In her new post as president of OgilvyOne, New York, Carla Hendra will focus on helping the agency complete its transition into all-encompassing marketing communications while keeping an eye to new business opportunities, particularly in health care.
Hendra, 39, said the agency's name change last June gives it the opportunity to become more of a marketing and consulting partner with clients by offering traditional direct marketing services as well as some of the services companies may have sought from management consulting firms. The agency changed its name from Ogilvy & Mather Direct to OglivyOne to emphasize integration of services and a greater focus on the individual consumer.
“A growing number of clients, instead of asking for communications, are asking for consulting and execution of marketing solutions,” she said. “That means including database, interactive technology, telemarketing and other services to bring a higher level of marketing consulting offerings.”
With this new focus, Hendra said, the advertising business will be brought closer to the business of large consulting firms, such as Andersen Consulting.
“We know a lot about business from a brands and customer standpoint, and they specialize in quantitative and analytical analysis. But both kinds of understanding are moving closer together,” she said. “There will be less and less of a stop and hand-off of services and more of us being involved earlier so we can deliver more seamless service.”
The integration of marketing communications with more aspects of the business is not only being done within advertising agencies, but also within the clients, Hendra said.
“We are finding with our clients that more marketing communications departments are answering to a corporate level — and at that level they are looking for more strategic consulting answers, so we are putting more senior people on it,” she said. “That means not just adding technology and call-center solutions to communications but saying, 'Here are the pieces and here is why they are right.' “
In building these types of partnerships with clients, Hendra has a head start, having served since 1996 as worldwide managing director of IBM Direct/Interactive Marketing, a position she will keep while taking on the added responsibilities of the New York office.
“IBM is definitely drawing on every aspect of our resources from strategic to PR. to consulting to Internet, database, and production,” she said.
Meanwhile, new responsibilities will include seeking out new business, and health care is an area where she sees particular promise.
“Because of direct-to-consumer and deregulation and industry trends, it has a lot of opportunity. We have been working with the general agency and integrating direct, targeted marketing and have won several new assignments,” she said. She added that OgilvyOne had won three new healthcare assignments recently, though she would not reveal from which clients.
Other areas that show some potential include entertainment and packaged goods.
Along with Hendra's appointment, the agency also announced the promotions of Joseph McGee, from worldwide account director for IBM software to worldwide director of client services for IBM; and Chris Novak, from senior partner and director of the healthcare group, to director of client services for healthcare and telecom. In addition, Michelle Bottomley, former vice president of marketing at Epsilon will join the agency as director of client services for automotive, financial services and entertainment.
The agency is adding more senior talent to the New York office, Hendra said.