ABR 2009: AKQA

“Digital platforms have transformed the traditional marketing and media ecosystem into an intimate, immersive, accountable environment, in which consumers can interact with brands at every level of the purchase funnel. This environment engages consumers by providing relevant, interesting value in the form of an idea, a product, a service, an experience, or an application, rather than a marketing slogan or jingle. It benefits marketers by furnishing a direct, uninterrupted view of the consumer and a measurable, efficient read on the return marketers are generating on each investment.”
 — Tom Bedecarré, CEO

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. In 2007, AKQA acquired search marketing firm SearchRev. Today, AKQA is known for cutting edge campaigns that embrace a mix of the newest channels such as social media, advergaming, online video and mobile, with a high attention to design and user experience. Along with this attention to the latest experiences, AKQA is grounded in accountability and measurability, using analytics to increase ROI.

Year founded: 1990

San Francisco, CA

Number of offices: 4 in the US

Web site: www.akqa.com

Major disciplines/capabilities: Media planning and buying, search engine marketing, campaign analysis and optimization, Web analytics and customer research, Web development, e-commerce solutions, content management, data systems development, systems integration, quality assurance, mobile marketing, interactive experiences, strategic consulting, branding, consumer insight, user experience planning, digital advertising development, customer segmentation, strategic partnerships and direct digital marketing, content concepting and development, video and film-based content creation, advergaming, podcasting, emerging media, user interface and visual design, wireless, kiosks and digital “point of sale,” digital signage and interactive TV

Key accounts: Charles Schwab, Coca-Cola, Diageo, Flip Video, Gap, McDonald’s, Nike, Target, US Postal Service, Visa, Xbox

Current agency challenges: “Continuing to focus on innovation in a difficult financial environment,” says Bedecarre.

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