BtoB

MRM adds accounts, dashboard services

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MRM Worldwide, the direct and relationship agency of McCann Worldgroup, has been named BtoB's Direct Agency of the Year for its focus on b-to-b work, growth in business, new client wins and outstanding work this year.

MRM's b-to-b clients include Bristol-Myers Squibb, Dell, Intel Corp., Microsoft Corp. and United Parcel Service of America. B-to-b makes up nearly 60% of the agency's total revenue.

This year, MRM won new accounts including Avery Dennison, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield (government and labor), ExxonMobil (small business and owner/operators), Unilever, the U.S. Army and Wellpoint (national accounts).

It also picked up expanded business, including the relaunch of Intel.com, UPS China and Goodyear China.

MRM does not disclose its revenue information due to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, but this year the agency will grow its revenue by approximately 15% over last year.

For Intel, which MRM won as a direct and digital client in 2005, the agency handled a complete redesign of the global Web site, which was launched in late September.

"When you look at that site, you will see some breakthrough work on how you make a b-to-b site exciting, with useful information, seamless navigation and real value to the b-to-b audience," said Reuben Hendell, CEO of MRM.

One of the goals of the redesign was to deliver users more relevant content more often.

The site is segmented for business customers, developers and resellers, and features online demos, newsletters, case studies, technology resource centers and an ROI analysis tool.

For Microsoft, MRM developed digital and relationship marketing work for Microsoft's "People Ready Business" campaign, which was launched in March.

It has also been working with clients to develop more analytic and measurement tools, including marketing dashboards to help clients measure how specific media are performing.

"I think you'll see MRM get more aggressive in enabling our clients with a relatively turnkey dashboard capability on the marketing and media front," Hendell said.

Greg Johnson, exec VP-global director of digital innovation at MRM, said, "In the last year, we have done an incredible amount of work on the accountability side, with data analytics and looking at how everything fits together."

Using off-the-shelf software and customizing it to fit client needs, MRM has built marketing dashboards for clients that analyze various marketing programs and give executives a view into the data so they can use it easily and quickly, Johnson said.

Another area the agency is focusing on is the shift to a self-service environment, Hendell said.

"B-to-b customers are increasingly going online to get information when they need it, where they need it," he said, pointing to search engines, Web sites, social media and mobile devices.

"MRM has jumped on this," he added. "In our discussions with clients, we don't sit on one side and say, we're going to segment and do direct mail, telemarketing, online and build you a Web site. What we talk about instead is an approach, starting with the IT manager's experience, looking at where the IT manager accesses media and how much media they access and engage with."

MRM is currently piloting a program with clients it calls "customer experience mapping process," which looks at the IT manager and other target audiences from a media and self-service perspective, and develops the best methods to reach and serve customers.

More than 40 strategists

MRM currently has more than 40 strategists on board, and it just hired a new head of strategy.

It has also developed new global capabilities, including this year's opening of three low-cost production centers in Argentina, Poland and Thailand to handle creative, Web development and analytics work.

"We call it near-shoring. We are doing it with our own offices instead of partnering with other agencies," Hendell said.

He said one of the issues agencies have to deal with is helping clients deliver information across free channels, such as search and social media.

"We are the kind of agency that should be able to stand above that, and not just look at paid media, but unpaid media. We need to have an objective view about how to best reach their constituency," Hendell said.

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