Direct Agency of the Year

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OgilvyOne North America, which has created outstanding work for
b-to-b clients such as IBM Corp., American Express Co., SAP and Cisco Systems, has been named Agency of the Year in this year’s BtoB Top Direct Agencies special report.

OgilvyOne is the direct marketing business unit of Ogilvy Worldwide. Founded in 1972 as Ogilvy & Mather Direct, the agency was renamed OgilvyOne in 1997 to emphasize its one-to-one marketing approach, incorporating both direct and interactive capabilities.

The unit has 120 offices in 56 countries. Because of financial reporting restrictions in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, it does not disclose its revenue or billings information. B-to-b work accounts for roughly 80% of OgilvyOne’s revenue.

Direct has always been extremely important to the success and growth of the agency, said Carla Hendra, president of OgilvyOne. Shelly Lazarus, chairman-CEO of Ogilvy Worldwide, was the president of Ogilvy & Mather Direct during the 1980s, and her commitment to direct laid the foundation for the agency’s 360-degree branding approach. OgilvyOne uses that approach to create integrated marketing campaigns for clients in which every point of contact builds a brand experience with the customer, Hendra said.

Recent campaigns have proved that the approach generates successful results.

For American Express Open, a new credit and lending card program for small businesses, OgilvyOne launched an integrated direct response TV, direct mail, interactive and CRM program.

Acquisition results so far this year
have surpassed American Express’ goals by nearly 15% for the Open charge cards and by roughly 42% for the Open lending cards. Also, brand-tracking metrics showed an improved understanding of its Open Network among small-business owners, and the Open Small Business Network is now the leading business unit for American Express.

For Cisco, OgilvyOne created a Database Assessment Project to help the client expand into new markets including IP telephony, storage, mobility and security. The agency conducted an audit of Cisco’s databases to create a lead generation program. In the first month of a 10-month program, Cisco is on track to achieving 111% of its goal.

For SAP, OgilvyOne created a multimedia campaign using print, direct mail and CRM to build awareness of SAP among C-level executives. The response rate has been two to three times higher than rates for previous direct marketing efforts.

And for IBM, the agency developed an online CRM program with personalized Web sites targeting 17 vertical markets. The sites feature personalization, a dynamic content database, product demos and invitations to Webinars.

Next year, OgilvyOne will celebrate 10 years of working with IBM. Hendra said IBM’s leadership has taken integration very seriously and developed a new management organization to support integrated marketing.

Many companies still use a silo approach, with different marketing groups handling advertising, direct marketing, interactive and PR, Hendra said. IBM has been a leader in developing integrated marketing teams that can work across disciplines to create effective marketing communications programs, she said.

Ed Abrams, IBM VP-integrated marketing communications, global sales and distribution, said OgilvyOne’s integrated approach to direct marketing helps IBM meet its dual goals of acquiring new customers and nurturing relationships with existing customers through programs including personalized Web sites, custom newsletters and e-mail marketing.

"We look to our agency to deliver a full end-to-end suite of capabilities—not just classic direct mail but help in bringing interactive, e-marketing and relationship marketing to meet customer wants and needs," he said. "The OgilvyOne team helps us understand the requirements of each [marketing goal] and apply different direct marketing tactics to support those activities."

Hendra said the agency will continue to work with emerging media such as wireless, interactive TV and alternate media channels.

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