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Agency of the Year runner-up: MRM Partners Worldwide

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MRM Partners Worldwide, the relationship marketing agency of McCann Worldgroup, has had a big growth year, winning new clients, picking up additional work from existing accounts, increasing revenue by more than 20% and expanding into new markets.

B-to-b work makes up 50% to 60% of the agency's total business.

MRM's most notable win this year was Intel Corp., which named McCann Worldgroup its global brand marketing agency of record in March following a six-month review. MRM handles direct, interactive and CRM work for Intel.

The size of the account has not been disclosed, although the overall Intel business is estimated at more than $200 million.

"We've had to build pretty big teams in New York, Hong Kong and Brazil to support Intel," said Reuben Hendell, CEO of MRM Partners. Since March, MRM has moved more than 50 people to the Intel business, including new Executive Creative Director Michael Jacobs, who came to MRM from running his own agency, Gravity Partners.

MRM's first work for Intel was a new campaign for the Centrino mobile technology, which broke last month. Intel created all the online advertising for the campaign, which demonstrates the power of Centrino as a digital entertainment platform.

"Intel is driving a high level of integration," said Hendell, pointing to tightly integrated teams the agency has developed for on- and offline work.

MRM also picked up Avery Dennison, a label maker and office equipment manufacturer, earlier this year. So far, the agency has developed a global customer database, customer segmentation and pilot programs for channel partners, Hendell said.

For existing client Microsoft Corp., MRM added new business in China and Mexico, where it is rolling out relationship marketing programs in those markets.

MRM also won a Silver Lion Award at the Cannes Advertising Festival for an online campaign it developed for Microsoft called "Stationery Is Bad."

Clients United Parcel Service of America and Dell Inc. also expanded into the Chinese market this year. For Dell, MRM built a new analytics hub to support marketing in Asia and expanded Dell's database marketing work.

To support its growing business in China, MRM last year opened a Beijing office, which has grown to more than 50 people.

The agency also added a b-to-b consulting project for MasterCard and expanded work for Nikon in the b-to-b space.

To lead the new growth, MRM made several key hires over the past year.

"We are definitely a more integrated entity than we've ever been," Hendell said. This year, the agency consolidated its previously separate businesses Zentrophy Partners, a digital agency, and Miller Starr, a database management agency, into MRM Partners.

"Now we have one company providing an integrated set of direct, CRM and interactive services for clients," Hendell said.

-By Kate Maddox

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