The Rundown: What Omnicom Media Group’s newest acquisition means for performance marketing

Omnicom Media Group yesterday announced the purchase of performance marketing agency Jump 450, signaling a few new wrinkles in the agency holding companies’ efforts to diversify and modernize their practices.

It’s another sign that brand marketing and performance marketing overlap enough that the lines are getting blurred. And that reality has sunk in deeply with all the agency holding companies, which are all trying in their own ways to wrap their arms around the burgeoning practice of e-commerce and performance-driven marketing and media.

The key details:

  • OMG’s acquisition puts a spotlight on what performance marketing could look like in the future
  • Holding companies have their distinct spins on how to do this best — whether consulting, acquiring or building up their capabilities in-house

“Jump’s focus on pure performance marketing and e-commerce media will add a distinct set of capabilities to OMG’s existing performance media offerings,” said OMG global chairman/CEO Daryl Simm in the press release announcing the acquisition in a prepared statement.

Omnicom declined to comment further. But it’s clear the company is getting quite serious about the performance side of the marketing discipline, having lined up immediately to work with Walmart’s newly announced demand-side platform, which is in the middle of rolling out. It’s using the Jump 450 acquisition to grow a full-fledged performance media operation, which will likely plug into OMG’s Omni data platform. 

Interestingly, OMG stipulated that New York-based Jump 450 will operate independently — for now, even though Jump 450 CEO Shaun Sheikh indicated he’s comfortable to work with the OMG team.

“We found a strong cultural fit with OMG and our entire team is excited to share in the technological and operational synergies that will benefit our client relationships and performance capabilities,” he said in the announcement.

The future of brand and performance marketing

Jay Pattisall, principal analyst covering agencies at Forrester, sees the move as yet further indication that brand and performance are blurring more and more. “This is another example of what I call the collision of precision marketing and persuasion marketing,” said Pattisall. “They’re no longer just a set of channels in the marketing funnel, they make up a strategy now. This move [by OMG] props them up to offer this growing aspect of marketing.”

Differing strategies

Though all the holding companies are beefing up their performance media/marketing abilities, including newer ones such as Media.Monks (formerly known as S4 Capital) and the newly merged Stagwell Group (incorporating the assets of MDC Partners), Pattisall said they’re taking varying directions to get there. “They’re all actively pursuing this, and it’s been underway for some time to deliver mass personalization” he said.

Pattisall likened Omnicom’s approach to Stagwell’s, in that both are building out their technical ability to deliver on these newer services, while IPG and Publicis have been more acquisitive in buying Acxiom and Epsilon, respectively. Media.Monks, he said, has taken a more consultative approach, as has Havas. “It’s hard to conclude one’s approach is better than the other,” he added.

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