Posted by Dan Kersh on Tuesday, November 27th, 2012 at 2:15 pm
I already feel connected to the Bite brand, after all, Clive and I had been discussing bringing our respective businesses together since the middle of last year. Add to this the fact we’ve been working with Bite for some time, we could be forgiven for thinking the merger is just another day in the office. Today though is a little more significant, even if it was just to recognise the contribution made by both agencies in the run up to this launch.
So how have we arrived here? Part of the science that enables the delivery of stellar marketing is the art of making the formidable look seamless. After all, repositioning is part of our DNA. However, taking a dose of our own medicine is a different experience to any other – and for those who have been through it – then I suspect you’ll share some of my opinions.
Bringing these two businesses together presented a far sterner challenge than even I had assumed. Creating the optimal structure and services for our clients while inventing transformative marketing technologies and developing practical business processes was our objective, and while we believe we’re ready to go to market, the steps undertaken to achieve these goals were thought provoking, intricate and exacting. Looking across the businesses, their respective capabilities, the services on offer, and the talent on tap, it gives further credibility to enable us to answer many of the challenges that CMOs face today, but it doesn’t happen overnight. From educating both parties on how to tackle the different business challenges, through to financial and infrastructure integration, back to globalising on an international business, we must carefully plan all of these before implementing.
It sounds obvious, but we want to ensure our best people serve our clients – no matter where they reside – but many an agency is not set up in this regard. More often than not, it’s the financial walls and incentives within a business that constrain our ability to offer this ideal to clients. Separate P&Ls, individuals focused on their own targets rather than global goals, creates bad habits that are not conducive in delivering the very best for our clients. Then there is the ability to educate everyone involved. The fact is there are many bright people that exist within the two businesses, but it takes time to understand how all the parts cohesively fit together. And finally, there’s the political demands of restructuring that sit on top of the pile – yes, I’m not going to pretend these things don’t exist because they live in every organisation. However, we’ve arrived at this juncture and I truly believe we’ve overcome all of these challenges, and we’re ready to take on the opportunities that lie ahead.
It’s with all of that taken into consideration that maybe, just maybe, we’ve something rather unique across a global organisation. It can easily be said ‘we have the best people’ and why wouldn’t each and every agency believe it. In fact, I’m sure I could look across a variety of agencies and find people that are as talented and capable so I don’t want to say it’s just about our people that make us what we are (even though they are extremely talented). Nor will I say it’s just about the wide range of services we’re now able to offer our clients. In my humble opinion, it is, as I have lain out in this article, the ability to be business ready. To deliver the very best services and results you need everyone pulling in the same direction, therefore the organisational structure is critical to success. I don’t doubt it will need continual refinement, this is version 1.0, but we’re now most certainly ready to deliver.
Building for the future
The US election was, in my opinion, the most sophisticated, data driven marketing campaign yet. The process and strategy is well documented, but the money was delivered by an intelligent framework driven by predictive analytics and insight with the use of hierarchical models and marginalisation over the values of nuisance parameters. The point is that the smart agencies are already showing value to marketing by measuring just about anything they can get their hands on. And where the brightest CMOs are harnessing the power of data driven insight to give a greater understanding to the end customer. So, by bringing Bourne and Bite together, we commence that journey to stay ahead of the game by building for the future. I’m convinced, now more than ever, that we’ve the talent and technology to bring the best solutions to our clients. With Andy Cunningham, our new CEO at the helm from January (and certainly one of the smartest people I have met), Bite will be at the forefront of marketing transformation. We hope to see you on the journey.