WPP’s Kantar Is Ready to Take On Consulting Firms Infringing on Agency Territory

The company is streamlining its services

WPP opens its doors to Kantar Consulting.

As consulting firms continue to move aggressively into ad agencies’ territory (with major players including Accenture, Deloitte, IBM and PricewaterhouseCoopers), WPP has come back to assert its dominance through Kantar, its data and investment division.

Combining four of its existing brands—Kantar Added Value, Kantar Futures, Kantar Vermeer and Kantar Retail—the company officially streamlined its consulting services under a single entity, Kantar Consulting.

“You name the company,” Kantar Consulting CEO Beth Ann Kaminkow told Adweek, and the firm is likely already servicing them in some capacity, from Amazon to Walmart to PepsiCo and Procter & Gamble. Interestingly, Kaminkow also listed Accenture and Deloitte, both of which have their own consulting arms, as clients.

“We’re looking at new ways to work with them all,” Kaminkow said. “Our clients like to work with us because we operate with agility. We are a partner to our clients, keeping their best interests in mind.”

Kantar Consulting comes to market with more than 1,000 analysts, thought leaders, software developers and consultants. Tapping into a wealth of knowledge across business categories—backed by assets like PoweRanking, Retail IQ, RichMix, XTEL, VR Infinity, GrowthFinder, Global Monitor and the Marketing, Insights and Purpose 2020 series—Kaminkow said Kantar Consulting aims to provide companies with tools for success, not give them a “crutch,” something she said other consulting firms tend to do.

“There’s a level of transparency in our relationships with clients that’s important,” Kaminkow explained. “We address the toughest questions. … We help them be more capable companies.”

An additional edge Kaminkow said Kantar Consulting has over its rivals is that it operates within conglomerate WPP, giving it access to agencies and clients and the ability to “draw from” the holding company’s marketing expertise.

For the past several years, consulting firms have been trying to bolster their marketing capabilities and entice clients to work with them over ad agencies by acquiring creative shops.  An example of that includes Deloitte Digital’s February 2016 purchase of San Francisco agency Heat.

“We’re finding that consultancies are turning to agencies to enhance the media and marketing approach,” Kaminkow said. At Kantar Consulting, a team of experts, including many with a background at agencies, are able to fuel “data and creative together,” she noted.

“We are creating Kantar Consulting to fulfill our ambition of bringing a deeper, more rounded consulting offer to our clients,” Kantar CEO Eric Salama said in a written statement. “Alone and in combination with other capabilities, Kantar Consulting will be a core part of Kantar and WPP’s success in the future.”

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