Sir Martin vs Enfatico

I took no pleasure in the news that Enfatico “failed”. (Enfatico, for some reason attracted a slew of detractors). I am not even sure of the status of the company (“folded in” … but how?) The website is still up, but the last blog entry is June 9th. I am a firm believer in a holistic approach to marketing, and I think that Enfatico was more a victim of circumstance than of hubris. Sir Martin has his own take on matters…
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During an interview with Forbes India, WPP‘s Martin Sorrell was asked a number of questions about Enfatico and why it didn’t work. His responses were pretty finger-pointy, especially when he was asked about the one-off agency’s demise:
Q: Why didn’t Enfatico work then?
Sorrell: Because it’s an extremely difficult thing to do. And the two prime movers behind it left Dell.
The two prime movers are of course former Dell CMO Mark Jarvis and Casey Jones, Dell’s vp of global marketing.
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Sir Martin: Tough Times, Goin’ Digital

Economists may think the worst is behind us in this recession, but media people continue to be less optimistic. Earlier this week, Media Life published results of a reader poll finding that most respondents believe that recovery in the media economy won’t begin until second quarter 2010 or later. Yesterday the head of the world’s biggest advertising group, Sir Martin Sorrell, seemed to agree that recovery is still a ways off. Discussing WPP’s first-half results, which saw profits fall by nearly half, Sorrell told reporters that despite some big-ticket events in 2010, including the World Cup and Winter Olympics, he felt “cautious” about the possibility of recovery. Sorrell said that the shape of the recovery will be “an L shape, and an italicized L,” according to the Times of London.
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In a first half earnings statement released this morning, WPP Group announced that digital and direct marketing-related services now comprise 25% of its body. WPP Group owns labels like 24/7 Real Media, Mediaedge:cia, MediaCom, Mindshare, GroupM and Outrider. Digital and direct garnered $1.7 billion in revenues in the first half of ’09, with a projected annual run rate of nearly $3.5 billion total. But it is digital media and advertising that appear to be dominating the segment. Overall, first half revenues fell 2.9% to $6.4 billion in the first half on a reported basis, MediaPost reports. Like-for-like, however, total revenues slid 8.3% against the first half of 2008. According to WPP, traditional advertising and “media investment management” have been the hardest-hit amidst the economic downturn.
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Twitter: Corporate Feeds Don’t Follow Through

A colleague alerted me to the fact that Joseph Jaffe had made a great point about WPP’s lack of following on Twitter: “Sorry but how typical is it that WPP on Twitter follows NOONE. If that doesn’t mirror advertising’s future, nothing will” …
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Amusingly, David Jones  then pointed out that Joseph’s company Crayon is only following 6 people on Twitter: “@jaffejuice uh…pot, this is the kettle calling. I’d like to talk about the six people @crayon‘s twitterfeed is following.” #Iwork4WPP”

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A good old (140 character) slagging match ensued…

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Post scriptum: my always on-point old mate Lezza just tweeted that Will Self is widely followed and follows no one (and this is to be admired!)

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Enfatico folds. I am disappointed.

I was sad to see that Enfatico is to be folded into Y&R. I still believe the Enfatico model can work. Although the WPP custom-built agency for Dell didn’t reach critical mass before the recession struck, it doesn’t necessarily mean a marketing structure built for a single client can’t work. It was also a brave shot at thinking about the totality of a client’s brand communications rather than one silo.

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Mini Airstream, Smoking Smarties, Amex Simplifies, L-Shape

American Express launched a program in February 2009 to help consumers “simplify your finances” by paying off and closing their accounts. The carrot? A $300 cash card, redeemed when any outstanding balance is paid in full. The blogosphere is snarking at the campaign, pointing out that accepting the offer but not paying off the balance will still result in account closure — and no cash card. Not all cardholders “qualify.” AmEx has targeted specific customers that the company feels would benefit most from the offer. Those folks will receive the offer, including a special passcode, by snailmail.
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Sir Martin Sorrell said last night he believed the current recession would be L-shaped ­or prolonged, rather than “bath-shaped” as he famously described a previous downturn. The WPP chief and one of the UK’s best-known business pundits was giving the annual lecture of the Stationers’ and Newspaper Makers’ Company in the City on the topic “Recession. Bath, shower or whirlpool — which is it to be?”. Economists define L-shaped recessions as protracted periods of economic stagnation, such as that experienced by Japan in the 1990s.
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