and overseeing short-term, tactical actions.
Emery said the reorganization was in large part sparked by the expressed needs of the agency’s client base as well the agency’s future vision of the marketplace.
“There is a significant need right now among clients for agency leadership,” he said. “They want agencies to take the lead in learning about and applying digital marketing, from retail to creating new revenue streams. They want agencies to take the lead in the integration of diverse marketing services. And they want agencies to take the lead in being more creative with marketing ideas, fusing context with contact in real-time. We intend to be the ones leading in all those areas in a structure focused on client needs, not the usual self-serving tokenism. Simply put, MindShare’s role is to maximize the value of the exchange between brands, consumers and corporations to create competitive advantage for our clients.”
While the four new service areas represent the practical core of the new agency model, MindShare is also introducing a new philosophy dubbed “The Value Exchange” that represents the conceptual core of the restructuring.
Neslund and Emery described The Value Exchange as a revolutionary philosophy based on the agency’s belief that a brand’s valuation is driven by the sum total of exchanges between consumers and the brand, and that these exchanges can be mapped and monitored in real-time; MindShare thereby assimilating a NASDAQ for brands.
“Understanding this value exchange yields diagnostic information to drive the formation of effective business strategies for driving growth,” Neslund said. “These strategies are, in turn, activated into powerful marketing ideas and exciting communications programs that deliver tangible, measurable results.”
The restructuring is a global undertaking impacting all of MindShare’s 97 offices in 67 countries. Implementation will begin in specified areas of each office immediately and be phased into the overall operations of each one over time. The full reorganization is expected to be completed by year-end.
MindShare is a global media and marketing services company with billings in excess of $21.4 billion (source: RECMA). The network consists of 97 offices in 67 countries throughout the U.S., Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. MindShare is a member of WPP, one of the world’s leading communications services groups, and is part of its GroupM Media Company.
GroupM, the world’s leading full service media investment management operation, was created by WPP Group to oversee its assets in this sector. These assets include MindShare, Mediaedge:cia, MediaCom and MAXUS. The focus of GroupM is the intelligent application of volume and scale in trading, innovation and quality of services, in order to bring benefit to clients and the companies it operates.
For more information, please visit: www.groupm.com.
Senior Partner, Corporate Communications Manager