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Accenture Interactive sets up programmatic practice in media buy push

Accenture Interactive has launched a new programmatic practice called Accenture Interactive Programmatic Services. The move signals its increasing investment and move into programmatic in-housing and media planning and buying.

The new arm will provide three core services, namely programmatic consulting and in-housing, which aims to help advertisers “take back control of their media capabilities”. It also involves building long-term programmatic strategies, in-sourcing technology, reinventing operating models and delivering internal capabilities. It also provides media strategy, planning and activation service which looks to help advertisers drive superior business outcomes by better serving their audiences, running transparent and scaled paid media campaigns across search, social, video, display and more.

The third service is its ad tech implementation and support which looks to help advertisers deliver “flawless experiences at scale and speed with the power of [its] global network”. This encompasses operating business processes and providing infrastructure as-a-service.

Following the move, Accenture Interactive is also collaborating with Accenture Operations to help drive efficiencies and transparency in media investment for brands such as HP, Radisson Hotel Group and Melia Hotels. Through the new arm, Accenture Interactive looks to help marketers achieve greater business outcomes, enable cost transparency, regain control and ownership of their data, and design audience-driven campaigns. This means helping to design, build and staff in-house trading desk capabilities, or run full service global digital media campaigns for clients, the statement read.

In a statement, Brian Whipple, global CEO of Accenture Interactive, explained that as an experience agency, clients had been asking for help in driving greater efficiencies with their programmatic media spend specifically digital media. As such, it is enhancing Accenture Interactive Programmatic Services to complement its full suite of experience services.

“We are already focused on all the pieces that are related to media placement so it was a natural extension for us to help our clients deliver more hyper-relevant customer experiences through digital media,” Whipple added.

Echoing the sentiment, Scott Tieman, global lead of programmatic services, Accenture Interactive, said that advertisers are reacting to the changing media landscape and they want to move beyond the status quo and take back control of their media capability.

“We believe we can help our clients do things differently. Accenture Interactive has an offering that is highly differentiated in the market and is built on a foundation of trust and transparency,” Tieman said.

Remy Merckx, vice president digital at Radisson Hotel Group, said that as part of the company’s five-year operating plan and a vision to become one of the top three hotel companies in the world, Radisson Hotel Group needed a partner on a global scale to better manage its marketing and customer engagement activities aimed at creating memorable moments for our guests.

“Accenture Interactive has a proven track record to help businesses like us increase their ROI by instilling greater efficiencies and transparency into the programmatic media and marketing spend. We look forward to our journey together,” Merckx added.

The move comes on the same day Accenture revealed its acquisition of Shanghai-based HO Communication, a full-service digital marketing agency. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Through the acquisition, Accenture Interactive looks to bolster its digital design, marketing, content and commerce services to clients in Greater China seamlessly and at scale.

HO Communication is also the latest addition to the Accenture Interactive portfolio in Greater China. This includes Fjord, a design and innovation consultancy; PacificLink, an independent set of digital agencies in Hong Kong; Altima, a digital commerce agency; and Mackevision, producer of CGI and immersive content.

Founded in 2014, HO Communication employs more than 200 people across China with digital creative, design, marketing, media, and brand content capabilities. With offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu and Nanjing, HO Communication also serves more than 100 Chinese and multinational clients across China. The agency is focused on omni-channel brand experiences and customer engagement, offering marketing services ranging from content creation and creative design to branding and media services that create engaging brand experiences for clients.

“China is the world’s largest digital consumer market. HO Communication will strengthen our ability to meet the growing digital demands of our clients, be their partner of choice in digital transformation, and help them achieve better business performance,” Wei Zhu, chairman of Accenture Greater China, said.

“The state of the traditional marketing and advertising industry is changing. Clients want campaigns, but they also want advice on strategy and assistance on delivery. We see this as the future for the industry, and want to be part of creating and shaping that future, which is why I’m excited about pairing up with Accenture,” Lamy Zhang, CEO of HO Communication, said.

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