By Deborah Malone - The Internationalist
Annual AdForum CEO Summit occurring this week throughout New York is providing an extraordinary overview of agency thinking as nearly two dozen agencies -- ;from global networks to independents and specialists -- present their views of a changing marketplace and how their companies are responding with better client solutions. Designed to help agency management consultants from all corners of the world better recognize the expanded roles agencies now play for marketers, the week offers a dizzying array of ideas and new thinking.
Two particular themes are becoming clear: 1. New levels of collaboration are often becoming a driving force behind a brand's success today and 2. Sophisticated problem-solving tools are increasingly at the heart of differentiation in a modern marketing world.
WPP's Team Detroit, an aggressive concept on the team process initiated by Ford, is transforming today's agency model. In fact, it may be a 21st century equivalent of an original full-service agency concept. With one leader and one global P&L, Team Detroit views some of the top brands in advertising as its “shareholders:' JWT, Y&R, Ogilvy, Wunderman, Mindshare and MEC. In addition to picking up two Effies for Ford this year (after a 12-year drought), Team Detroit has now extended beyond Ford as sole client to win Johnson Controls, Ohio Arts, Compuware, Scott’s Miracle Gro, and Sport Authority.
WPP's work with clients like Kimberly Clark (North America) and Colgate (global) are also demonstrating new levels of team collaboration with single P&Ls that are transforming the WPP culture. Not only does a brand-focused approach create deeper relationships at the client level, but it builds sales. According to Carol Hartman, Global Client Leader of Kimberly Clark, "the science of Shopper Marketing may not be as hot as digital."
Another view of collaboration is embodied by MDC Partners -- now ranked as the industry's #5 holding company. Just a year-and-a-half old, MDC is comprised of 50 mid-sized agencies doing business with global clients. Almost half of its revenues come from the digital space.