With the new year comes new opportunities for good change. Havas Germany is taking the opportunity to embrace a new venture and say goodbye to location-borders, merging Havas Düsseldorf, Havas Hamburg and Havas Munich into one single brand entity. Recently appointed CEO, Peter Mergemeier, walks us through their new approach and what this means for today's client needs.
Congrats on your new role! Havas Germany is on an exciting journey of restructuring the agency. What was the inspiration for merging local Havas offices into one entity and dropping the regional structure?
Clients and the market ask for more flexible and agile working models which we could increasingly observe ourselves in 2022 in pitches and chemistry meetings. Today’s challenge is to individually put together the best, tailored team with the right skills to solve the task and to empower this team to work together with streamlined processes. From which region or which company is less relevant, especially after Covid and great experiences in remote work.
From the agency's point of view, silos are avoiding this, although they had their raison d’être earlier for different reasons. But today, they prevent us from meeting this legit client demand. And silos generate unnecessary additional administrative work – this effort and time are better invested in finding the right solutions. That’s why we felt the need to correspond to today’s market dynamics and to create the right setup as well as mindset from within to be the agency partner our clients need to solve their problems.
How does it help you better serve client needs in the German marcoms environment?
As the marketing environment and its challenges are becoming more and more complex and fast-moving, there is, as described, a risen demand for dynamic solutions. To be a great sparring partner and to help tackle our client’s day-to-day challenges, we need to be able to deliver fast-demand topics because our clients need to be faster as well – and this only works with the respective agency structure. By putting together the right people – and only the right people – across all disciplines and by implementing respective processes internally, we are capable to deliver meaningful work at a fast pace. Which doesn’t work with rigid location barriers and old-fashioned, fixed setups. We learned this, we fixed this and we are already seeing great improvements in terms of new business and client-agency-relationships.
Without spilling your secrets, what does your roadmap for projected growth look like?
We have developed a tailor-made strategy and effective process when it comes to our new business activities – and various successes in the meantime have proven us right. We are also expanding the agency's value chain through different measures like refining high-demand services through acquisitions. We are uncompromisingly focused on our clients, which means we align ourselves in the most effective way possible. Being able to offer every service radically integrated under one single brand umbrella optimizes also the administrative effort for clients – saving time and money.
Can you give us an example of a campaign in which you successfully solved a problem for a client with this interdisciplinary process?
The whole restructuring process and implemented mindset are bigger than one single campaign; it has effects on the whole way of working as an agency. We like to think in solutions, holistically. And we live this idea within the global network as well. For instance, for HARMANN international, we brought together the right experts from different countries to help the client dense their agency administration effort and to provide all needed services from a single source. We see the effects of this way of working in every aspect of our day-to-day business. And we’re very much excited for what’s to come in 2023.