Amid geopolitical and economic uncertainty, Weber Shandwick emerged from 2019 with a double-digit profit margin. To deal with its challenges, the agency pivoted its focus by redeploying talent to deliver what clients truly needed: value-for-money solutions that solved immediate issues.
Evidently, the strategy worked. By year end, several markets in the region, including India, Thailand, Japan and Korea, registered high single-digit growth. One-third of the agency's clients are working with them in more than one market, and over half have engaged Weber to grow beyond their home markets.
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Today, the agency's APAC network is three times as big compared to 12 years ago, and its portfolio has grown to include more than 100 clients across sectors such as financial services, pharmaceuticals, airlines, information technology and engineering.
A strengthening of the insights team also increased Weber's capabilities to include audience research, ecommerce channel strategy and micro-targeted activations. Simultaneously, it unveiled VOX, a tool to facilitate decision-making based on evidence and performance. The tool helps staff understand a range of mission critical data such as demographic distribution, digital behaviour, consumer demand and ROI evaluation.
Outstanding work includes cultivating empathy and understanding for sufferers of dementia in South Korea on behalf of pharmaceutical company Eisai. To help kids understand the impact of dementia, Eisai Korea and Weber Shandwick authored a children's book—"Who Sprinkled Salt on My Cake?"— which tells the story of a princess whose encounter with dementia begins when her mother bakes a cake using salt instead of sugar. Within a week, 22,000 books made their way into Korean households, dementia centres, schools and libraries, and the campaign was extended six months longer than originally planned.