CHICAGO: Omnicom Group has launched Zócalo Group, a new word of mouth (WOM) firm, to be led by Paul Rand, ex-Ketchum global chief development and innovation officer.
Debut clients include DePaul University and two undisclosed entities: a packaged goods manufacturer and a trade association.
Zócalo will likely partner with Omnicom agencies when clients want a WOM component, as well as look for new business on its own.
Rand said the firm's proposition is that WOM is a complicated tactic best served by an agency dedicated to the practice.
"It is truly becoming a distinct discipline with its own skillsets, standards, and measurements," said Rand, Zócalo president and CEO. "It's the best way to create sustainable evangelism."
The firm will use proprietary methodologies and statistical analysis to determine which people it should identify as potential brand advocates.
A zócalo is a small town square where people gather in Mexico. Zócalo is a Ketchum company that jointly reports to Ketchum and Omnicom.