MediaCom Fired-Up by Consumer-Driven Change

Can you spell HOT? MediaCom sure can! As it met with an international group of consultants at the 2005 AdForum Summit in New York, the agency showed how it has taken on the challenges of innovation and an ever-changing consumer landscape and turned these into positive opportunities. The media agency, part of the WPP Global 'M' Group, has been driving research and digital integration to new levels of advancement.

According to MediaCom CEO Alexander Schmidt-Vogel, all business will be influenced by change. "I believe a media agency has to monitor change and envision the future," he said. "I believe traditional media will survive, but on a lower level. Most people don't want commercials interrupting their movies. So, we have become very advanced in 'interactive' media." Recent campaigns include M&M's chocolates, which was paired up with the popular AOL internet service in a fun and interactive way. Some other digital innovations at Mediacom: central ad serving, performance-based media, and use of emerging media to engage teens in a new way by letting them download ads to Playstation portable, cellphone, etc.

Coupled with that interactive savvy is the agency's thirst for knowledge through their advanced global research operations. This helps to better understand the consumer. According to Schmidt-Vogel, research today is the most exciting part of their job. Mediacom wants to be on the cutting edge, and believes their industry is largely flying blind in an airplane due to lack of real knowledge about consumer change. Tonya Deniz heads up the global research effort, and uses everything from psychology to metric evaluations to try and predict what the next big trend will be among consumers.

Harvey Goldhersz, Mediacom's Worldwide COO, reiterated that point. "We have to change as the world changes," he said. "As a result, on a global scale we are winning new accounts. We have been following four general principles - build business, build strong consumer/brand relationships, deliver competetive advantage, and improve ROI."

Gone are the days of the traditional agency, as the last 10 years has been all about integration. Mediacom has taken that a step further, according to Schmidt-Vogel. "I believe we went from classical agency to integrated to driving sales & marketing," he said. " Today we are equals at the table for integration: change & new media as part of sales & integration."

Within the scope of such integration comes advantages, such as the ability to coordinate information more efficiently. The agency's scattered global offices are bound by strings & connections. The result has been best-in-class tools and systems, leading to Mediacom being the #1 growing agency in the U.S. and #2 growing network worldwide. As it adapts to change, Mediacom has recently won many new accounts, while retaining ones they've had for years such as Warner Bros. and Proctor&Gamble.

Simply put by Mediacom's Marketing Director, "We are HOT!"