Publicis appoints Daimler chief to boost ‘Power of One’

fritzschPublicis Groupe is beefing up its “Power of One” data-driven marketing model by poaching one of its senior clients at Daimler to take on the role of global chief transformation officer.

Conrad Fritzsch, who was Daimler’s head of digital agency model and data activation, will work for the car giant’s dedicated agency, Publicis Emil, to drive the adoption of the agency model to all business units, as well as lead its expansion into new regions.

Publicis says Fritzsch will also support the agency’s drive to develop the Power Of One model and offer it to other clients.

He started his career in 1993, when he founded an agency that specialised in communications for people in East Germany which required targeted and personalised advertising to convey products and their campaigns from the West.

Fritzsch then founded online music TV station, before moving to Daimler in 2016 as head of digital marketing, with a brief to establish the “Digital House”, designed to accelerate Daimler’s vision to become the number one automotive digital champion.

Under Fritzsch’s leadership, he brought together critical departments of expertise – spanning IT, marketing and developers – to create an integrated hub with locations including Stuttgart, Berlin and Portugal. The Digital House is now a key element in enabling and driving digital sales systems and customer engagement.

He was appointed head of agency model when the car brand hired Publicis two years ago. Since then, he has deployed the agency in 40 markets and reshaped how data is used at Daimler to engage with loyal customers.

Fritzsche said: “At its very core, transformation is a cultural mission. Cultural change is critical and over the past few years, my focus has been to drive this change at Mercedes-Benz through the unification of global processes and regions, destruction of silos and challenging the traditional ways of thinking.

“Through doing this, we facilitate a global transformation of marketing, a new and connected world in which Mercedes-Benz can make better decisions through data, with increased consistency, efficiency and effectiveness.

“Our focus is then to look at how we enable the Mercedes-Benz brand to connect with customers globally by delivering impactful stories and experiences, driven by data and connected by technology, to influence hearts and minds globally.”

Publicis Groupe global CMO Justin Billingsley, who is also chairman of Publicis Emil, added: “Conrad is a true change-driver and his partnership has been critical in enabling the rapid implementation and successes of the agency model created for Mercedes-Benz. The success of the model is not one sided, it takes change for both partners to create a team, without boundary or silo, dedicated to one vision: in this case achieving the digital transformation of Mercedes-Benz.

“Conrad’s appointment is the next natural phase of transformation and I’m delighted that he’ll be working with us more closely than ever before.”

Publicis Groupe has been trumpeting its data-driven credentials even louder since it shelled out $3.95bn (£3.1bn) for Epsilon last year, with global CEO Arthur Sadoun claiming the combined group has “data capabilities that are second to none”, insisting that “[the deal] propels the Groupe as the global leader of personalised experiences at scale”.

At the time, he said: “Our clients will benefit from a seamless, end-to-end service to solve all their marketing and transformation challenges across creative, media, data and technology. Our focus will be to successfully execute the integration while implementing our model, the Power of One, with our clients.”

Publicis is already offering the “Power of One” model to Beiersdorf and Procter & Gamble, and, since buying Epsilon, the agency has also secured new business with the model from Disney+ and Mondelēz, as well as retaining its Novartis account.

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