9thWonder Introduces Consumer Engagement Practice With Acquisition of Experiential Marketing Agency The Marketing Consortium

By Erik Oster Comment

Houston-based independent agency 9thWonder has expanded its offering, introducing a consumer engagement practice as it acquires experiential marketing agency The Marketing Consortium (TMC).

TMC has worked on experiential marketing for clients including Anheuser Busch, Keurig, Dr Pepper, Samsung and Diageo.

“For our clients, acquiring TMC adds a critical perspective and dimension. We’re thinking broader together in terms of a continuum encompassing brand development, engagement, influence, trial, sales, loyalty and impact. No matter where we start, we can close the loop. Clients’ eyes light up when they see the loyalty potential, because that’s their toughest challenge in hyper-competitive industries,” 9thWonder CEO Jose Lozano told AgencySpy.

“In the past, we and our clients have had to go to other partners for real expertise in activation. We believe marketing begins and ends at the local level, so we need to have that leadership within our agency. It’s not just about coming up with activation ideas, which lots of specialists can do in a vacuum. It’s about connecting them to complementary actions in a complete program, so clients get a repeatable path to higher sales and market share,” he added.

As part of the acquisition, TMC will bring its client relationships to 9thWonder and TMC founder J.D. Garza (pictured) will now serve as vice president, consumer engagement for 9thWonder, tasked with leading a consumer engagement practice out of 9thWonder’s Dallas office that includes experiential and shopper marketing, digital, social media and public relations.

“By adding digital and social media to experiential and shopper marketing, we can create bigger, more integrated, and more powerful programs for our clients,” Garza explained in a statement. “Our challenge has been how to sustain the attention of people we connect with at experiential events, and how to extend retail activations well beyond the point of sale to foster consumer loyalty. Now we can make every activation the start of a continuum of driving sustained consumer engagement.”

Lozano brought together 9thWonder out of the agency collective The Company last October, hiring GSD&M vet Jim “Wegs” Wegerbauer as partner, global planning lead the following month. While it operates collectively as under one banner, 9thWonder collectively brings together different specialties as an alternative to the agency network. The acquisition of TMC makes experiential marketing the latest of these integrated specialty offerings.

9thWonder is already working to integrate the capabilities of TMC (which will now operate simply as 9thWonder’s consumer engagement practice) into work with existing clients, as well as new business pitches.

“The Marketing Consortium gives us the ability to make event and retail activations an integral part of client marketing programs. That’s a critical capability that other multi-service independent agencies lack. Because we have it in-house, we can take a complete, bottom-up approach to developing a client’s business,” Lozano explained. “We can build on one-to-one connections we make with consumers at points of life and points of purchase with audience modeling and digital and social media, to create national marketing programs with a deeper bedrock. And everything comes together in business results. That’s a higher-order proposition we can pay off on when we team accomplished practitioners from multiple disciplines and offices who are motivated and accustomed to working together.”

“In addition to a new capability and great clients, J.D. brings us tremendous experience across industries, from both the agency and client sides,” added 9thWonder CEO Jose Lozano. “He will add meaningfully to the diversity of perspective we bring to every assignment. We’re building the agency that can bring all the pieces of marketing, not just communication, together to achieve the real, lasting marketplace results that business is missing from marketing.”

“Were making consumer experience part of everything we do, because the real power for clients is in bringing all the critical elements of marketing together,” he added.

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