In another example of a large agency positioning itself as an integrated communications specialist, Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide has created a new division, Marketing Technologies, to expand its database marketing capabilities.
David Bernard, formerly director of the Database Marketing Services division of Omnicom's Quantum Plus, will be managing director of the unit, which will report to FCB Direct.
The group intends to absorb FCB Direct's 20-member database marketing team and expand to 40 people within the next year.
MT's main task will be to more fully incorporate customer data into clients' marketing plans through strategic consulting, database management and marketing analysis.
FCB will also increase its software customization capabilities. The division expects to hire more computer programmers, database and operations analysts, project managers and consultants familiar with the field.
With clients seeking to maximize the return on their marketing dollars, agencies want to recast themselves as one-stop shops that can devise strategies and create campaigns that target consumers more effectively.
"The focus on [finding out exactly who] the customer is [has risen] to the highest levels of businesses," said Bernard.
J. Walter Thompson, Detroit, recently joined with database specialist the Phoenix Group--forming an entity called Phoenix Thompson Connect--for joint client Ford.