Strategic Consultancies Invade Marketing Agency Space

The traditional lines of demarcation between advertising agencies, public relations firms and now strategic consultancies have been blurring for some time.  In many ways, these developments follow the ongoing transformation of the CMO role from one of the grand orchestrator of the organizations’ communications efforts to a more fundamental role as a strategic driver of growth and enterprise value. Many of the traditional agency and PR services have not fully  made the adjustments necessary to play in this new strategic arena.

By Bruce Rogers, Forbes Staff

The strategic consultancies have  moved in to fill the void.  Recent more aggressive moves by these firms may prove a tipping point in the battle of who will earn the right to sit at the right hand of the CMO. Some consultancies are making acquisitions to expand their offerings: May 22nd, 2013, Accenture completed acquisition of Fjord, expanding digital and marketing capabilities.  May 17th, 2013, Accenture strengthens digital marketing and ecommerce capabilities with acquisition of Acquity Group.  Deloitte recently acquired Ubermind, a mobile agency and introduced Deloitte Digital.  Axon Advisory Partner joined Booz & Company to launch Booz Digital

Others, like IBM, have always had strong digital and marketing capabilities as the intersection of marketing and IT services take center stage.  In fact, IBM has been in this space since 1996.  So to look at this development from the perspective of who among the big consulting firms and those with marketing services practices is a thought leader in driving and influencing the marketing space discussion, Forbes Insights partnered with Appinions, the innovative data-mining company and influence marketing platform, to see who is winning the battle for influence as the infographic below shows:

Heavily IT focused consultancies influence leaders in marketing

The data shows that heavily IT-focused consultancies are influence leaders in marketing topics.  Top tier influencers consist of Accenture and IBM, surpassing other firms, such as McKinsey, BCG, and Deloitte.  KPMG is very influential overall but is far less influential when it comes to marketing topics.  Due to the convergence of marketing and tech, IT consulting firms’ knowledge of marketing is appealing to both CMOs and CIOs.

The research also shows that Accenture recently caught up to IBM on marketing topics through key acquisitions and gained influence in marketing after acquiring Acquity and Fjord and elevated the influence of its executives as a result.  Not surprisingly, most of the top executive influencers in this space are from Accenture and IBM, the leading consultancies in this space.

Forbes Insights partnered with Appinions, an innovative data-mining company that measures influence by extracting and aggregating opinions from over 5 million sources  including blogs, social networks, forums, and newspaper and magazine articles.  Appinions looked at the data over the past 60 days.

Appinions defines “influencer” as “an individual who expresses a contextually relevant opinion that is meaningful enough to elicit action from others.” Appinions also tracks “share of influence”—the aggregate measure of all influencers and their related score on a particular topic. The company calculates scores based on an individual influencer’s opinions for a given topic. Scores are determined by frequency of actions the opinions generate; credibility of the publications in which the opinions appear; and diversity of publications carrying the opinions. For more information on the methodology, visit

Source : Forbes


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