Winston Binch, former chief digital officer at Deutsch who left that agency just before the first of the year, wrote in a LinkedIn post today that he planned to go the consultant route—until one agency changed his mind.
“For the last six months, I’ve been doing brand and digital transformation consulting in order to get further upstream with brands and help solve their most complex business problems,” he wrote. “What I now see as fact is that brands need partners who boot up business-first and can help them better understand their data and customers. Yes, creativity and experience matter more than ever, but sustainable business growth only happens when intelligent data, tech, and creative solutions work harmoniously together. Art and science are required in equal parts.”
Several weeks after leaving Deutsch, Binch told us that he was “working on an exciting venture” that he would announce soon. But, as noted in his quote above, he decided to take a different route after meeting with executives from MDC’s GALE Partners, a self-described “business agency that brings together an equal balance of business consulting expertise & agency creativity.”
In his LinkedIn post, Binch credited GALE’s “deep data and management consulting capabilities, impressive tech chops” for swaying his decision. He also wrote that he will handle consulting work in addition to leading that agency’s “brand and experience design capabilities” in his new role as chief brand and experience officer.
Binch declined to elaborate on the post, but based on his description it would appear that the job combines his passions outside the “traditional” agency space. And that seems more feasible at an established business that counts T-Mobile, BMW and Allstate among its clients than in a solo venture.
“If you look at the history of GALE, we are purpose built to bring together the promise of a consultancy and the power of creativity,” said president and CEO Brad Simms. “Five years ago that meant helping businesses understand their data, harness insights from it and activate those insights primarily on their owned platforms. Today, consumers are spending more time with brands but less time on their platforms. The evolution for GALE is to take what we’ve perfected from an owned standpoint, and apply it to earned and paid channels in building addressable brands. Winston’s deep expertise as a storyteller through tech and digital will be hugely valuable as we continue that shift.”
Here’s GALE’s sizzle reel from just over a year ago, which includes lots of web and app design along with some more familiar print and OOH campaigns for brands like Sodastream and Foxwoods.
The agency also shared Binch’s announcement on its own LinkedIn page today.