Market research firm Forrester is out with a new report that spotlights nine midsize media agencies with billings of between $2 billion to $20 billion.
According to Forrester’s in-depth assessment, there are three agency’s that “lead the pack,” including Mediahub, part of Interpublic’s MullenLowe Group and Omnicom Media Group’s Hearts & Science.
Also making the grade is Assembly, part of MDC Partners, which just announced a $100 million investment stake from Stagwell partners. Its founder, Mark Penn, has taken over as CEO at the struggling agency holding company.
“Strong performer” status was bestowed upon OMG’s PHD, independent Horizon Media, Publicis Media’s Spark Foundry and Dentsu Aegis Network’s Vizeum.
DentsuX and IPG’s Intiative are labeled “contenders.”
According to the report, written by analyst Jay Pattisall, pack leader Mediahub “is a good fit for challenger brands and clients looking to disrupt their category with innovative uses of media and marketing. Compared with other media agencies we evaluated, Mediahub shows strength in its emotional/human communications planning process and tailored approach to planning and activation. Its ‘relentless’ focus is integral to its success as an agency but also results in an intense work culture.”
Hearts & Science is a good fit for “brands capable of integrating data-driven media with creative execution to drive commerce. Compared with other agencies we evaluated, it shows strength in its ability to “suppress” media buys from existing customers to minimize waste. Its ability to create private marketplaces to ensure impression quality and its strong belief that clients should own their data and tech contracts shows high proficiency with data analytics.”
Assembly, the report surmised “shows strength in its analytics and custom marketing mix modeling, its content group called Attention, and its integrated execution.” The agency is a good fit “for firms looking to disrupt the status quo within marketing in order to change their business.”
The report also cites what Forrester believes are the strengths and weakness of the other agencies covered in the analysis.
The report evaluated agencies against 26 criteria grouped into three broader categories. including current offering, strategy and market presence.
“Empowered customers and prospects hiding from advertising and marketing put pressure on CMOs to create stickier media executions and experiences,” the report concludes. “This new challenge means media campaigns and the agency partners that deliver them must forgo conventional reach and frequency in favor of more personalized, culturally relevant, and technology-savvy execution. CMOs require agency partners to harness data and creativity to better connect the medium, message, and moment.”