2009 Agency Business Report
With 15 years in the marketing services business, Accent Marketing Services is known for helping its clients acquire and retain customers. Though its focus hasn't changed much since it began in 1993, the company has grown from a small shop to a company supporting 3,000 employees in 13 different locations globally. With clients in telecommunications, manufacturing, consumer products, insurance, automotive, and healthcare, Accent Marketing continues to focus on helping customers grow and maintain its customer base through various direct marketing channels. Click headline above to view Accent's full profile, complete with capabilities and company history.
Founded in 1969 and now boasting more than 6,000 employees, Acxiom is perhaps the largest processor of consumer data in the world. In addition to database management, the interactive marketing service firm specializes in direct marketing, customer data integration, IT services, digital marketing, risk mitigation and consulting. Click headline above to view Acxiom's full profile, complete with capabilities and company history.
Founded in 1990 as Citron Haligman Bedecarre, an Internet consulting firm, AKQA became the global digital firm that it is today in 2001, after CHB acquired three other companies - AKQA, an independent Internet development company; Magnet, a Washington D.C.-based developer and e-commerce specialist; and AdInc, a Singaporean new media agency. Click headline above to view AKQA's full profile, complete with capabilities and company history.
Aspen Marketing Services has always lived "below the line" — since its inception as a 13-agency network in 1996. Its foundations are also built in the automotive industry, thanks to its 1998 acquisition of the auto agency Creative Marketing International. These days, Aspen remains strong in the auto and direct worlds, with more auto names in its client roster than you'd see at any dealership and with core competencies defined as either "response" or "engagement" marketing on its Web site. Click headline above to view Aspen's full profile, complete with capabilities and company history.
Founded in 1938, Carlson is one of the oldest agencies in the space. It has deep roots in CRM, brand loyalty and engagement and continues to look forward in the digital space by increasing efforts in social media, interactive marketing and mobile. The company prides itself on its rich heritage in the direct marketing space and its focus on analytics and database services. Click headline above to view Carlson's full profile, complete with capabilities and company history.
Critical Mass may be a "purely digital" agency, but that doesn't mean their approach is simplistic. The agency has created multiple special divisions to keep up with major trends in the industry: one to track distribution of campaigns across multiple digital touchpoints, another focused on consumers' feedback and a third concentrating on analytics. Click headline above to view Critical Mass' full profile, complete with capabilities and company history.
While Digitas is currently a digital agency leader, its roots are in direct marketing - it was founded in 1980 as Bronner Slosberg Humphrey, which became a leading DM firm with offerings ranging from DRTV and direct mail to print and alternative media. As digital grew and the Internet became an incredible reach vehicle, the company realized brands must engage consumers in conversation online. The agency prides itself in its ability to bring together the best qualities of its traditional direct heritage and its understanding of the digital world. Click headline above to view Digitas' full profile, complete with capabilities and company history.
Draftfcb is a study in contradictions: It is old, if you consider its start in 1873 as an ad brokerage, but it is new in that Draft and fcb were just combined under parent Interpublic in 2006. It is a traditional advertising agency, strong in brand building, and it is a cutting-edge full-service direct agency, with capabilities in mobile, CRM, search and predictive analytics. Draftfcb prizes creative work, but also sticks to the data-driven basics of direct. Click headline above to view Draftfcb's full profile, complete with capabilities and company history.
Epsilon offers creative work, e-mail, database and loyalty, predictive modeling and analytics, consulting, SEO, direct mail and other services through its three business divisions: the Purple@Epsilon agency, Marketing Technology and Data Services. The agency's drive for data is deep — its parent company is Alliance Data Systems, and, Taleen Ghazarian, SVP, strategy and planning, notes, "The essence of Epsilon is really data-driven multichannel marketing that can create measurable results for our clients." Click headline above to view Epsilon's full profile, complete with capabilities and company history.
EuroRSCG was founded in 1991 with a technology focus and sees itself as a leader in the tech revolution. Today, the agency prides itself on telling brand stories through digital experiences that resonate enough with consumers that they want to pass that story on through digital media. By fully integrating its 'digital at the core' philosophy, Euro is one of the fastest growing digital agencies and is owned by Havas, a worldwide advertising and communications group. Click headline above to view EuroRSCG's full profile, complete with capabilities and company history.
