Havas WW Launches SOE, Targets Analytics, Content

In a bid to help clients develop content and maximize its impact, Havas Worldwide New York is launching a new media unit called SOE (for Shared Owned and Earned) that combines the agency’s analytics, community management and content strategy capabilities under a single practice.

Initial clients include Dos Equis and Reckitt Benckiser, although the agency declined to provide specifics about the work that SOE is doing for them.

The new unit is launching with 21 employees and will be led by Richard Notarianni, executive director of engagement planning and performance at the agency.

“With the launch of SOE, Havas Worldwide New York will host a new team of talent for the networked world,” stated Tom Morton, Chief Strategy Officer Havas Worldwide New York. Under Notarianni’s leadership, Morton said, “we're putting shared, owned and earned content specialists at the center of the agency.”

As part of the offering, SOE will build a system enabling clients to publish content to the Web, mobile and social channels. The company has hired Jennifer Bassett as content strategy director to help in that effort. Previously, Bassett was senior manager global brand communications with Omnicom branding agency Interbrand.   

Notarianni said the SOE would house analytics and planning groups alongside social, content and community specials “to address our clients’ need to understand the business impact of network communications.”

The creation of SOE is the latest in a series of reorganizational moves at Havas designed to reinforce integration efforts in the digital era. Last week, it said it was rebranding its MPG and Media Contacts agencies as Havas Media properties. As a brand, Havas Worldwide is just a few months old—the agency was previously known as Euro RSCG.



4 comments about "Havas WW Launches SOE, Targets Analytics, Content".
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  1. Henry Blaufox from Dragon360, January 25, 2013 at 10:26 a.m.

    Havas seems to have a commendable goal for the SOE initiative. But will they actually build a "system enabling clients to publish to the web..." from scratch? There are a number of robust web CMS offerings. Enterprise software design and development is not a core competency of agencies, and enterprise CMS development is not a simple undertaking. Wouldn't it be worthwile for Havas WW to examine the available CMS suites with an eye towards purchase and customization to meet their unique requirements, rather than build their own platform?

  2. Robin Riddle from New York, January 27, 2013 at 4:15 p.m.

    I recall reading an article by Kirk Cheyfitz, CEO and Chief Editorial Officer at Story Worldwide in the Huffington Post back in 2011, on the subject of agencies and publishers battling to own the content marketing space.

    Kirk Cheyfitz made the point back then that publishers are trying to move upstream and take other marketing spend because they are looking to replace (highly profitable) print advertising revenue that’s been lost to the (low margin) digital world. The opportunity with Content Marketing is no less today. If anything, it’s even greater as many advertising-led clients are also looking for ways to include original content that supports their marketing goals, as part of traditional and digital ad campaigns. Those publishers that are able to offer the capability to produce original content in this way, helps them to win business as part of the media agency driven RFP process.

    In many respects it makes perfect sense for publishers to run these content creation businesses and they are actually better placed to do so than many agencies are. This is because Content Marketing is all about creating original content that is engaging for the consumer - a skill publishers have been utilizing for many, many decades. Advertising Agencies on the other hand, have lots more experience producing ads and the job of an ad is somewhat different.

    This story has a long way to run but it’s certainly an interesting development to see another major global agency open a dedicated Content Marketing agency to take the publishers on, head to head. I’ve blogged more about it here:



  3. Henry Blaufox from Dragon360, January 27, 2013 at 4:25 p.m.

    Hello Robin,

    My take is you agree right on point with your comment. Publishers are better positioned to meet the marketers' needs with in depth, multi-channel content creation because it fits what they've been doing forever - high quality long form journalism. The agencies wkill have a harder time making this work because they aren't used to the discipline this requires. Their skill is in shorter bursts of creative.

  4. Andrew Boer from MovableMedia, January 28, 2013 at 6:04 p.m.


    I disagree. While I'd agree that Publishers are still much better at creating compelling content, they have a number of basic hurdles to overcome before they can transform their "custom content" divisions into content marketing organizations. First, they have to overcome the intrinsic problem that to do owned well, they essentially need to enable Brands compete with them for the same audience. They will be reluctant to simply cannibalize their own audience, but that is exactly what brands are seeking to do. Secondly, Publishers still rely on brands for advertising revenue, and that priority will also interfere with a successful owned strategy....content marketing, matured, is ultimately an *alternative* to advertising, not a complement. Third, the world is moving towards individuals and authors as the source of authority and not publishing brands. So brands can simply aggregate authors who have audiences and skip the publishing brands entirely. (Think Rackspace and Robert Scoble)
    Finally, publishers are going to be late to move towards a performance based approach to content -- which I believe is the inevitable final shape of online content marketing- just as it was for online advertising.

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