Title: Senior partner, strategic planning director
Location: New York
Key b-to-b clients: IBM Corp.
Years in media business: 25
Most unusual media placement in the past 12 months: The Reuters board in Times Square during the U.S. Open in August
Top trend: “It’s all about one-to-one communication. I want to see more phone advertising. Where are you 24/7? How do I find that one person?”
After four years of working solely on the IBM Corp. account, Drew Burke, senior partner and strategic planning director at WPP’s Mindshare, took a break to work on new business pitches.
That didn’t last more than a year and he is now back shepherding IBM’s media strategy.
“I missed the technological thinking, the conversations with the C-level types,” Burke said. “I found the breadth of media use and communications touch points are more vast on IBM.
“We’ve evolved at a rapid rate beyond the use of traditional media,” he said. “We’re very good at exploring opportunities outside of that. It makes it more complicated, more challenging, but it makes it more exciting.”
It’s been two years since IBM Chairman-CEO Sam Palmisano unveiled the “on demand business“ strategy. This year, Burke believes IBM hit a grand slam with its sponsorship and fully integrated campaign surrounding the U.S. Open tennis tournament in August. The plan included print ads, online banners that users clicked to get match schedules and scores, and advertising vans equipped with plasma screens that drove New York streets giving updated scores and standings.
For Burke, the coup de grâce was the use of the Reuters board in Times Square for 20 hours a day. Chair umps at matches clicked on a handheld device to send real-time scores to the 20-story-tall board, thus reiterating IBM’s brand strategy.
“The link through all of our communication efforts demonstrated the ‘on demand’ nature of the U.S. Open as a business,” Burke said. “This was taking it to the next step. Lord knows what next year’s next step will be.”
A planner in the packaged goods arena for 20 years, Burke noticed that technology companies are finally beginning to seek the same data as his former clients on whether their message is getting across. “When I first started in the technology space, it was a bit less disciplined from a planning standpoint,” he said. “We’re applying more and more measurements every day to what we’re doing.”
Burke said the discipline he brings from his years in packaged goods helps, but so does the partnering with IBM and Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, IBM’s agency since 1994, and OgilvyOne, the sibling agency that handles direct marketing and interactive campaigns for IBM. “We’re very good at teaming,” Burke said. “That includes our clients in media and marketing communications management.”
—Mary Ellen Podmolik