Cheerio! The dynamic British duo of Charles Courtier and Andrew McLean
of MediaEdge:cia spoke at the 2005 AdForum Summit in New York, focusing
on their agency's efficient methods of engaging the new kind of
consumer: one with choices, power, and a higher level of interactivity
than the consumer of yesteryear.
MediaEdge:cia, part of the global WPP Group 'M' along with several
other sister agencies, has found full use of its worldwide network to
cut costs where it matters. According to Courtier, MediaEdge:cia's
Executive Chairman, they have found efficiencies by eliminating
redundancies. "There are tremendous cost savings by not having to do
something 3 times," he said. Because of certain integrated processes
within WPP, MediaEdge:cia can offer its clients a global coordinated
effort coupled with localized attention. "If its in the benefit of our
client, we can wield the entire Group M in coordination," Courtier said
further. "However, each agency is still an individual company."
As a result, the agency has seen an increase in global pitches
and its Group M parent has been placed among the highest of RECMA
scores in terms of vitality. However, at the end of the day its the
production that counts. According to McLean, who is MediaEdge:cia's
chief global client officer, the agency is producing global strategy
but run by local people. "You have to be best-in-class locally first,"
And what has that strategy resulted in? A steady client list boasting
such names as Accenture, CitiBank, Canon, Ford, and others. In the
consumer-centric focus of today's media agencies, Mediaedge:cia
recognizes that efficiency must also be accompanied by a shift from the
non-traditional. "Our goal was to be broader than a media agency,"
McLean explained. "To move beyond the traditional has helped us improve
in a vast array of services."
Through active engagement, MediaEdge:cia seeks to make consumer
do something rather than just receiving a message like before. "Today's
new consumer has many choices and therefore many touchpoints, and power
is in their hands," Courtier said.
Some examples where this has paid off are: A contest promotion
for Campbell's Soup that was integrated into a popular TV show and led
to a dramatic increase in sales; and the Coditin flu medicine in the
Latin American market, whose promotional campaign led to a 500%
increase in sales through the use of in-store props.
"It's all about the work," McLean emphasized. "That's what differentiates us from the other guys!"