Report by Mark Read
Global chief executive officer
Our leadership team
n January 2015, I joined Wunderman as CEO and began working closely with a team of very talented executives to build on Wunderman’s unique strengths, of which there are many, and position us for success across a global network of 175 offices in 60 countries. As I reflect on our first year together, I am pleased to report that 2015 has been a period of tremendous progress.
We established Wunderman’s positioning as ‘Creatively Driven. Data Inspired’, to showcase our unique ability to combine big, bold, creative ideas and insights with an unmatched knowledge of data and analytics. In a world where clients struggle to derive value from the mass of data they collect, Wunderman’s offering is distinct, measurable and delivers results. It is important to clients and true to what the agency can deliver. The success of this messaging was validated by Forrester Research, which officially acknowledged Wunderman as a “leader in marketing database operations” as well as a “strong performer in customer engagement strategy.”
We have committed to building a more dynamic and engaging culture for recruiting and developing top talent
Our outstanding new business efforts with both existing and new clients are another irrefutable sign that Wunderman is making an impact. In 2015, Wunderman added more than 100 new assignments from brands, including Microsoft, T-Mobile, Coca-Cola, Amazon, LEGO, IKEA, Legal & General, Shell, Isle of Capri Casinos and the U.S. Navy. Additionally, Wunderman Health, led by Becky Chidester, has boosted growth by 10% since 2014, delivering top-quality work for clients including GSK, United Healthcare and BlueCross BlueShield – a testament to the power of Wunderman’s proven understanding of data, digital and content development.
Our continued efforts to build the Wunderman brand through excellent creative work and talent has received tremendous global recognition, with Wunderman offices in Colombia, London and São Paulo taking home four Cannes Lions, Wunderman China winning Campaign Agency of the Year, Wunderman London winning The Drum DADI Awards Grand Prix and Wunderman Phantasia winning the 2015 ANDA Agency of the Year Award.
As a network of more than 7,000 people – including 2,200 creatives, 1,300 data scientists and over 3,000 business people and strategists – we recognize the importance of leveraging our diverse strengths in order to deliver the work our clients expect (and need) to succeed in a competitive environment. Our wide range of expertise has now been simplified as we aim to unite the Wunderman network as a consistent brand with one very clear message. As part of our efforts to integrate our creative and data capabilities, we rebranded the KBM Group’s data-driven engagement services under the Wunderman brand.
And to ensure that our strategy of focusing on creativity and data translates into concrete work for our clients, we developed Collision, a set of proprietary tools and methodologies to enable our creative and analytics teams to work more closely together throughout the entire creative process. This exciting program has already increased our ability to collaborate and significantly improved our efficiency and accuracy across disciplines and throughout our global network.
We have also committed to building a more dynamic and engaging culture for recruiting and developing top talent. Recent hires and promotions are already having an impact: Mel Edwards (CEO, EMEA), Jamie Gutfreund (global CMO), Ian Haworth (ECD, UK/EMEA), Judy Jackson (global chief talent officer), John Lynn (CEO, LatAm) and Seth Solomons (CEO, North America) – all are focusing on driving business growth and creativity in their respective markets.
Partnerships with digital leaders have empowered our people across the network to become more connected advocates for our brand. Wunderman was the first digital agency partner to participate in LinkedIn’s pilot program, Elevate. Through Elevate, Wunderman content has achieved significant visibility in key markets. We’ve also established a partnership with Uber, another first in our industry that has greatly benefited our culture and offering.
For Wunderman, 2015 was the start of a promising new direction that has paved the way for many exciting accomplishments with our business results and our culture. By continuing to focus on acquiring top talent, building the Wunderman brand and developing data-inspired creative work that inspires action, we are confident Wunderman will see success for many years to come.