WPP's Data Alliance nets a PR firm in Cohn & Wolfe

Cohn & Wolfe aims to bring a "fresh perspective" to WPP Group's Data Alliance as its first PR agency member, while also using the data and expertise it offers to improve relationships between consumers and brands.

NEW YORK: Cohn & Wolfe aims to bring a “fresh perspective” to WPP Group's Data Alliance as its first PR agency member, while also using the data and expertise it offers to improve relationships between consumers and brands.

The Data Alliance was set up in 2010 to help brands and agencies access information sources and tools and share expertise. It is comprised of consulting, operations, and research and development teams across the globe and works to leverage the wider expertise of its partners. The coalition is focused on making data assets available to accelerate members' business initiatives.

However, C&W recently joined the alliance as its first PR partner.

“The media landscape is blurring, and what is unique about PR and our role in the alliance is we are focused on earned engagement. So PR has a fresh perceptive on to how to apply data to deliver impact that is unique to other marketing disciplines,” said Chad Latz, global president of the digital innovation group at C&W.

He explained that the move to join the Data Alliance was part of the firm's “inside-driven” creative approach. Its goal is to “dig deeper” in evaluating data about consumers and target audiences.

The firm plans to use the data assets available through the alliance to create detailed customer profiles, deeper segmentation of customers based on online behaviors, and to access the plethora of social data available to refine its marketing approach.

It also wants to use detailed consumer data to inform programming for its real-time marketing service and prove ROI.

“Overall, it is really going to further our ability to build deeper connections between brands and consumers,” Latz added.

The firm has taken a cross-functional approach to the initiative. Rather than it being exclusive to the research and analytics function, staffers from C&W's digital strategy, creative, and brand planning teams are also involved.

The initiative is being spearheaded by CEO Donna Imperato, with Latz and EVP of global research and insights Lynn Fisher leading it. Seven employees from across departments are working on the program.

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