Strategy: Vizeum moves into digital
4 out of 5
This month, Vizeum "transformed" itself, injecting 25 staff from Aegis digital agency Diffiniti into Vizeum and putting Ben Wood, joint managing director of Carat Digital, on the Vizeum board.
Normal progression in any new thing in media is, a) give it a box (one person/part time, but you invent a division name), b) give it a room (a few people/full time), c) give it a floor (you have a "head of" or an MD). At some point you start to think about how you connect this specialist box, room or floor into the total business proposition you are giving to clients.
Sound bites are plenty from many a chief exec of a full-service media agency about digital. "It's at the heart." "It's our future." "Yah dee yah yah ... digital." Words are cheap.
Digital is already in the veins of the leaders of the successful digital independents. Their issue is, can they influence a bigger picture? For a full-service media agency the opportunity is the bigger picture. The issue is do they really have the passion or vision beyond digital on the balance sheet?
Aegis, which owns Diffiniti, Vizeum and Carat has digital in its veins. Robert Lerwill, Aegis chief executive, has been cooking rather than fattening. As the holding company that has media probably most at its centre - rather than advertising - Aegis has put its money and its business mouth into the digital space. Lerwill has announced that digital will be 50% of Aegis revenues within two years. Healthy first-half results already show that digital is 19% of Aegis revenues. "To do is to be."
Diffiniti is no slouch. It scooped the huge Aviva digital pitch at the start of the year.
The new Vizeum is a £200m full-service media agency. A third of its staff are digital and supposedly fully integrated. It is a decent idea. It is certainly relevant to the future and clients' needs. If they avoid it being Vizeum with a turbo - and take the opportunity to make it a new type of car - it could be a successful idea. - Review by Mark Palmer, Founder, Maverick Planet.