WPP media agency Wavemaker adds to full service menu with new Precision unit

WPP’s Wavemaker media agency – a combo of MEC and Maxus – is trying hard to find a new identity to go with its groovy new name (supposed to be groovy anyway) and it’s now starting a “digital transformation unit” called Precision to help clients with, er, digital transformation.

Wavemaker Precision will be headed by Christiaan Lette from Australia’s tkm9 Group digital agency. He’ll also be general manager on Wavemaker’s giant L’Oreal account. Precision will bring together “technology, analytics, platforms, data strategy, and the precision planning leads who bring the disciplines together.”

Other clients include ComparetheMarket, British Airways and Purple Bricks.

Precision is also touting a “digital maturity” model designed to identify what stage a client has reached in its evolution so it can act accordingly.

This is all fine and good and many clients depend on media agencies for such purposes. But surely much of this is also on offer from other creative and digital agencies in WPP. Isn’t there a danger of bidding for each other’s lunch?

Wavemaker has three bits, described here by chief product officer Alex Steer: “Marketing is a bit like fishing. Sometimes you fish with a net to catch lots of potential customers at once: that’s Wavemaker Media. Sometimes, you fish with a spear, targeting high-value individuals: that’s Wavemaker Precision. And sometimes, you fish with dynamite to throw something new into the water and blow everything up: that’s Wavemaker Content. We’re simplifying our offer to help clients transform their marketing faster.”

Wavemaker Content does content but not full-on advertising as far as we can see.

Wavemaker shares the same South Bank HQ as WPP’s Ogilvy, which is currently undergoing a rather dramatic “re-invention” of its own. One hesitates to wish another merger on the long-suffering Wavemaker people but wouldn’t it make sense the put the two together?

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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