ABR 2009: G2 Direct & Digital

“Direct marketing has traditionally been defined as advertising that seeks to elicit an action from a targeted group of consumers. Yet, in the last few years, direct marketing has undergone a quantum change. There has been a dramatic shift in how products are being introduced to consumers today, and direct marketing is at the center of that change. Direct marketing seeks to build meaningful brand connections that drive profitable returns.”
— Wendy Lurrie, president, G2 Direct & Digital

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. G2 specializes in customer revenue optimization and brand building and works in a wide range of verticals including financial services, wellness, b-to-b, travel and consumer marketing. The agency is split into different skill departments including: interactive marketing, loyalty, demand-generation, brand transformation, direct response media, strategic planning and creative services.

Year founded: 1979

Holding company: WPP

New York

Number of offices: 86 offices in 42 countries

Web site: www.g2dd.com

Major disciplines/capabilities: CRM, strategic marketing planning, analytics, creative development, database marketing, direct marketing media planning and buying, Web development, online promotions, interactive advertising, SEO/SEM, mobile

Key accounts: Adobe, Aetna, Allergan, Discover, EA Sports, BMW Financial Services, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, JM Smuckers, Liberty Mutual, Nestle Waters, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Shell, Time Warner Cable, United Airlines, Wyndham Hotels

Current agency challenges: As the market continues to fluctuate, G2 is challenged with helping their clients navigate through a competitive landscape. Global trends are forcing their clients to shift their marketing strategies. Tighter budgets are leaving clients challenged with where to focus their efforts. To address these issues, the agency is focusing on creating engaging interactive experiences for the consumer.

Biggest 2009 industry trends: Marketers may have reached their limit in terms of growth targets and are now looking back-to-basics for tools such as analytics, accountability and efficiency, the company says. This will require more aggressive marketing practices that align investment with ROI. In addition, the agency expects the digital world to continue to grow and will be looking at search and social communities to extend conversations with brands through these direct channels.

Key executives: Ken Beatty, chief analytics officer; Andrew Leitch, SVP, creative director for health & wellness; Joel Sobelson, SVP, creative director of consumer/b-to-b technology; Nancy Grebey, director, financial services

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