MindShare Q&A

campaignlive.co.uk, Thursday, 17 April 2008 06:00AM

This is the unedited text of the Q&A sheet provided to Campaign by Mindshare, giving more details of its restructuring.

TALKING POINTS AND Q&A ON MINDSHARE'S GLOBAL RESTRUCTURE



Q. WHAT ARE WE DOING?
A. We are challenging the status quo that has existed for far too long in the marketing services environment. The current system of silo driven companies biased on their own agenda and old technology isn't what clients want. We aim to be the first mainstream network to recognise and respond to this by creating a structure, philosophy and working method that is business-led, digital-centric and solution-neutral.
We are essentially shaking up a model that has existed for too long and has little relevance in today's highly-advanced communication interaction between brands and consumers. We are streamlining the company's operations by fully integrating all services in a simplified framework to deliver a new, comprehensive marketing services offering.


Q. WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?

A. There are many reasons for the reorganisation. In order to capitalise on technological advancements and changes in the communications landscape and fundamentally meet and exceed the changing needs of our clients we need to re-invent our form, our thinking and our process. We need to become involved more in marketing services rather than simply media management. Consumers are consuming, creating and distributing media in complex and sophisticated ways that could not have been dreamed of when we first created MindShare 10 years ago. There is a significant need right now among clients for agency leadership. They want agencies to take the lead in learning about and applying digital media, spanning from retail to the creation of new revenue streams. They want agencies to take the lead in the integration of diverse marketing services. And they want agencies to take the lead in being more creative with marketing ideas. We intend to be the ones leading in all those areas. MindShare's role is to realise the value of the exchange between brands, consumers, and corporations to create unfair competitive advantage for our clients.

Q. WHAT DO WE HOPE TO ACHIEVE?
A. We hope to create a new, repeatable business planning process designed to deliver higher-order strategies, digital innovation, and multidisciplinary integrated marketing plans to our clients. We'll have more creative minds thinking of ideas and selling more innovative programs to more clients, and we will have cracked the problem of digital integration, linking digital expertise across all phases of strategic development, ideas and program execution. We will also introduce a new marketing philosophy that represents the conceptual core of what we are trying to accomplish with the restructuring. We're calling it The Value Exchange.


Q. WHAT IS THE VALUE EXCHANGE?
A. It's a revolutionary philosophy based on our belief that a brand's value is driven by the sum total of exchanges between consumers and the brand and that these exchanges can be mapped and monitored. Understanding this value exchange yields diagnostic information to drive the formation of useful business strategies for driving growth. These strategies are, in turn, activated into powerful marketing ideas and exciting communications programs that deliver tangible, measureable results.


Q. IN A PRACTICAL SENSE, HOW WILL THE RESTRUCTURING CHANGE THE WAY WE NOW OPERATE?
A. In several ways. To begin with, we will move to more integrated client teams with less focus on departments and more focus on teams sitting and working together.
One of the major keys is the integration of services. This cannot be stressed enough. Henceforth we will consistently strive toward achieving a new level of integration of services toward solving our clients' marketing problems and challenges. Our new focus will be on building client teams with positions and skills that go beyond the current media planning group structure.


Q. WHAT ARE THE FOUR NEW GROUPS AND WHAT DO THEY DO?
A. The four new groups are as follows:

1. Client Leadership
2. Business Planning
3. Invention
4. The Exchange

Briefly, here is what each unit will cover:

  • Client Leadership. A group formed of senior agency executives who essentially serve as the primary client contacts for each account. The group will be formed of Client Leaders who will serve as the lead business partner to each client and be responsible for setting the vision, developing the team work plan, and building C-level relationships with the client. The role will also be held accountable for P&L, performance & quality. Working together with Client Leaders will be Operations Leaders responsible for managing the delivery of the vision and work plan as well as supervising client team integration across the agency. Operations Leaders will also be accountable for media client deliverables and managing staff KPIs, performance appraisals and career plans.

  • Business Planning. This group effectively consolidates several MindShare units combining analytic and strategic expertise to focus in on solving real business issues for the marketing director and CEO; business planning rather than simply communications plan development. Business Planning will interweave deep consumer understanding and communications planning with real-time business data-streams and click-streams across digital platforms and search to clearly define a client's business opportunities, marketing challenges and develop a "go to market" strategy meeting those challenges through a disciplined and fact-based process.

  • Invention. Invention will be the hub of the agency's creative thinking, bringing together experts across disciplines including entertainment creation, sponsorship creation and amplification, retail, digital and strategic planning. Further to a brief originated in collaboration with Business Planning, Invention will define and develop the media neutral communications platform and how it is manifested across the entire consumer journey, vitally fusing content and contact planning. The role of this group also encompasses the overseeing of creative development and production of content rooted in the platforms and journeys defined.

  • The Exchange. This group combines all trading - digital and non-digital, distribution leverage, inventory management, data management, and arbitrage. The Exchange will consult with Invention during the creation of the architecture for the communications strategy and will translate this into actionable plans being ultimately be responsible to both the client and client leadership team for stewarding and activating the brand vision in the real world, maintaining budget and quality control, and overseeing short-term, tactical actions.


Q. DOES THE REORGANISATION IMPACT EVERYONE IN THE AGENCY?

A. It will impact some more than others, but to one extent or another it will impact everyone because we are introducing a new model, and with that comes a new approach and attitude toward virtually all we do at MindShare.



Q. WHAT IMPACT WILL THE RESTRUCTURING HAVE ON CURRENTLY AUTONOMOUS MINDSHARE DIVISIONS SUCH AS ATG, INSIGHTS, AND MINDSHARE INTERACTION?

A. All the separate units will cease to exist. They will be folded into Business Planning, Invention, or The Exchange.

Q. WHERE DO THE MEDIA PLANNERS GO?
A. Some go to Business Planning, focusing on strategy and communications architecture. Some will go to Invention into creative idea generation, activation and project management roles. Some go to the Exchange to do tactical planning, first within media verticals and, later, across platforms as we develop competency working this way. Many of the more senior leaders will go to the Client Leadership team, retaining responsibility for overall account stewardship and all strategic and tactical deliverables.


Q. WILL THE RESTRUCTURING IMPACT THE WAY WE DO BUSINESS WITH OUR CREATIVE AND MEDIA PARTNERS?

A. Our operating philosophy is based on an "Open Source" principle and is entirely open to, and collaborative with, a brand's external and internal marketing resources. These include advertising agencies, digital agencies, public relations firms, consumer promotion initiatives, trade marketing resources, media companies, and others.

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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