September 15, 2021 by Michael Bürgi
It’s been six weeks since The Stagwell Neighborhood closed on its merger with MDC Companions to originate the next maintaining firm that affords in marketing and media products and providers, as nicely as data technology, polling, PR products and providers and SaaS merchandise. And Impress Penn, the firm’s chairman and CEO, says he sees the firm as a extra up to the moment version of a maintaining firm, with a take care of growing its roster of SaaS merchandise and updating its media arm, Stagwell Media Community, to incorporate first-birthday celebration data technology that’s no longer cookie-dependent.
Factual this morning Stagwell announced it's merging its digital- and efficiency-first ForwardPMX into its Assembly media agency, in a command to mix extra up to the moment, tech-pushed operations with its extra legacy media shopping for and planning stores. The merged Assembly will characterize into Justin Townsend, ForwardPMX’s CEO who also oversees the merged Stagwell Media Community, which homes all of Stagwell’s media-side companies.
Penn spoke with Digiday about a replacement of areas whereby Stagwell expects to develop, even supposing he continually cautioned that it has finest been six weeks since the merger’s shut. The next Q&A has been edited for feature and readability.
For the explanation that merger, what’s working really nicely, what’s going a small of nicely and what needs to be adjusted?
It took a small bit longer than I change into hoping. The ideal unifications came about in media the build we’re really ready to position one thing together now that manages $5 billion of totally on-line media. It’s an offering that spans from the pause of the funnel regarding efficiency marketing down to the loyalty and CRM and influencer marketing, and every thing in between. However we’re nonetheless within the early stages.
In bringing media resources together, the build raise out you stack up against other media networks?
We’re within the course of bringing together these companies, merchandise and other folks within the most acceptable blueprint. In case you compare us to GroupM, it’s so great extra offline media, and S4 is a long way smaller than we're, frankly. They don’t beget the corpulent suite of capabilities now we beget.
We’re within the final processes of testing our Cue product, which is the person realizing and engagement model. It’s going to be the flagship of our media and data offering. Everyone’s asking, ‘What extra or much less first-birthday celebration data raise out you can need?’ We characteristic out millions of person interviews … which offer us a original, recent database that is no longer cookie-dependent and permits us to feed that in with first-birthday celebration data and presumably some dinky third-birthday celebration sources in characterize to originate an viewers focusing on and acquisition tool that is going to be bid of the art. It’s going to be our retort to the opposite media networks available.
We’ve taken this model to a replacement of purchasers and they also’ve been blown away by the simplicity and accuracy of its operation. [Penn declined to identify the actual clients, but Beth Sidhu, Stagwell’s chief brand and communications officer, said they include a major online women’s retailer, a fitness tracker, a DTC meal carrier, and a major investment house.] We wished to impress how it performed all the blueprint by a replacement of verticals.
What in regards to the upward thrust of non-mature would-be maintaining companies transferring into companies? How great does this form of competition care for shut you up at night?
We are the original form of competition. Stagwell started six years ago with the premise of what would happen whereas you went digital-first. In case you’re really going to be a success in marketing recently, or no longer it's miles a must beget to salvage the loyal ad to the loyal person on the loyal time. In case you’re correct smitten by the loyal ad, that’s dinky — that’s love the mild maintaining companies. In case you’re going to correct salvage it to the loyal person, then OK, you’re a focusing on firm. And whereas you’re [thinking about] the loyal time, you’re a media-first firm or an on-line dispute material provider.
That’s how we’ve built Stagwell, intentionally with a conception in mind that’s very assorted from the blueprint the mature maintaining companies had been built. However I’m also no longer correct taking one carve of the pie and saying that’s all of the pie when it’s no longer. It’s no longer accidentally that Accenture build the head of Droga5 on the head of its firm. In case you don’t beget creativity and digital, you’re no longer really ready to fulfill marketers to scale.
You’ve talked about SaaS choices as a command feature that objects you rather than other maintaining companies. How?
My conception here is to invent out a important SaaS element of the enterprise all the blueprint by our examine, ad-tech and comms-tech merchandise. That’s going be a important center of attention of mine within the arriving months. We’re out out there with about a of the first gross sales on the PRophet AI tool, which tells you the blueprint your [press] releases are going to care for shut out. Here's what makes us a right challenger within the marketplace.
What I felt change into crucial within the merger change into to salvage to a right scaled platform the build lets reach up to better and better purchasers, and better contracts, and no longer be pigeonholed as one small piece of the enterprise … to change into a right challenger against the Substantial Four [holding companies WPP, IPG, Omnicom and Publicis].