Ad agencies are increasingly seeking to simplify their own internal structures.
Engine Group is the latest ad agency holding company to streamline its various offerings in a bid to offer its clients a simpler structure and integration across its various marketing functions.
The company is folding the digital agency Deep Focus, the business intelligence firm ORC International and the digital media agency Engine Media, into a single entity within North America called Engine.
The company says the move is aimed at offering integrated services around four key pillars: insights, content, distribution and technology. Engine US has seen bottom-line growth of 15% over the past 12 months, according to the company, and has generated nearly $300 million in 2018 so far.
Engine works with clients including Sprint, Sonos, Nationwide, Warner Bros., and Google. There will be no layoffs prompted by the move, the company said.
The advertising landscape is undergoing a fundamental shift, and traditional agency structures aren’t cutting it
“There is no question that the advertising industry is under a tremendous amount of pressure to adapt, but the biggest shift in the landscape is the need for speed,” Rick Eiserman, CEO of Engine US. “Having all our offerings within a single brand makes it easier for both clients to navigate through our solutions more easily, as well as us to service them as simply as possible.”
To that end, Engine is also rolling out a new proprietary customer data platform called Engine Connect, which combines client data with Engine’s own data, such as behavioral data from its programmatic media marketplace, as well as third-party data integrations. Hundreds of clients are already plugged into the platform, says Eiserman.
Engine has been streamlining its operations while investing in building up its data capabilities in recent months. In May, for instance, it launched the programmatic marketplace EMX, by purchasing and merging the entities bRealTime and Clearstream.
Engine is hardly the only advertising company shaking up its structure in response to clients looking for more seamless integration across various marketing functions. Facing threats such as marketers taking advertising in-house and consulting firms increasingly infringing on their turf, traditional ad agencies are being pushed to rethink their models.
As a result, giant ad firms ranging from WPP to Publicis to Omnicom to Wunderman, are rethinking their organizational structures. While WPP has merged some agencies into combined units — such as Maxus and MEC to create Wavemaker— Publicis has been streamlining operations and getting its agencies to work more closely together through the “Power of One” approach.
Ultimately, the changes are in response to what clients have been asking for, said Eiserman.
“Clients are integrating different services with their marketing departments, research is no longer siloed and data and insights are becoming more important to drive KPIs,” he said. “In many ways we’ve mirrored what’s already happening on the client side.”