A little over a year ago, TargetCast, the New York-based media agency, formed a new division designed to provide regional creative shops with media
capabilities to help them reel in or retain full-service accounts.
Since then, the unit -- known as TargetCast Inside -- has helped its clients garner prestigious accounts, such as Land’s End and Lockheed Martin.
In fact, says TargetCast CEO Steve Farella, all of the new business from the Inside division combined would rank as the fifth-largest revenue-generating client within the broader agency. “It’s really worked out well for us,” said Farella, who also serves as head of Maxxcom, MDC Partners’ global media group. MDC acquired control of TargetCast in March.
Media agency veteran Larry Orell was hired last year to get Inside up and running. Now he has been promoted to new business director for the entire agency and will continue to oversee the Inside unit.
Before joining TargetCast, Orell was an outside advisor to WPP’s MediaCom. Prior to that, he was U.S. COO at Interpublic Group’s Initiative. Earlier, he held positions at The Lord Group and Grey Advertising.
“He really did a tremendous job in a short time,” launching Inside and making it a substantial revenue stream for the agency, Farella said of Orell.
In effect, Orell says, Inside serves as a “subcontractor” to creative agencies that either have no media practice or that feel they need to up their game on that side of the business in order to compete for new business or hold on to existing clients.
Many regional agencies, Orell said, “don’t have the resources to keep pace on the media side,” even if they have a certain level of media expertise that has served them well in the past. “We basically bolt on,” he said.
Once a creative shop has signed on to take Inside’s offering, it receives access to the resources of TargetCast’s wider organization. For example, when Barrie D'Rozario Murphy used Inside to pitch the Land’s End creative and media assignment (with billings estimated at upwards of $10 million per Kantar Media), TargetCast’s top managers participated in the pitch, including Farella, Audrey Siegel, president of client services and Interactive president Steve Minichini, along with Orell. “We apply the level of resources as we need them,” Orell said.
The biggest Inside account is Lockheed Martin, a B-to-B assignment with spending estimated at $20 million, although TargetCast officials declined to confirm the figure. Keiler & Company is the creative agency on the account and enlisted Inside to help pitch the media business.
The Inside model is flexible. With Lockheed, for example, “we have our own agreement” directly with the client, notes Farella, because the client wanted it that way. But with Land’s End, Barrie D’Rozario Murphy is the agency of record for creative and media. “Our contract in that case is with the agency.”
That’s usually how it works. “One order, one bill” is the basic pitch to agencies, said Farella. “You do it all as far as your client is concerned but we’[ll do the media for you.”
Other creative shops using TargetCast’s Inside service include The Via Agency for People’s United Bank and On Ideas for Winn-Dixie.