Two industry veterans from WPP’s search agency, GroupM Next, have formed a new agency aimed at supporting brand strategies, digital services and forging partnerships.
For C2Next, an agency focused on search and performance, the focus is on helping brands identify and learn from past mistakes to avoid repeating them, says co-founder Chris Copeland. Copeland was formerly GroupM chief.
“I look at this space and can’t help but see tons of opportunity,” he said. “There’s so much handwringing around in-housing, transparency and fraud. These are all important topics, but if you look at them from another perspective, there’s so much opportunity to do things differently and give brands better outcomes.”
The “c2” in the name represents “Chris Copeland” and the “next” identifies what’s next by helping brands “see the future” in advertising and marketing.
Copeland, along with Michael Dowd, co-founded the bootstrapped agency with a focus on growth through digital and looking for measured returns from lead generation to online sales. It will include branding through search and social, among other media.
“We formed partnerships with other agencies that excel in their discipline, but recognize the rapid change in digital advertising and want to provide our services for their clients,” he said, declining to share names.
While at GroupM Next, a WPP search agency, Dowd worked as chief technologist, where he founded the Technology Department and Competitive Intelligence Department, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Voice search and assistants, as well as in-store marketing and advertising are two emerging technology the agency will support. Everything begins with the next important change in consumer behavior, Copeland said.
“Too many brands are more concerned with executing tactics without thinking about the strategies that accelerate growth,” he said. “Buying media on Facebook and on Google may naturally happen, but when you make the buy without a strategy, or you check a box because the agency supports that media, you run into trouble.”
Investments could come in the form of data to best inform optimization of campaigns.