Global marketing communications conglomerate, the Publicis Groupe, recently introduced a new advertising model called the Insight Factory. Insight Factory will tap skills from group firms such as Leo Burnett Worldwide (for creating the ads), Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG, for media planning and buying) and Digitas Inc. (for creating a digital presence). While most advertising experts call Insight Factory a “rebundled structure” that is similar to the traditional agency model, Tom Bernardin, CEO and chairman, Leo Burnett Worldwide, a member agency network of the Publicis Groupe, and the person steering this model prefers to call it collaborative. Bernardin spoke to Mint about the model, its implications for clients and the fact that clients will benefit from a single leader and a single organization—accountable to a single profit and loss (P&L). The model will be introduced in the Asia-Pacific region, too. Edited excerpts:
Will an Insight Factory come up in India? When?
Leo Burnett Worldwide CEO Tom Bernardin
The plan is to implement the model in the US first—this will be rolled out early next year. We will review, learn and adjust the model where necessary and then look at further roll-outs across the globe. Asia-Pacific is on our radar. There is, however, no set date or timeframe at this stage.
What are the benefits of rebundling and will this model become a benchmark for others?
Over the last few days I have several times heard our new model being labelled a rebundled offering. Simply put, this is not the case at all. This is not an effort to rebundle services. It’s not putting media inside creative, or creative inside media. This is open architecture between three powerful brands, powered and populated by an unprecedented insights and analytics core, and infused with industry-leading digital capabilities.
The model allows for fluid collaboration across companies based on client needs and opportunities. Leo Burnett (LB), Starcom MediaVest and Digitas all remain independent, but they will exchange resources and capabilities more readily. On shared businesses you will see some solutions led by Starcom MediaVest, others by LB, others by Digitas. There is no default lead, but rather the teams will be led by an individual best suited to the client and the brand’s challenges/opportunities. So, in essence this is evolution, we’ve been moving towards?this?model for some time now, it’s been an entirely natural progression as we listened to what clients were asking for.
Isn’t IPG (a rival marketing communications conglomerate) also making moves in this direction?
The Insight Factory is a first of its kind. No one else has aggregated this scope or depth of resources, tools, systems and talent to deliver insights, data and analytics to the marketing process. To our knowledge, no one else is tailoring client-dedicated teams that borrow from multiple agencies, but answer to one P&L. Our model tears down entirely every obstacle to true integration and holistic solutions. This model creates absolute fluidity across the companies, rewards collaboration and gives clients a right-size, right-service solution.
Will this make for more cost-effective synergized solutions for clients? Many agencies see huge benefits in remaining unbundled?
Remaining unbundled would imply that we are rebundling—which as I have already said we are most definitely not. The new model will result in an organization accountable to a single P&L and being more streamlined so that one person is looking after creative, one person is looking after planning and so forth—this will naturally result in a more cost-effective business solution for both clients and us. However, this initiative has not been born out of the need to save money. It is the result of meeting our clients’ needs for the flexibility they require to engage right-sized services that deliver holistic communications. We have an offering that is second to none in the market. No silos, no egos—and all the benefits of combining the ‘best of the best’ of each agency brand’s thinking and experience.
What kind of clients would particularly benefit from an Insight Factory concept?
The Insight Factory will appeal to clients looking for a one-stop collaborative advertising model offering media, digital and creative services. This model will address all their communications and marketing needs and, as a result, clients will benefit from a single leader, a single organization—accountable to a single P&L. Naturally, some clients will want to tap into all aspects we offer and others into just some of them. Clients such as Procter & Gamble, for example, which has told agencies it wants to narrow the number of shops it deals with, are looking for the sort of integrated-marketing approach Insight Factory has been designed to, and will strive to provide.