Bates Eyes Realignment By Demos; Setup By Consumer Segments Aims At New Business

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Bates USA is considering a reorganization that would group employees in various departments by a range of consumer segments instead of by client.

Bill Whitehead, president-chief operating officer, and senior managers would like to raise agency expertise in communicating to specific consumer groups. That expertise could be leveraged on behalf of existing clients and marketed to new-business prospects.

Segments would be defined demographically and psychographically, teens and empty nesters being examples.

A Bates spokeswoman said it's too early to talk about the plan, but agency insiders said media planning, strategic planning and consumer research would play the biggest role in the realignment. Account service and creative could be involved as well.

The agency would use proprietary research to help market its segment-by-segment expertise.

EMULATING KID CONNECTION

As envisioned, the plan looks similar to the Kid Connection, a division of Bates' sister agency Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising that works exclusively on brands marketed to children. But the Bates model would consist of a whole set of mini-connections.

Saatchi plans to launch a new unit of its own modeled on Kid Connection, but that would focus on an industry-healthcare-rather than a consumer segment.

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