With agencies continuing to voice concern about their battles with clients’ procurement officers, some high-profile agency executives have called to pay for performance. Perhaps they should look no further than today's direct-response business -- traditionally driven by search advertising -- where agencies like WPP GroupM’s Quisma have been operating for more than a decade.
Quisma continues to expand in the EMEA region beyond its German roots, with 19 offices in 17 countries. CEO Ronald Paul said his agency has doubled headcount over the past year with 320 full-time employees working across search, performance display, dynamic retargeting, mobile, social, affiliate marketing and more. He explained, “We’re the biggest agency in German-speaking markets when it comes to search, but it’s no longer our key investment area.“
With aspirations to expand into North America, Paul said his agency is on the lookout for similarly minded performance-marketing agencies in the US and Canada so it can extend the Quisma network. In 2012 Quisma managed $250 million in ad spend in Europe, according to Paul.
“We have nearly a 50/50 split in revenues between display and search. We’re seeing strong growth rates in display because, I believe, there are few companies willing to take risks from day one on behalf of their advertisers to not only promise but guarantee an outcome for their investments. As a result, two-thirds of our business is outcome-driven and one-third is agency fee-driven.”