G2 Direct & Digital is one of the largest direct and digital communications agencies in the world, and is part of the G2 global network of companies. Founded by George Wiedemann in 1979, the agency has been in business for 30 years and has a breadth of services for brands looking to leverage direct channels. Formerly known as Grey Direct, in 2006 the agency became G2 Direct & Digital to better reflect its growing presence in interactive marketing and to provide a more synchronized offering to its clients. Click headline above to view G2's full profile, complete with capabilities and company history.
The Hacker Group started off as a direct mail agency in 1986 but quickly evolved into a multichannel direct response agency that prides itself on its analytics and data capabilities. The agency is so focused on measurability that it has developed a proprietary methodology called PowerTest, which rapidly tests several campaign elements at once. Click headline above to view Hacker Group's full profile, complete with capabilities and company history.
Founded in 2001, Haggin Marketing sees the consumer relationship as the cornerstone of a successful brand. Because the agency is independent and not part of a holding company, it sees itself as able to better collaborate, be more integrated and be more organized than others in the space. Personalization and a one-to-one focus are key for Haggin. Click headline above to view Haggin's full profile, complete with capabilities and company history.
Harte-Hanks Direct is one of the biggest US direct marketing agencies and accounts for a significant portion of the overall Harte-Hanks' business. The direct portion includes businesses such as data quality solutions provider Trillium Software and market intelligence firm Aberdeen. Data is really what this firm is about. It is a leader in enterprise marketing database solutions and has made headway in the mid-market arena in recent years. Click headline above to view Harte-Hanks' full profile, complete with capabilities and company history.
Hawkeye has a strong heritage in data analytics and disseminating complex information to large customer bases, with dedicated practices for the financial services and high-tech arenas. Four years ago, digital work accounted for 10% of the business, while today it's 65% of what the agency does, including developing products in the social networking and personalized URL spaces. Click headline above to view Hawkeye's full profile, complete with capabilities and company history.
Founded in Boston in 1968 by Jack Connors, Jay Hill, Alan Holliday and Steve Cosmopulos, Hill Holliday is a communications agency specializing in digital, search, e-mail and direct mail. For 38 years, Connors was the driving force behind the agency's rise to national prominence before selling the agency to Interpublic in 1997. Current CEO Mike Sheehan now leads the Boston-based agency. Click headline above to view Hill Holliday's full profile, complete with capabilities and company history.
IBM Interactive began life as IBM Centers for Solutions and Innovation in the late 1990s. The idea was focused around building solutions for around the Web. This quickly morphed into a business that offers services across multiple channels. Since the original name didn't quite define this extended offering, last year the IBM agency rebranded as IBM Interactive. The agency is known for its CRM programs and its technology that is poised to help build customer relations and offers services from strategy and customer experience design to technology planning and implementation capabilities. Click headline above to view IBM Interactive's full profile, complete with capabilities and company history.
Founded more than a decade ago, iCrossing has its roots in natural search but has since expanded to be a robust digital agency incorporating everything from paid search and social media to mobile and analytics. The agency has a search-centric focus and believes search is the common thread that binds all marketing media together. Click headline above to view iCrossing's full profile, complete with capabilities and company history.
IMC2 is a large, independent digital agency with strength in developing online strategies for clients, including many from the consumer packaged goods and pharmaceutical industries. A notable stable of proprietary tools help translate strategy into effective customer engagements. The agency's work for Alli is considered best-of-breed at engaging consumers using social media. Click headline above to view IMC2's full profile, complete with capabilities and company history.
Although Javelin Direct of Irving, Texas was officially formed in 2004 from an Omnicom Group agency to handle a conflicting account, the core leadership team has been together since 2000. Javelin is a full-service direct marketing firm, with a focus on mobile marketing and analytics as well as traditional direct marketing methods. Click headline above to view Javelin's full profile, complete with capabilities and company history.
Merkle puts itself at the intersection of qualitative and quantitative marketing approaches, with a strong heritage in marketing analytics complemented by numerous technology platforms intended to massage that data and inform the marketing process. All of this is supported by a strong agency services group that was recently centralized, bringing together the firm's creative and production management resources in one location. Click headline above to view Merkle's full profile, complete with capabilities and company history.
