ABR 2011: KBM Group

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Gary Laben
Gary Laben

Principal
: Gary Laben, CEO

Ownership
: Wunderman (WPP Group)

Offices
: 26 offices; 10 in US













Capabilities


KBM Group, the data management arm of the Wunderman network, is working to expand and redefine its role. Its acquisition of I-Behavior brought it new capabilities in multichannel retail and online behavioral targeting, while its acquisition of Marketing Direct strengthened its healthcare offering. It also restructured into newly defined divisions of global services, enterprise services, mid-market services, and KBM Group Health Services. 


"We put into place a new go-to-market strategy that formalized our initiatives into global, vertical markets and large enterprises," says CEO Gary Laben. 


It rebranded from KnowledgeBase Mar-keting to the more succinct KBM Group. Its strength, though, remains in data-related marketing services that also include the digital realm, direct mail and email.


Accounts


KBM Group picked up new accounts from T-Mobile, Expedia and Oceania Cruises, while expanding existing business with Humana, WellPoint and Verizon. Additional existing accounts include Ford Motor Co., AT&T and LL Bean.

Staff


The firm has nearly 1,000 staffers spread among its 26 global offices. Last year, it hired Edward O'Meara, SVP of advanced analytical services; Sarah McElwee, VP of response services; and Jean-Benoit Bataille to lead its Paris office.

Performance 


Laben says the agency has maintained an average annual growth rate above 20% in the past nine years despite the recent economic climate. It added four offices in the US and 10 offices internationally, and it expects to open more overseas in the coming year. “The Forrester Wave: US Database Marketing Service Providers, Q1 2011,” ranked the company as a leader with the highest score in strategy out of eight companies evaluated.

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