NEW YORK Starcom MediaVest Group has formed a new unit, SMG Performance Marketing, which will oversee and develop performance-marketing capabilities throughout the SMG network.
The unit brings together SMG Search, Halogen and SMG Directory Marketing under one roof. Nancy Mullahy, evp and managing director for the Coca-Cola account, will expand her duties as director of the new unit.
Former e-marketing executive for Orbitz, Jill Balis, will helm an advanced analytics and proprietary research platform, ensuring that all of the business units within parent company Publicis Groupe maximize chances for collaboration.
SMG PM offers numerous performance-based capabilities, including paid search, search engine optimization, direct response and analytics across multiple marketing channels such as television, radio, print, search, directory services, local and affiliate marketing, in-market research, social media and mobile.
"We're really seeing customer acquisition and the ability to have cross-channel programs that fortify your brand as well as devoting the time to learn more about customers as an absolute need for the future. Consistent with our vision, we thought now was the time to bundle these units together into a strong coalition," said SMG CEO of the Americas Laura Desmond.
That vision, according to Desmond, is to be a leader in the communications space -- as an "agency of the future."
Mullahy noted that part of the effort is driven by the complexity of the marketplace and the amount of data that exists. "Clients are really looking for partners to understand their results and really direct their efforts," she said.
One of the main objectives is to strengthen the company's ability to create integrated marketing campaigns for clients through an open source approach, backed by advanced analytics and greater cross-channel leveraging within the Publicis Groupe. "We are leveraging our total strength as a network so we're not duplicating resources. Clients want to move at a level of speed and a level of integration," added Desmond.
SMG Search, Halogen and SMG Directory Marketing will continue to serve their clients and operate independently, led by current heads: Steve Governale, John McNamara and Kathleen DeCaire-Aden, respectively.