Adland executives like to pooh-pooh the notion that consultancies are out to eat their lunch, but evidence is mounting that that’s exactly what the major firms in the sector are out to do.
Not only are the consultants buying up agencies left and right, they’re also poaching top talent.
The latest example: Accenture has appointed OMD veteran Nikki Mendonça as president of Intelligent Marketing Operations within Accenture Operations. The appointment is effective early 2018.
In his new role, Mendonça will manage a global team focused on helping Accenture clients activate, operate and scale marketing programs to deliver, well, what you’d expect —increased performance and growth.
The team will use predictive analytics to target and attract the right customers across marketing channels to enhance loyalty and optimize the customer lifecycle. Sounds a lot like what media agencies say the game is increasingly about.
The Intelligent Marketing Operations team will collaborate with others across the consultancy, which is making an aggressive bid to compete for agency business, as evidenced by an acquisition spree that includes last month’s purchase of San Francisco-based design and innovation firm, Matter.
Other recent agency purchases by the consultant include Wire Stone, The Monkeys, Kunstmaan, Karmarama and SinnerSchrader.
Among the divisions that Accenture’s intelligent marketing operation will work with is Accenture Interactive, the firm’s digital marketing outfit and the unit where many of its agency acquisitions are now organized.
The collaboration is designed to create a “marketing growth engine” for clients through the integration of an array of capabilities and services, including user experience, design, channel mix optimization, campaign creative and management, data insights and artificial intelligence.
Mendonça joins Accenture from Omnicom’s OMD Worldwide, where she served as president of the company’s EMEA region. In that role, she had overall responsibility for more than 6,500 staffers serving blue-chip clients such as McDonald's, PepsiCo, Estee Lauder, Liberty Global and Walt Disney. Previously, she held management roles at Capital Radio and Leo Burnett.
“Nikki is a proven business leader and digital marketing strategist,” said Debbie Polishook, group chief executive, Accenture Operations. “Her arrival comes at a strategically important time in building this capability, as we continue to develop innovative solutions that combine platform, analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning and other core technologies to help clients enhance their marketing impact.”
You can pooh-pooh the notion all you want Adland, but it’s getting harder to tell the difference between your client remit and those of consultants. Why not just consolidate and make it official?
You’ll save a lot on back-office expenses. And maybe alleviate some of the client leverage being applied to fees. How do you think clients gained that leverage in the first place? Not by sitting around watching competitors grow, that’s for sure.