Management Consultancies and Advertising Agencies are Data-Driven to Converge.

Where it comes to decision-making in advertising, good old strategic guile has found itself displaced by a profusion of market data in all its shapes and sizes. We hear the term ‘programmatic’ everywhere - in online advertising, in digital out-of-home, and even come to think of it, in creative through the emergence of AI.

To some in advertising, this shift is exciting. To others I’m sure it’s dreadfully dull and boring. ‘We didn’t go into advertising to do maths!’ I can hear (unless you’re Martin Sorrell). But for one sector lying outside the advertising ecosystem, this development is a dog-whistle turning hungry eyes onto an industry in metamorphosis. And those eyes belong to Management Consultants.

For Management Consultants - who are required to think more with their heads than their hearts - data to drive decisions that result in inspired, insightful direction across all manner of businesses is at the heart of what they do. As data moves into the core of advertising, so the last reason not to melts away: Management Consultancies rightly scent an opportunity to move into - or displace - some of the incumbent agencies.

Why? Digital Transformation has been pretty good bread and butter for Management Consultancies over the past 10+ years, and they have recruited many of the leading digital brains to service their clients. As data and digital permeates more and more of advertising, so the allure of this market grows as a natural application of their talents. And it’s already happening - see Accenture / Karmarama, Bain / FRWD, Deloitte / Acne and on.

With changes in the air (what will happen to WPP), the timing could not be better.


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