Interpublic Group is eyeing a major wedge of the martech market with the launch of a new “marketing intelligence engine”, dubbed Kinesso, which, according to one analyst, has the potential to “renew the role of agencies, and reinvent the role of creativity”.
The new division will be headed by IPG chief data and technology officer Arun Kumar, and links Acxiom – which was bought in a $2.3bn deal last year – with the media buying abilities of IPG Mediabrands’ adtech unit Cadreon.
Kinesso, which will be channel neutral, will work seamlessly across audiences, planning and activation to drive “key insights and meaningful marketing results”.
This move gives IPG the opportunity to power both media and creative with technology and data-driven solutions and will support the group’s media agencies as well as its digital and CRM divisions including MRM McCann, R/GA and Huge.
The new unit is launching in the UK, US, Canada, Ireland and Australia, and next year will roll out to include 1,400 employees across more than 70 markets. Cadreon and its leadership team will “maintain its independence and branding and become part of Kinesso”.
IPG chairman and CEO Michael Roth (pictured) said: “With the acquisition of Acxiom, we signalled our intent to lean into data-driven marketing, as well as position ourselves as brands’ trusted partner in their first party data management.
“Kinesso furthers this vision by bringing together top data and technology talent with addressable media experts, and leveraging Acxiom’s assets and capabilities.”
Forrester principal analyst Jay Pattisall believes the move has the potential to connect marketing precision with brand persuasion and could ultimately breathe new life into the marketing industry as a whole.
He said: “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 realising 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.
“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-fuelled 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.”