Activating The Holding Company

The Interpublic Group of Companies (IPG) announced the creation of Kinesso, a martech company that will build products and software solutions to scale precision marketing. This move gives IPG the opportunity to power both media and creative with technology and data-driven solutions that use Acxiom as the data management layer and Kinesso as the software layer to connect insight to execution. An agnostic software and technology capability will support solutions for media activation and precision marketing for IPG’s media agencies, plus the data-literate digital and CRM agencies such as R/GA, Huge, MRM//McCann, Reprise, et al. While Kinesso as a tech layer and Acxiom as a data management layer will provide a compelling precision offering, this should not start and stop at precision. The other side of the marketing coin — persuasion — must eventually come into play.

The Existential Need For Precision + Persuasion

The ultimate potential of Kinesso? To connect marketing precision with brand persuasion. Combining the performance capacity of activating audiences of individuals at scale with a cathartic brand response opens growth opportunities for companies, marketers, and agency partners.

For IPG, this means embedding the data precision capacity within its creative networks FCB, McCann, and MullenLowe Group, as well as creative boutiques Brooklyn Brothers, Carmichael Lynch, Deutsch, Hill Holliday, Martin Agency, et al. However, as we noted in our latest research, creative dissonance, data deserts, and a new business-only mentality remain formidable barriers to data platform creative integration. Many creative and strategy leaders across the industry express frustration at the industry’s reluctance and inaction. Change is difficult. People naturally resist.

Rehabilitate Marketing And Reinvent Creativity

The marketing world has no shortage of martech companies, now numbering as many as 7,000. However, the significance of Kinesso within the walls of the fourth-largest agency holding company represents a measured step toward realizing data-driven, tech-enabled creative campaigns and experiences. In order for the industry to leap over the obstacles of change, marketing and agency leaders must give agency employees the tools and permission to adapt. Kinesso and IPG can be the example marketers need to lead industry change by:

  1. Establishing a universal source of insight. Position the Kinesso platform as the red thread of customer insight and organize intelligence at each phase along the process of marketing. Build a system that just as easily informs objectives, audiences, creative strategies, and performance.
  2. Creating new team structures. Reformulate the creative team structure to make room for emerging tech in voice, visual assistants, and AI that leverages the advanced capabilities of CX, design, copywriting, and technologists.
  3. Incentivizing collaboration. Bonus leaders based upon the number of instances of collaboration between Kinesso and operating agencies for the number of organic clients onboarded, the number of new business wins, and the number of registered users.

When IPG takes the bold leap to power the entire company with data and technology capacity, others will follow. In this instance, fast followers raise the standards for the entire industry. Once data-informed, tech-fueled marketing that connects precision with persuasion becomes the norm, the industry will have taken the leap to finally rehabilitate the role of marketing, renew the role of agencies, and reinvent the role of creativity.