Omnicom creates word-of-mouth agency

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Chicago—Global advertising, marketing and corporate communications company Omnicom Group today announced the creation of a marketing agency devoted to word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing.

Zócalo Group will help b-to-b and b-to-c clients develop measurable, systematic and sustainable WOM programs, said Paul Rand, formerly Ketchum’s global chief development and innovation officer, who will serve as president-CEO of the new agency. Rand also sits on the executive board of the Chicago-based Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA).

One goal of Zócalo—Spanish for “town square”—is to integrate WOM techniques into broader product and brand campaigns, Rand said. “Clients have seen a spike [in their viral and WOM campaigns] but not sustained advantage.”

Zócalo has created a set of software platforms, including a database that aggregates what it calls “eminents,” influencers in different vertical segments, and a portal were these individuals can meet and share information and opinions. “We’ll run sessions, discussions and put up creative for review,” Rand said.

—Ellis Booker

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