As brands increasingly seek out highly targeted and measurable digital marketing solutions, MRM seeks to produce creative campaigns for its clients, through e-mail, search, online advertising, social media marketing or response-driven direct mail. The agency also has over 200 employees dedicated to data and analytics, including data strategists and statisticians. Click headline above to view MRM's full profile, complete with capabilities and company history.
Ogilvy North America's direct marketing arm is one of the oldest and most storied direct marketing agencies in the American marketing landscape, launched more than 35 years ago by advertising icon David Ogilvy. Taking the lead once again, OgilvyOne was an Internet pioneer, launching an interactive practice in the 1980's that is today a leading digital agency. Known as OgilvyInteractive, it is tightly integrated into all of the agency's client offerings. Click headline above to view OgilvyOne's full profile, complete with capabilities and company history.
Founded as a Web design business in 1993, Organic placed the first banner ad on Hotwired.com, Wired Magazine's early online presence. Organic was an early pioneer in Web design, e-commerce and is even famed for designing Yahoo's iconic label. But the agency has since spread its expertise from Web design into a full-fledged interactive agency well known for its work digital work that aims to reach users and engage them with experiences. Click headline above to view Organic's full profile, complete with capabilities and company history.
Founded in 1977 by two brothers, Robert and Richard Greenberg, as a visual effects company for the feature film business, this interactive agency has had its finger on the pulse since its inception. From George Lucas' special effects contemporaries to a commercial production house in the 80s, to the interactive agency it became in the 90s, R/GA has been led by innovation and technology. Today, R/GA is all about approaching the digital age for brands. The agency is known for taking advantage of technology and building brands around interactive experiences and integrated campaigns. Click headline above to view R/GA's full profile, complete with capabilities and company history.
Formerly known as Rapp Collins, last year Rapp dropped the Collins, as the agency evolved its brand from a direct marketing agency to a direct and digital marketing agency. Known for decades for its attention to CRM and data analytics as well as its media planning, Rapp has found the digital revolution to suit its business well. Rooted in direct marketing principles, the agency is taking its strengths in measurement and applying them to the digital world, making it one of the top direct agencies. Click headline above to view Rapp's full profile, complete with capabilities and company history.
Interactive ad agency Razorfish was formed in 1995 in New York as a small online marketing firm, which soon received backing from Omnicom. After being acquired by SBI Group and then aQuantive (which had previously combined with agency Avenue A), the result was Avenue A/Razorfish — but when the agency was acquired by Microsoft in 2008, it decided to drop its Avenue A branding. Known for its full integration of marketing and technology, Razorfish is a soup-to-nuts agency that encompasses both the art and the science of DM. Click headline above to view Razorfish's full profile, complete with capabilities and company history.
Rosetta was already a force in direct marketing, thanks in large part to its proprietary personality segmentation platform. Since acquiring Brulant last year, the agency added strong transactional capabilities to the mix. Today, Rosetta is one of the largest independent interactive agencies with strong legs in healthcare, consumer products and retail as well as financial services. Click headline above to view Rosetta's full profile, complete with capabilities and company history.
Sapient Interactive, formed in 2006, is a division of Boston-based Sapient, which operates two primary groups, Sapient Interactive and Sapient Consulting. Sapient Interactive Sapient Interactive integrates strategy, creative, advertising, media services, analytics and technology services under one roof and prides itself on working in emerging channels such as social media, mobile devices such as the iPhone, digital in-store displays, self-service kiosks, as well as traditional media. Click headline above to view Sapient's full profile, complete with capabilities and company history.
Founded 30 years ago as a division of MARC Research, Targetbase has always had a strong focus in analytics. Today, the agency works to keep brand messaging relevant in the online and offline space. Using its robust background in data, Scholes says the company has a "listen, respond, and listen again" approach, so digital campaigns can be part of a continuous loop — dynamic and updated on the fly. Click headline above to view Targetbase's full profile, complete with capabilities and company history.
Company of the week
Data Services, Inc. meets the needs of today's data-driven marketer by providing front-end database management and data analytics platforms alongside our expertise in global contact data quality, database building and ongoing maintenance that comes with our 45+ years in business.