BtoB

Special report profile: Ogilvy evolving online

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Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, a blue-chip creative-oriented agency, brings that same approach to its work for clients in the interactive realm.

OgilvyInteractive, the interactive arm of Ogilvy's direct marketing unit, OgilvyOne, prides itself on its creative prowess--and its ability to meld that expertise with the technical. Demonstrating its commitment to digital communications, the agency this year established OgilvyInteractive Applications Laboratory, which develops Web applications for clients.

"Interactivity...is about extending the relationship consumers have with brands to the digital universe," said Jeannette McClennan, OgilvyInteractive president/North America. "It's a natural evolution."

OgilvyInteractive is a worldwide network with 37 offices serving clients in more than 45 countries. Its top b-to-b clients are American Express Co., Arthur Andersen, IBM Corp. and WebMD, an online medical information site. However, McClennan said, increasingly the lines are blurred between what advertising is b-to-b and what is business-to-consumer.

"IBM certainly is primarily a business-to-business client, and we do all kinds of marketing for them that will help them lead customers through to the final sale, but we don't think of them in that way," McClennan said. "What people really want is a relationship and dialogue that adds value to their lives, and they're increasingly willing to absorb messages outside of traditional business-to-business channels."

What b-to-b digital marketing comes down to is how agencies can help marketers achieve as many "touch points" with customers as possible, McClennan said. "We believe the leading advertising and marketing companies of the future are going to have to be masters of positive touch points with customers," she said.

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