Report by Peter Law-Gisiko
Chief executive officer
It is close to 45 years since the Y&R Group first pioneered what is now considered a best practice of top agencies, seamlessly integrating a full range of marketing disciplines to best service our clients and engage and motivate their customers.
The advances in marketing technology, the abundance of data, the proliferation and fragmentation of media, as well as the need to connect to the much empowered consumer, has helped amplify each of our company’s core competencies through the filter of our changed environment. Today, each Y&R Group company has more perspectives and tools than ever before to help their clients create enduring brands that will thrive in the evolving marketplace.
At the same time, clients, now more than ever, require us to be nimble and focused on driving efficiencies without sacrificing effectiveness. Our team approach, among ourselves and with WPP, is key to making sure we deliver on both sides of the equation, for our clients and for our business.
The different uses of marketing technology, data and storytelling are the ingredients that make Y&R Group so effective on behalf of its clients and a natural partner in so much of the horizontality that underpins WPP.
In just one example, Y&R, Wunderman, VML and Burson-Marsteller work side-by-side in Memphis, Tennessee to help the U.S. Navy recruit the next generation to their ranks.
The use of data is being driven in different and unique ways across the Group. Landor’s Brand Community model overturns traditional hierarchical thinking about brand management, using data-driven tools like Brand Differential. Burson-Marsteller is leveraging its renowned polling resources to help drive content and creative work. The Science & Learning program at Sudler & Hennessey is designed to help clients leverage critical data. Y&R just launched its second year of Best Countries rankings, in partnership with US News & World Report and The Wharton School, and part of a larger platform based on BAV methodology that analyzes data to understand nations as brands.
Each Y&R Group company has more perspectives and tools than ever before to help their clients create enduring brands
The ways that our companies continue to reinvent themselves only serve to deepen the synergies between them, creating greater incentives to collaborate, and numerous ways to leverage the different ways the Y&R Group companies engage with new technologies and data models in order to tell stories that have marketplace impact.
Y&R Group initiatives benefitted all of the companies. The Group’s IT, for example, worked to improve the technology structure, creating a new platform, UHUB, that optimizes the development operations of the digital teams. Through better code management and enhanced collaboration, UHUB improves productivity, increases capacity, reduces risk and improves margin. Over 80 offices are using it and driving it around the network is a goal for 2017.
In 2016, Y&R Group embraced WPP’s focus on the United Nations Sustainable Goal of gender equality, with an ultimate goal of increasing the ranks of women in all areas and in particular senior leadership roles. At the Group level, we are beginning to pilot an unconscious bias training program focused on gender equality, with a second program dedicated to helping those returning to the workplace that will be launched later this year. Reports on 2016 from each of the companies follow.