Podcast: How Accenture Interactive Gate-Crashed The Agency Business

If you’re still confused about what’s motivating global consulting firms to move in on agency turf, who better to explain than a longtime holding company executive who defected to the other side?

Nikki Mendonça, global president of Accenture Interactive Operations, spent 28 years in marketing services, including 16 years at Omnicom. She left in 2018 to join fast-growing Accenture Interactive as head of its activation arm.

“When someone like Accenture calls, you take it very seriously,” Mendonça says in this week’s episode of AdExchanger Talks. “I knew that they were encroaching in on the marketing ecosystem with some energy.”

The vision that drew her in, she says, was that marketing transformation is inextricably linked to business transformation and that Accenture, with all of its data and tech heritage, was best placed to reinvent the marketing supply chain. Her job was to lead an operations team that would complement Accenture’s creative and brand strategy services, empowering a holistic offering.

“The strategy being devised by the Accenture Interactive agency and the activations piece … needed to come together,” she says. “We didn’t want to suffer from the same silo-ism that creative and media agencies have suffered from within the holding companies.”

Regarding its paid media offering, the company has chosen to focus 100% on programmatic in light of what Mendonça calls “the increasing platformization of marketing.”

“We’re starting with programmatic services,” she says. “We fundamentally believe that all media will be programmatically traded, probably as soon as 2025 … Software and marketing are converging, and it’s critically important that one understands how to activate these platforms in a seamlessly integrated matter.”

Also in this episode: WPP’s uprising against RFPs involving Accenture, and Mendonça addresses some common criticisms of consultants.

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