Forrester Finds Agencies In Need Of Their Own Transformation, MDC Has An Opportunity

Big agencies like to tout how they manage their clients' "business transformation," but analysts at Forrester Research make the case that the major agency holding companies are in dire need of transforming their own business models.

This table, part of a report published by Forrester in mid-August, benchmarks where each of the Big 7 stand in key areas of transformation.

While MDC Partners had the most formative overall status then, the reports' authors make the case that CEO Scott Kauffman's ouster represents an opportunity to disrupt itself and accelerate its transformation.

"MDC needs to move beyond its organic approach of like-minded agency entrepreneurs banding together and create teams of complementary capabilities providing CMOs creativity combined with Zero & One’s data analytics, Assembly’s digital marketing and Yes and Company’s brand integration," explains Forrester's Jay Pattisall, adding that its next CEO "should prioritize a more structured – if not branded – way for its agency partners to work together and strengthen one another." 

Co-author Ted Schadler points out that MDC Partners is the only major agency holding company of the agencies he tracks that does not include a digital experience offering.

"MDC would stand to gain by offering their clients digital experience services, as Forrester’s research shows that improving customer experiences is a primary goal of firms today and a growth area of holding companies."

Addendum: A spokesperson for MDC Partners said the company took exception to Forrester's characterization that it currently does not have a digital experience practice and offered the following statement: 

“We believe that digital experience and innovation is a critical area of focus for our clients, which is why for years we have invested in attracting and growing top companies and talent with specialized expertise in this area. It’s also why in April, we welcomed renowned digital brand and experience innovation company Instrument to the MDC family. Today MDC Partners is home to digital experience companies including GALE, Hello Design, Instrument and Y Media Labs, as well as KBS Albion in the UK. We’re immensely proud that MDC agencies are trusted experience design partners to world-class clients like Apple, Google, Nike, Sonos and Dropbox.” 

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