Wunderman, MEC’s Data-Driven Debut A Hat Tip To Agency Evolution

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ChoreographArtWPP Group’s digital and direct marketing agency Wunderman and its media-buying agency MEC have launched a joint venture called CHOREOGRAPH to address converging client demands in paid, earned and owned media.

The proliferation of cross-channel marketing campaigns and the subsequent need to marry transactional, customer and demographic data with audience-level information drove CHOREOGRAPH’s creation.

“Over the last year, we saw more RFPs and expression of interest from clients for a media, creative and data proposition,” said Gurval Caer, Wunderman’s chief innovation and marketing officer, who was also appointed CHOREOGRAPH’s president for the US.

“It was pretty impossible for us not to at some point come together and offer a complete picture of the media landscape to our clients.”

Caer pointed out that good content generates interest on social media, which can, in part, be amplified via paid media. Unifying these different assets requires a clear picture of the end consumer – something that CHOREOGRAPH was designed to provide.

The creation of CHOREOGRAPH comes during a time when management consultancies and technology platform players zero in on agency share. Caer, however, believes that agencies distinguish themselves with the creative assets they offer.

On the media side, CHOREOGRAPH’s access to WPP’s programmatic-buying capacity by way of Xaxis and 24/7 Media deepens targeting to very specific audience levels “as opposed to [only using] content as a proxy,” Caer said. “That’s the big difference. [Operating a] data-driven agency allows us to go down to an incredible level of granularity in our media reach.”

CHOREOGRAPH has also forged technology partnerships with Oracle, Salesforce.com and Adobe Marketing Cloud, which are simultaneously seeking ways to diversify their marketing technology stacks to account for new client demands.

“In many ways, Adobe has established technology infrastructure that allows their customers to interact with their customers across paid, owned and earned channels,” Caer said.

But leveraging agency relationships on Adobe’s end has proved difficult; agencies are, at times, grouped under media, social or creative umbrellas themselves. “When we mentioned CHOREOGRAPH to them, they were thrilled to have a partner that [was also] looking to connect dots and siloes.”

CHOREOGRAPH plans to begin with eight to 10 employees, although Caer said revenue goals could create a need to double staff next year.

 

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