MindShare Restructures Into New Integrated Agency Model

logoIn what North American CEO Scott Neslund termed a major worldwide "reinvention," GroupM's MindShare has been transformed from "the global media agency" into a "new model, full-service marketing agency powered by best-in-class media services." As a result, MindShare Interaction, winner of OMMA magazine's Silver Agency of the Year for 2007, will cease to exist--along with all the other agency units added in recent years to meet the demands of a changing media landscape.

"We're making a very clear statement that the time has come to break down the silos," declared Neslund.

MindShare's digital services will be integrated with traditional services, as the staff and functions of nearly a dozen separate units and disciplines are redistributed across four new agency areas:

  • Client Leadership--responsible for client relationships.

  • Business Planning--combining analytics, consumer insights and communications planning. Neslund said this is the area that will involve the most significant changes, as MindShare seeks to "clearly define a client's business opportunities and marketing challenges and develop a go-to-market strategy through a disciplined and fact-based process." To get Business Planning running at full speed, Neslund said MindShare will hire additional business planners with expertise in all three disciplines of analytics, consumer insights and communications planning.

  • Invention--the agency's creative arm, including entertainment creation (the former MindShare Entertainment), sponsorship creation, retail and digital. While "we've always considered ourselves to be a creative media agency," Neslund noted, the agency has recently become "more involved in content creation," citing such Webisode projects as Unilever/Suave's and Sprint's In the Motherhood and Unilever/Degree with the Fox series 24.

  • The Exchange--essentially the media planning/buying group and a key player in "The Value Exchange," dubbed a NASDAQ for brands, that promises to map and monitor consumer-brand exchanges in real-time. "The value of brands is determined by exchanges between brands and consumers," Neslund said. "We believe these exchanges can be identified, quantified and mapped out."

But don't expect the new MindShare to infringe upon legacy creative agencies like JWT and Ogilvy & Mather. "We think the ad agency has even a stronger role in the new process," says Neslund. MindShare says Invention will involve collaboration with creative agencies and work with Business Planning to "define and develop a media neutral communications platform and determine how it is manifested across the entire consumer journey."
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