As holding companies scramble amid the COVID-19 crisis to grab market share, Publicis Groupe is taking the bold step: It’s guaranteeing agreed outcomes under a new program for midsized clients with a full refund if the Groupe does not deliver.
The Groupe’s “The Pact” service is powered by its Epsilon data marketing subsidiary and Publicis Media to demonstrate the ability to track and assign more than 200 million customer IDs across all devices with tangible business indicators, such as visitor traffic and sales.
“The plan has always been to create data-led packages using AI technology, to guarantee outcomes,” explains Arthur Sadoun, chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe. “We've accelerated that product roadmap in service of the times, and we're starting with the clients that need it most, midsized companies.”
Companies with revenues between $10 million and $1 billion — it's a pretty wide spread — are eligible to participate in the program. The spending threshold is $25,000 per month for a minimum of three consecutive months.
Chief Strategy Officer Carla Serrano acknowledges that the definition of “mid-size” under The Pact is a pretty “large segment,” but it is a smarter strategy to go too broad than to limit its coverage criteria.
“We are in essence their business partner,” says Sadoun. There are no conditions or expectations placed on brands, though each deal will be tailored specifically to the company with agreed-upon KPIs.
He uses a restaurant chain rebooting post-shutdown as an example to explain how Publicis would first create an advertising campaign to raise awareness for newly reopened locations. If a certain number of visitors do not return within the three month timeframe a refund would be awarded.
The Groupe has been testing this strategy for several months but decided to accelerate its introduction. The program will first roll out in the UK in the following months.
Sadoun dismisses claims that this move serves as an attempt to win new business since most pitches have been postponed in light of the pandemic.
For one, the Groupe would not likely participate in these smaller account reviews, he says. In addition, these are not AOR relationships.
“We are not winning new business. We are winning projects,” says Sadoun. He views this service as demonstrating to his team that the Groupe is willing to make bold moves to help both the company and clients drive impact now and to recover post-pandemic.