The7stars has launched a business acceleration consultancy, dubbed 13minutes, which is designed to close "the gap between martech and media investment" and help brands grow sales.
13minutes will be overseen by a leadership team comprising the7stars staffers Ben Walton as commerce director and Pete Robins as chief executive and agency newcomers Leena Vara-Patel as managing director and Emily Braund as chief data officer.
The aim of 13minutes is to help the main agency clients and non-clients deliver "deeper and more connected communications through the use of advanced data and martech".
The total headcount at 13minutes is 10, with employees sourced internally from the7stars.
Robins was a co-founder of Agenda21, a digital media planning and buying and analytics agency, before joining the7stars in 2019 alongside fellow founder Rhys Williams. Both were appointed to head its technology and activation hub.
Robins has since worked with the7stars on a consultancy basis, but will now be fully committed to 13minutes.
Walton has been employed by the7stars working on digital transformation and commerce since October 2020.
Braund joins from data engineering and ad tech firm Adstem as does Vara-Patel, its founder. Both have worked with the7stars on an array of data infrastructure and ad tech projects. Vara-Patel has 20 years' experience in media and ad tech, with posts at UM, Agenda21, 24.7 Ream Media, Carat and AOL.
Vara-Patel said: "13minutes is such an incredible opportunity to not only take ambitious brands on a data and tech journey, but also to do more of what I love for a company whose tech neutrality can really benefit brands in being at the most advanced part of the market."
Helen Rose, the7stars managing partner, added: "Following a year of expanded digital behaviour and rapid technological advancement, there is a real urgency to unify and make good on the promise of joined up communications that frees great ideas and connects consumers.
"13minutes pulls together a new breed of thinkers that can objectively identify the levers for future growth, be it tech, audience, commerce, or data solutions. This is about building a modern communication business that delivers digital transformation and growth holistically for our clients."
The launch of 13minutes follows last year's launch of creative production arm Supernova, previously named Alpha Century before it was bought by the7stars and rebranded.
There's a growing trend for agencies to extend their areas of expertise. For instance, earlier this year, Essence launched Essence Consulting, a standalone consultancy hinged on ecommerce and data.