Holmes Report 16 Aug 2018 // 4:01AM GMT
NEW YORK — Weber Shandwick is rethinking its approach to its technology, digital and analytics services, combining all of the relevant global staff into a new practice led by chief digital officer Chris Perry.
The X Practice will house hundreds of Weber Shandwick specialists from across the world, drawing specifically from those working in the technology sector, data sciences, digital strategy and media R&D.
In addition to Perry, the global leadership team includes EMEA client experience head Hugh Baillie, who becomes X Practice president for EMEA & APAC. Adam Wall, currently EVP of digital operations and client services for North America, will become the Americas X Practice president.
Meanwhile, APAC technology head Lydia Lee and North America EVP and senior tech strategist Wayne Hickey will both become global co-heads of technology within the X Practice. Patrick Chaupham, EVP of business integration, takes on the new role of corporate development EVP for The X Practice.
"The range of things we’re being asked to do for our clients is expanding pretty rapidly," Perry told the Holmes Report. "Some of those solves require really deep technical expertise, fusing a lot of the capabilities that were previously sitting in different practices and in a regional construct. We want that to be fused into something that is easier for teams to access and easier to team across the opportunities that we are seeing."
Perry added that the impact of technology on "politics, media and marketing, all the different facets of society" means that it must be "the centrepiece of an agency model."
Accordingly, the X Practice will also tap into the firms Weber Shandwick has acquired in recent years – including mobile agency Flipside, digital creative agency Cappuccino, social creative agency ThatLot, data intelligence firm Bomoda and digital & performance marketing firm Resolute Digital.
"Every organization today is grappling in some way with how to keep pace with changes in technology, customer expectations, social behaviors and media habits," Perry said. "Whether it’s building social programs that drive sales or developing new AI-driven platforms to manage customer inquiries, we’ve been helping our clients understand and employ new methods of engagement in today’s business landscape. Our intent is to continue to expand the range of solutions we can offer and do it at a global scale that few other agencies can offer."