LOS ANGELES: Accenture Interactive, the digital marketing services group, believes the traditional relationship between clients and agencies is "out of date", offering opportunities for consultancies to expand their presence in this space.

Glen Hartman, Managing Director of Accenture Interactive North America, discussed this subject at the 4A's (American Association of Advertising Agencies) 2017 Transformation Conference.

More specifically, he suggested the client/agency model is "is out of date in the way we need to function to be able to deliver global, complex, omnichannel experiences." (For more details, read WARC's exclusive report: Agencies, consultancies compete for minds of marketers.)

This shift, he continued, amounts to a "new definition" of what it means to be an agency. "Even the word 'agency' is going away," Hartman said. "Our clients are starting to redefine the agency of record terms," he said.

As an example, Hartman cited the relationship between Accenture and an auto manufacturer. "It's a three-year project. We have a thousand people [working on it].

"They're outsourcing all their marketing to us, in every way. We get paid on net new cars sold only – no time and materials, no fixed bid, none of the normal definitions of that."

Building on this theme, he asserted that the consultancy's move into the digital-marketing arena had been encouraged by clients that felt under-served by the other options on offer. "It's not like we're fighting to get into this business," he said.

"The CMOs are saying, 'Listen, help me ... I'm going to do a Super Bowl commercial, but ten minutes after that, I have to take that Super Bowl commercial and make it work on every tablet and every mobile phone, and have to have the content be syndicated, and understand how it relates to the overall experience across the whole customer journey.'

"And, all of a sudden, they're talking about operating models and new skillsets and organisational design. This is a place where we're wildly relevant."

In recent years, Accenture has made several agency purchases, too, including US creative shop Chaotic Moon, the UK-based creative agency Karmarama and Brazilian digital agency AD.Dialeto.

"You'll see that some of the new hires we're announcing come from the agencies because they see this new model as the way," added Hartman.

Data sourced from Warc