Report by Kelly Clark (below) Chief executive officer
As we look back over the past few years and the difficult environment we’ve faced, we’ve learned some important lessons. And importantly, our clients have reminded us of what matters most.
Creativity and innovation
If the work isn’t great, it just won’t break through. Maxus India has been leading the way for us in this area, winning a record number of industry awards for their work with clients including Nokia and Vodafone. Our agencies in Poland, Russia, the UK and the US have also performed particularly well over the last year. We will place an even greater emphasis on innovation in 2011 and we’ve launched our new internal awards program, the Maxus Magnets, which will reward the best work from our network.
Experience they can count on everywhere
Our clients need us to deliver effective solutions for them everyday around the world. In 2010, we launched new Maxus agencies in Ireland, Hungary and Mexico. We formed a partnership in the Middle East with WPP agency BPG. We launched our third China office in Guangzhou, our fifth India office in Kerala, and our third US office in St Louis. Our network now spans more than 60 offices in 50 countries. We expanded client relationships to new markets, including Chrysler, Fiat, L’Oréal and UPS. And we won new global clients like Bausch & Lomb and Shangri-la Hotels & Resorts.
Accountability and measurement
Helping clients quantify the impact of marketing investments is at the heart of our Relationship Media proposition. We’ve made major investments in people and tools. We hired Martin Lawson from digital agency i-level as our global director of data and insights. We developed a proprietary approach to tracking and optimising the journeys that consumers make online, and we’ll be rolling this out globally in 2011.
Better value from their media budgets
We choose not to compete for business when price is the only criterion. But delivering improved media value is an important part of our offer, and in 2010 we built a strong global trading structure led by Alan Hodge. Alan was previously GroupM’s European trading director and was recently recognised by Campaign magazine as one of the industry’s top 10 media buyers. He and his team make sure our clients get the best from GroupM’s unmatched scale, trading expertise and technology leadership.
Many agencies have silos of narrow specialists in areas like search and social media, all working independently. As an agency born in the digital age, we’ve eliminated the false boundaries between digital and traditional media. We have specialists but they are fully integrated in our client teams. We pioneered this approach with BT in the UK, bringing our media planning and implementation teams together with experts in search, digital display, social, data analytics, mobile and direct response. We’ll adopt this approach across our network in 2011.
As an agency born in the digital age, we’ve eliminated the false boundaries between digital and traditional
Clients want their different agency partners to work better together. Collaboration is part of our DNA. In 2010, we started working more intensely on shared client projects with WPP companies including Ogilvy, ZAAZ, Geppetto and Kantar Media. We work just as well with many exciting agencies outside of WPP. Clients have told us this is a real advantage.
As I write this report, most economies around the world seem to be recovering well from the economic difficulties of the past few years. RECMA, the independent organisation that measures media agencies, has again named Maxus the fastest-growing global media network in 2010. Our client relationships are strong and our people have performed brilliantly. Because of them, I’m more optimistic than ever.