When WPP acquired Essence in 2015, the independent digital media agency was known for its tech chops and hardcore data science, as well as for servicing one core digital brand: Google.
About a year ago, Publicis Media chief Tim Jones sensed an opportunity looming in the burgeoning social media marketplace. While the market was expanding rapidly, Jones believed it was becoming increasingly commoditized by me-too solutions. That encouraged clients to either outsource social media functions to platforms or specialist agencies, or treat it as a generic-managed service inside their roster agencies.
Innovation and data support Merkle's rise to the top of MediaPost's Search Agency of the Year Award for 2018. Those elements, coupled with a strong problem-solving strategy, helped Merkle manage more than $1.4 billion in media spend this year across biddable platforms for about 180 brand accounts.
The dark horse on this year's shortlist of best mobile shops, Mutual Mobile has quietly been earning the esteem of agency elites for some time. What the Austin-based agency lacks in size, it makes up in vision and precision.
Roth and IPG made a $2 billion bet on data and analytics with the acquisition of Acxiom, the latest move by the company to make it indispensable to clients in the burgeoning era of personalized marketing. Roth calls the deal "transformative," but he has been transforming the company on numerous fronts since his arrival 13 years ago.
Attendees at last year's SXSW were no doubt down for just about anything. Chances are, though, they never expected to find themselves in Sweetwater, the Wild West theme park featured in HBO's smash hit "Westworld."
Selecting MediaPost's Client of the Year was painful. That Nike should win was, of course, practically a given. Few brands made as much news as Nike's powerful new "Just Do It" campaign, which sold shoes and helped a divided nation look beyond racial tensions.
When Omnicom unveiled "Omni," its homegrown data and information technology hub, last summer, it was touted as a "people-based precision-marketing and insights platform." Outsiders naturally assumed it was just another in a litany of proprietary tech stacks claiming to do a better job of identifying "people-based" audience targets. Omni does that, too. But Omni's real innovation is another kind of people-basis: those who work inside advertising agencies.
Amazon, long the dominant player in online commerce, achieved another major milestone in 2018, also becoming one of Madison Avenue's dominant suppliers of advertising inventory.
During a visit to his New York headquarters leading up to this award, Bill Koenigsberg did what he has done each year since moving Horizon Media to its Tribeca neighborhood in 2010: He showed off his offices.