#AdForumSummit: More acquisitions planned — Accenture Interactive
by Johanna McDowell (@jomcdowell) This highly anticipated eighth and final virtual session of the AdForum Worldwide Summit 2020 on Wednesday 8 July from non-holding company, Accenture Interactive, along with one of its acquisitions, renowned creative agency Droga5, didn’t disappoint.
Jon Wilkins, Accenture Interactive global creative council chair and MD, led this session, along with Neil Heymann, Droga5 global chief creative officer, and Sean Lackey, Droga5 CMO. Jeannine Falcone, Accenture Interactive global and North America creative marketing agency lead, gave us an overview and we learnt that clients are increasingly in contact, in the main, to ask Accenture Interactive how they as marketers can reorganise their businesses.
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Accenture Interactive believes in unified brand experience and that brand purpose is the key to accelerating growth in today’s experience landscape.
Wilkins, whose agency Karmarama was Accenture Interactive’s first creative agency acquisition in 2016, heads the Accenture Interactive Creative Council, which is represented by all of the creative agencies that’ve been acquired. Accenture Interactive has 180 agency/studio sites around the world which support the creative agencies and overall Accenture offering.
Wilkins very refreshingly engaged us with various thoughts and comments using well-known musical titles and sounds, pieces of which were played during the presentation.
- “What’s going on” — Marvin Gaye
- Cracks in business have become cavernous in the past few months
- “Ball of Confusion” — The Temptations
- Confusion reigns
- Classic “In the Mood” — Glen Miller
- People have become more reflective
- There’s more listening happening
- Research is valued
- Experts have become more valuable; the rise of the expert
- “Get up, stand up” — Bob Marley
- Ethics vs profit
- Time’s slowed down
- Issues have been raised that might not have come up before
- A reappraisal of purpose on many levels is in progress
- #BlackLivesMatter has happened and brands have responded with a point of view; those that haven’t risk exclusion
- “Video killed the Radio star” — The Buggles
- The shift to digital has changed dynamically
- There is a huge uptake in ecommerce, and people won’t go back to the old ways
- Direct communication to consumers is increasing rapidly
- Retailers are moving rapidly to ecommerce
- “Speed of Sound” — Coldplay
- We’re moving in real time
- CMOs are having to move even quicker
- CMOs are having to ensure that more and more content is produced faster and faster
- In-housing of production is becoming the norm
- “Money (That’s what I want)” — Barrett Strong
- There are cost pressures
- These have been massively accelerated by covid-19
- It’s leading to a complete transformation of marketing
“Unified brand idea”
Heymann, along with Lackey, then talked to us about the concept of a “unified brand idea” and how the integration of Droga5 with Accenture Interactive has enabled them to apply brand thinking and creativity across the whole experience, transforming a client’s business. Key clients where this has already happened include IHop, Huggies, Harley Davidson and The New York Times. Colleen Leddy, Droga5 chief media officer, identified the media — online and offline strengths of Accenture Interactive — along with its data capabilities.
We then went on to Q&A and, as with most Q&As in the last 10 days, this really helped the consultants to understand the capabilities of the agencies and how they may be applied to clients in the various markets.
Much expansion is planned for Accenture Interactive, with more acquisitions in key markets; if it can’t find the right agency to buy in those territories, it’ll source the best possible talent and build accordingly. Eighteen months will see many changes for this new player which is definitely not a holding company.
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Updated at 9.49am on 10 July 2020.
Johanna McDowell (@jomcdowell) is MD of the Independent Agency Search and Selection Company (IAS), which is partnered with the AAR Group in the UK. Twice a year she attends AdForum Worldwide Summits. Further information and case studies from Accenture Interactive and Droga5 will be shared at her IAS masterclasses for agencies and marketers on 14 and 21 July 2020.
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