WPP media shop Maxus has appointed Jon Kaiser to the new role of North American digital director. He will report to the shop’s North American CEO Louis Jones.
Kaiser will oversee all of the agency’s digital communications offerings in the U.S. and Canada. He will also play a role in formulating strategies and services.
Previously, Kaiser served as vp, director of connection planning at sibling shop Grey in San Francisco, where he oversaw an integrated planning team. Earlier, he held senior management positions with agencies including Digitas, Modem Media and Young & Rubicam. Major clients he’s worked with include Microsoft, United Airlines, HP, Sony and the U.S. Army, among others.
“We are an agency of the digital age that is vested with a more holistic view of the consumer media marketplace,” said Jones.
Kaiser’s brief, he said, includes devising best practices for capturing, organizing and analyzing digital data and converting it into “actionable insights” for clients. “We’re really trying to close the gap between impressions and [consumer] loyalty,” Jones said.
Kaiser said parsing and distilling data to drive results is a priority. “Clients are buried in data. And making sense of it and getting to the points that matter” is key, he said. “It’s about optimizing strategy and making smarter marketing decisions, not just optimizing campaigns,” he said.
The appointment comes amid expansion plans for the agency, which is part of GroupM, the WPP media management arm that also oversees Mindshare, Mediaedge:cia and MediaCom.
Jones said he plans to bulk up the firm’s presence in both Chicago and Toronto (where the shop currently has small outposts) this year and create a new office on the West Coast, either in San Francisco or Los Angeles. Currently, about three-fourths of the shop’s 80 employees are based in New York.
Maxus has roughly doubled its U.S. billings in the last year to $600 million, according to Jones, who joined as CEO last September. Since that time, the agency added a handful of key new accounts, including the $100 million UPS business last November. That win came during a pitch in which it teamed with sibling agency Ogilvy & Mather.
Subsequent wins have included Panera Bread ($16 million), Powermat ($7 million) and Purolator ($5 million).
Last month, Maxus, paired with sibling creative agency JWT, won the full-service Bloomberg assignment. Spending on that account totaled about $1 million last year, per Nielsen, although the client’s budget is expected to increase this year with its recent acquisition of BusinessWeek magazine.