Boschetto heads up DraftFCB

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Last month, Interpublic Group's Draft Worldwide and Foote Cone & Belding completed a merger, forming DraftFCB, a new agency that will combine Draft's direct and database marketing with FCB's creative and full-service agency capabilities.

Laurence Boschetto, previously president-COO of Draft, has been named president-COO of DraftFCB.

In the following interview with BtoB, Boschetto speaks about the changing agency business, DraftFCB's new model and how the marketing world is evolving.

BtoB: How is the ad agency business changing?

Boschetto: A lot of changes have been happening over the last 10 years, but really most noticeably over the last six. The advancement of technology has been happening at lightning speed. The customer, whether a business customer or consumer, is really in control of how, when and where they want to receive information. We live in a world of total immediacy?a world of "I need it now."

In the business world, the CMO is really in the hot seat. The CEO and CFO are breathing heavily on the CMO for performance. We are talking about precision and accuracy, and the ability to project how their marketing spending can put business on their books. So the traditional advertising agency has had to go through a radical transformation to remain relevant to the CMO and clients.

Clients are clamoring for agencies to reinvent themselves and get back to a partnership mode of helping them identify new revenue streams and help them make their business grow.

BtoB: Why did the merger make sense?

Boschetto: FCB is a traditional agency with a global footprint and great creative talent. What they don't have is scientific methodology, database management and analytics. Draft is all about data mining?clearly understanding what the data are saying. Every single campaign has a cause-and-effect relationship and is immediately measured.

We have also taken the same direct discipline and applied it to retail, online and promotions.

When you take the two together, what you have is a balance of creativity and science, behavioral understanding and aspiration.

BtoB: What will the new agency model look like?

Boschetto: We will be able to offer our clients a full palette of advertising, digital, direct, retail, CRM, search, viral and business strategy, with the best of breed in each area. We have also developed a process, called "insight to incite," that will help our clients propel ideas into action and give us a return on ideas.

BtoB: Will the ways in which you work with clients change?

Boschetto: We need to get clients back to asking a fundamental question, "How can you help me build my business?" and come at it from a more holistic business perspective. This involves training, internal reeducation and a process of very specifically rolling it out from client to client.

We will use a lead team model?not just an account person, but a media person, strategic planner, creative person and data specialist?who will sit at the table and assess, analyze and debate how to develop an approach to solve the client's business problems.

We have developed vertical expertise, but we haven't developed strong horizontal knowledge?what I call "renaissance people"?who can speak about multiple disciplines. We want to be able to look at a client's business issues and develop the right channel mix and programs to solve their problems.

BtoB: What needs to happen on the client side?

Boschetto: The whole psychology of interaction and skill sets needs to change. Some clients are prepared; others say they want it, but they need to do the work to get there.

Small businesses are probably the most aligned to it because they do it all. They get involved in every aspect of the business. Large multinational companies are very matrixed. Everybody is boxed in with very specific responsibilities. They have to create a sense of open architecture within their own marketing structures to align to that.

If you look at American Express, which was a client for years, they put their executives on a rotational basis, so they ended up with a very strong best-of-breed executive team. Other companies need to follow the same sensibility.

BtoB: How important is business-to-business at your agency?

Boschetto: B-to-b has always been very significant for us. Almost every client has a business constituent they target. If you look at Blue Cross, HP, CA and Verizon, these clients are almost exclusively midmarket, large corporate marketers.

B-to-b will always be a very significant focus for us.

BtoB: Will you target any new verticals?

Boschetto: If you look at our client roster, except for auto and travel, we have the major one or two companies in each category. Our goal is to go after multinationals.

Since we are already the biggest fish in the pond, our goal is how to take knowledge and propel it into a much more global focus.

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