Wunderman Simplifies Global Structure Establishes Four Global Divisions Adds Roles for Creative, Marketing & Innovation and North America

by Florie Hubac , Adforum

NEW YORK, March 8, 2013—After more than a decade of growth, Wunderman, the billion-dollar, number one-ranked digital and CRM agency network, restructured its offer for a new generation of marketers and their need for real-time consumer conversations.

Chairman and CEO Daniel Morel said Wunderman's 20+ specialized agencies in social, mobile and data now fall into four divisions each with global reach: Brand Experience, Consumer Engagement, Data & Insights and World Health. This simpler, more transparent organization makes it easier and more efficient for clients to access the expertise they need. Morel also revamped Wunderman’s global governance (see separate release).

"Our mission is simple. Ensure our clients know what their competition doesn't, and act upon it quickly. Today, that means tapping into real-time consumer conversations and transactions and connecting them with every bit of data we have accumulated,” Morel said. “Lester Wunderman, our agency founder and chairman emeritus, was prescient in his advocacy for data-driven insights to be at the heart of our business. Today, very few companies can derive as much insight to craft locally relevant communication that can be leveraged globally. Now, we can more easily put the power of our collective agency expertise in branding, engagement, health care and data behind our clients' biggest marketing challenges,” he said.

Wunderman Brand Experience

Focused on brand experience and customer acquisition over digital channels, the Wunderman Brand Experience division provides e-tail environments, online content and mobile innovations, and search and real-time optimization that improve brand image and enhance consumer consideration. It comprises agencies owned or acquired over the past 10 years and many similar practices we built around the world.

Sam Landers, who heads Designkitchen, has been promoted to president of the Wunderman Brand Experience division and joins the Wunderman Executive Board. Martin Conneen, the global client lead for Nokia, has been promoted to division COO. Landers' priorities are twofold: 1) create greater continuity and efficiencies across the units, and 2) seek ways to streamline new business and operations to align more closely with Wunderman's global resources. The result will be a more flexible and integrated global offering.


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"Wunderman's Brand Experience division, with its unprecedented reach and scale, addresses one of the most important business requirements today—connecting a new generation of digital consumers skeptical of traditional brand communication and fiercely independent in how they seek information and form opinions,” Landers said. “When powered by data, it creates true engagement, which is what advertising today is all about.”

Wunderman Consumer Engagement

The engine of consumer retention is the Wunderman Consumer Engagement division, which involves all things CRM at the global, regional and local levels. This includes "always on" social, mobile, loyalty, and both traditional and eCRM. When real-time consumer information is combined with behavioral and transactional data, campaign messages, offers, channels and timing can be customized and made more personal.

"Wunderman's proprietary data ownership makes digital engagement a reality,” Morel explained. “And, if you use the Web to engage and build customer loyalty but neglect data as one of the essential elements in the process, you are wasting a lot of time and money." The search for a president to head this division continues. In the interim, Morel will personally oversee its endeavors.

Wunderman Data & Insights

The Wunderman Data & Insights division, the hallmark of the agency since its inception, supports the entire organization. At its core are three elements: raw data; the integration and management of that data; and, insights derived through sophisticated data processing, analytics and interpretation.

By owning, compiling, managing and mining data directly, clients benefit from a more robust “big data” solution that includes: proprietary data, analytics and optimization; data visualization, reporting and dash boarding; data integration; and data management, CRM and loyalty implementation.

"When applied within our clients' own marketing and operational environments, data and insights improve and add relevance to creative, media, consumer and e-commerce solutions," said Gary Laben, who, in addition to his role as CEO of KBM Group, will serve as president of the Wunderman Data & Insights division.

Wunderman World Health

Wunderman World Health is a specialist in driving customer engagement in Pharma, Consumer Health and Health Services. As health care companies seek to become more customer-centric, Wunderman World Health helps clients leverage capabilities in data, digital and CRM to create relevant content, services and tools that meet the industry’s new demands.

To build upon our success, we will aggregate our health care expertise around the world under the leadership of Becky Chidester, including our strongest groups, RTC and new resources within KBM Group. The result will enable us to share our expertise across divisions and apply learnings and best practices in a more flexible way. Chidester is president of Wunderman World Health and joins the Wunderman Executive Board.


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"The health care industry is calling for us to help them better connect with their patients, providers and payers. Wunderman World Health, with its infrastructure, scale, geography and expertise, is in the best position to deliver," Chidester said.

New Roles

The restructuring also includes significant changes in creative, regional operations, marketing & innovation and new business globally:

Creative: Morel is on the hunt for a global creative officer to evangelize creative excellence and stir the agency's collective creative energy. The person selected to fill this newly instituted role will counsel clients across the board; help attract, develop and retain best-in-class talent; and be part of the Wunderman Executive Board.

Morel, who deems "creative as business critical," said of the search: "Creative is central to the Wunderman proposition. When fueled by the right data and insights, it is especially powerful and business results soar. We are looking for someone who can lead our global creative team to reach new heights."

Regional Operations: Kass Sells has been promoted to president, Wunderman North America, reporting to Morel. In this role, he will oversee operations throughout North America. Sells also retains his leadership role on Microsoft. As Seattle's managing director and global client lead for Team Microsoft, Sells was behind the consolidation of Microsoft’s global relationship marketing work with Wunderman as its single RM agency of record; he also expanded the Seattle operation into a full-service agency, serving multiple clients including T-Mobile USA. Sells joins the Wunderman Executive Board.

Marketing & Innovation: Gurval Caer, founder of Blast Radius, takes on the new role of Wunderman vice chairman, chief marketing officer, and becomes a member of the Wunderman Executive Board. He will be responsible for identifying and expanding business opportunities with our clients and creating a network-wide innovation strategy. This includes acquisitions, partnerships with media, content and technology platforms, and overseeing the development of the corresponding strategy to drive business growth for our clients. In this role, Caer will work closely with Morel.

"As mobile and social technologies get faster and more sophisticated—and hence, deliver value far beyond what they do today—we need to help businesses understand how they can benefit by using them, which is a key element of the marketing challenge today," Caer said.

New Business: As chief client officer, Stewart Pearson is now responsible for the health and growth of Wunderman's new business roster. Pearson has been leading new business and client development initiatives and has organized winning teams for Microsoft, Nokia, Levi's, Coca-Cola and Best Buy. Pearson will work across the agency's global resources as well as with discipline experts to resource and orchestrate the capabilities that best serve the business needs of our prospective clients. Morel also named Pearson to the role of Wunderman vice chairman.


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Summing up the changes, Morel said, "Today clients expect more than a piece of communication. And for this next generation of 'real-time' marketers, that means anticipating their needs with even greater speed and accuracy. Organizing this way creates a sleeker, smarter and solidified Wunderman client service model that delivers on that promise."

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