MRM, McCann Worldgroup launch business consultancy for top clients

T-Shaped will help the IPG agencies’ clients achieve growth through digital business transformation.

MRM global CEO Kate MacNevin
MRM global CEO Kate MacNevin

As clients ask their agencies to solve more upstream business challenges, MRM and parent company McCann Worldgroup want to deliver solutions.

On Tuesday, MRM launched T-Shaped, a business transformation consultancy that will support the direct marketing agency’s clients as well as McCann Worldgroup’s top global 25 accounts.

The group, led by MRM global chief technology officer Jayna Kothary, is a cross-discipline team of senior leaders that will help clients grow more meaningful relationships with their customers by stitching together cross-discipline solutions.

In addition to Kothary, who started her career in management consulting, the new Interpublic Group venture has drawn talent from across its holding company competitors.

The team includes Dr. Simon Gill, formerly chief experience officer at Dentsu’s Isobar; Dr. Annie Hou, a data science PhD with expertise in behavioral science; Ed Kim, EVP of total commerce experiences, previously commerce lead at WPP’s Ogilvy; and Mahesh Ghughari, a martech consultant previously at Publicis’ Sapient.

The name “T-Shaped” refers to the type of talent MRM looks to hire: people with cross-discipline expertise who can drill deep in a certain area, said MRM global CEO Kate MacNevin.

“Clients are trying to understand how to look at communications and business from an end-to-end perspective,” she said. “But so many of our clients have silos. This team we've hired, because of their experience across disciplines, can look across a client's business and stitch things together to solve problems.”

To that end, the team will help clients solve some of their biggest business challenges post-COVID, such as how to reconnect with customers and prospects and how to navigate a more complex commerce journey — challenges that increasingly require integrated solutions.

“When you have expertise across the ecosystem, you can think about total solutions and human experiences for clients,” MacNevin said. “It's that depth and breadth that allows us to think holistically.”

So far, T-Shaped is working with clients in healthcare and CPG, but MRM declined to share names. The group will also play a big role in new business pitches for MRM and McCann Worldgroup broadly, especially as clients seek more integrated solutions from holding companies.

“The focus is to support our top 25 clients,” MacNevin said. “But as new clients come in, and we’re seeing a tremendous uptick in the volume of pitches, these are the kinds of questions coming in with new business.”

MRM and McCann Worldgroup plan to grow the team with more T-shaped talent. MRM is well positioned to lead the consultancy because of its work at the intersection of business transformation, design and marketing, MacNevin said.

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