David Kenny: The Digitas Case Study
Kenny is Chairman and CEO of Digitas and is a member of the Publicis Groupe Executive Committee, the P12. He leads the Group's overall digital and interactive strategy. Beginning with his appointment as CEO in 1997, Kenny has led Digitas through a decade of evolution and growth to an industry-leading position in digital and direct marketing services. Prior to Digitas, Kenny was a senior partner in the global strategy consulting firm Bain & Company from 1991 to 1997. He was named to its Policy Committee in 1995 at the age of 33. Prior to his consulting career, Kenny held marketing and strategy positions with General Motors Corporation. Kenny holds a B.S. from the General Motors Institute (Kettering University) and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He is a board member for Teach For America and a director of The Corporate Executive Board.
Kenny: So, we started Digitas in 1996, and in those days there were some up and coming media companies, Yahoo, AOL, a company called Netscape Mosaic, and the question we had is if those companies changed media, how would the agencies need to change? What kind of agency would be needed to work in those spaces, and we [concluded there] need to be agencies with more data, agencies with more analytics, agencies that work with people as communities, agencies that had the consumer producing [part of] the creative, and creativity that worked both in small segments as well as at large scale. So, we built Digitas really by transforming a direct marketing business called Bronner Slosberg Humphrey and then adding to it the other things we needed to be the agency of the future. We had quite a good run with that. We went public in 2000 and continued to grow as we helped our clients adapt to the digital era. And then, more recently, we sold Digitas to Publicis Groupe at the beginning of last year, and from there we formed VivaKi, which was to put Digitas together with all the media operations of the Groupe so that we could help all 50 billion euros of revenue, we could help all of our clients worldwide, and the media owners adapt to the digital era, and that’s what we’re trying to do now.
David Kenny talks about the founding and evolution of his company.
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