The agency network is implementing on a worldwide basis the new strategic-thinking framework to determine the most effective marketing direction for a client.
The system is designed to service existing clients and increase new business. It can be used by both large and small DDB Needham offices, and in both emerging and highly developed markets.
"This is a top priority in our company," said Chairman-CEO Keith Reinhard, who two years ago charged James Best, chairman of BMP DDB, London, with devising a unified strategic-thinking process for the agency.
The process is based on a series of six "springboards"-brand foundations, the communications planning process, media selection, integrated communication, creative and evaluation. Each springboard outlines a set of questions to be answered, a suggested process to follow and data to be used in answering those questions.
"It puts a framework on the thinking," Mr. Best said of the new process. "The client is involved in a lot of this and can see where the thinking develops."
The agency's increasing number of international clients was a top reason for developing a single, unified approach, Mr. Best said.
"They expect some coherence," he explained, adding that this unified approach will allow DDB Needham "to behave as a worldwide brand."
Other reasons for implementing the system included the growing expansion of DDB Needham offices to other regions, the increase of available media choices and competitive pressure from other agencies.
DDB Needham executives said the Springboard Approach not only helped them win the Reuters business but that it also was instrumental in a recent win by its Griffin Bacal unit in New York.
The Reuters account, previously at Warman & Bannister, London, was won late this month by DDB Needham's London office. Griffin Bacal used the approach this month to snare K'Nex Industries' account for children's construction sets. Elkman Advertising, Bala-Cynwyd, Pa., had pre- viously worked on that business.
STIMULATING BETTER IDEAS
"The springboard is a means to an end. It's designed to stimulate better ideas and results," Mr. Best said, emphasizing that the system still allows for flexibility. "It's a tool kit . . . not a rule book."
Many DDB Needham operations have already used the system in pitches, including offices in Chicago, Dallas and New York, as well as in the U.K. and Ireland.
By the second week in October, the Springboard Approach will be introduced to the entire network, with a September 1998 meeting set to assess the results.