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News Plus 16 Mar 2021 - 2 min read

Dentsu's performance group iProspect joins agency flight up and down the marketing funnel after Vizeum merger

By Josh McDonnell - Senior Writer

CEO Oliver Rapson: "Sometimes agencies approach brand vs performance too simplistically, looking to silo each of them across two or three different media plans." L-R: Ken Lam, Sam Cousins, Oliver Rapson, Tess Eastcott and Marcelle Gomez.

Dentsu's performance agency iProspect has joined the action to compete in "full-funnel" agency services across performance marketing and media and broader brand and marketing capabilities. CEO Oliver Rapson touts a new online and offline service free of "traditional silos" as the combined iProspect-Vizeum entity moves to an end-to-end media service. 

What you need to know:

  • Dentsu-owned performance agency iProspect has completed its integration of former sister media agency Vizeum.
  • The move sees Dentsu and iProspect move into similar territory as WPP's recent merger of Ikon and AKQA Media. 
  • The blending of digital performance expertise with main media planning and buying puts a marker down on beating specialist capabilities with an end-to-end media offering
  • As brand-building investment rises post-Covid, CEO Oliver Rapson says there was "a great opportunity" for the agency to operate in an area iProspect "had previously missed out on".
  • Rapson said the agency will dissolve traditional silos, creating a single online and offline view of a media plan.
  • The agency has a new brand position focused on performance-driven brand building and touts new clients such as William Grant & Sons, Ampol and Sonos.

 

It means using data and insights yielded from those [performance] channels to look up through the marketing funnel, rather than looking at things in silos – like the usual argument of digital vs offline, brand vs performance.

Oliver Rapson, CEO, iProspect

'Brands accelerated'

Dentsu's digital and performance media agency iProspect has launched a new digital-first, end-to-end media agency model following the integration of sister agency Vizeum.

Evolving its overall capabilities to include online and offline media planning, the revamped agency will offer clients both brand and performance strategy, planning and buying.

The integration of Vizeum saw its specialist media strategy and investment capabilities brought into iProspect in August last year, which brought on new clients including William Grant & Sons, Ampol and Sonos.

"We wanted to create an agency that went beyond our core offering in performance media and develop an end-to-end media agency that looked further up the funnel," iProspect CEO Oliver Rapson told Mi3.

"This includes effectively managing the media requirements of a client in the online and offline spaces, in both performance and brand."

The iProspect overhaul will combine existing capabilities such as brand building, strategic planning, business intelligence, marketing activation and performance optimisation, plus what the company says are capabilities of scaled services within Dentsu international.

"What we are trying to bring to the market here is not just a digital agency but one that takes the success and ethos around performance media and replicates it in every element of the marketing funnel," Rapson said.

"This means using data and insights yielded from those channels to look up through the marketing funnel, rather than looking at things in silos – like the usual argument of digital vs offline, brand vs performance."

With a growing trend toward brand investment by clients in the wake of Covid, Rapson said there was a great opportunity for the agency to play in a space it "had previously missed out on".

His hope is that all brands sitting within the new business, whether once Vizeum or iProspect, are able to tap into the "complete offering that is now available".

"We are now able to talk outside of the usual reach and frequency types of conversation, something that in the past we haven’t been able to do before," Rapson said.

"Sometimes agencies approach the brand vs performance issue too simplistically, looking to silo each of them across two or three different media plans. We aren't going to fall into that behaviour.

"Our intention is to mold our offering into one smooth, efficient media plan that takes the learnings from each side, brand and performance, to inform the overall strategy and direction for clients."

The Australian business is run by Rapson and supported by a national leadership team including:

  • Sam Cousins, National Head of Strategy & Planning
  • Ken Lam, National Head of Investment
  • Tess Eastcott, General Manager, Melbourne
  • Marcelle Gomez, General Manager, Sydney
  • Christ Ernst, Managing Director, Brisbane.

Mi3 Special Report: Australia's looming $1bn retailer media market

  • Australia's retailers are gearing up to become major media channels.
  • US retailers are already displacing 'legacy' publishers.
  • All retailers are eyeing media, not just supermarkets and FMCG.
  • Mi3 supported by Resolution Digital have produced a 28-page report with cross-industry views on what you need to know.

Expert analysis & market impacts for brands, publishers and agencies.

Get ahead of the curve. DOWNLOAD THE REPORT HERE DOWNLOAD your 28-page report here.

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