After muscling in on the creative agencies' turf, management consultancy Accenture has now sealed its entry into the media buying space with the launch of a 'Programmatic Services' unit.
The division will comprise three core offerings; programmatic consulting and in-housing, media strategy and activation capabilities and, finally, ad tech implementation and support.
Accenture said that the consulting and in-housing offering would “help advertisers take back control of their media capabilities” while the media strategy and planning service promised to “better serve audiences” and run “transparent” media campaigns for clients. It is no secret brands are shaking up the status quo with rising demands for more control of their spend, a demand Accenture will do well to service.
"As their experience agency, our clients have been asking us to help them drive greater efficiencies with their programmatic media spend, specifically digital media,” said Brian Whipple, global chief executive of Accenture Interactive of the move.
"Consistent with our mission to create, build and run the best customer experiences on the planet, we are enhancing Accenture Interactive Programmatic Services to complement our full suite of experience services. We are already focused on all the pieces that are related to media placement so it was a natural extension for us to help our clients deliver more hyper-relevant customer experiences through digital media.”
HP, Radisson Hotel Group and Melia Hotels are among the first clients to have used the group's media offering. For Raddisson in particular, it has rolled out personalised and targeted campaigns, this partnership has now evolved beyond its initial constraints.
Accenture’s made no secret of its vision to mature beyond its origins as a management consultancy service to one that includes providing a full-service agency offering that can advise on strategy and develop products.
While creative has been at the core of its rampant M&A activity, it has been quietly stepping-up its media offering. The group's threat has previously been dismissed by market leader WPP. In October 2017, the group said: "Most agencies report, including ourselves, that even when they do compete directly with the consultancies on digital projects, the win/loss records are consistently strong, particularly given the continuing importance of the creative dimension for success."
Last year, Trinity Mirror’s programmatic chief Amir Malik was poached to help lead Accenture’s trading desk offering.