Isobar’s clients will have access to the Marketing Intelligence Practice as needed, as they do with the agency’s user experience design, technology and strategy teams. The group will sit on the same P&L and operating model as the rest of the agency.
“We’ve organized it very much like we’ve organized Isobar, which is around client teams, so there’s not a real division of labor around those two companies anymore,” Maling said.
Each consultancy brings its area of expertise. While Copernicus is a market leader in segmentation and choice analysis, Forbes brings strength on the qualitative side, such as focus group facilitation. Isobar will also leverage David Forbes’ research on emotional testing, a process by which marketers seek to determine unconscious consumer reactions to advertisements, products and packaging.
Both consulting groups will gain access to Isobar’s technology expertise, which is increasingly required in the market research space.
“Tech capability is not something Forbes and Copernicus really have,” Maling said. “But it is something Isobar has – we’re a large systems integration firm.”
Isobar has worked closely with the two firms in the past on shared clients, such as Avon, Procter & Gamble and Welch’s. Both firms will bring to the agency their entire client rosters and combined staff of 65. Isobar will continue to staff and build out the practice.
The consolidation of consulting firms follows Dentsu's bombshell deal to acquire CRM agency Merkle, announced earlier this week. That deal could give Isobar's new consulting group access to new tools and data sources, Maling said, though it’s too early to evaluate the real impact for the agency network or its clients.