Iris introduces global exec team to reframe the agency for growth-minded marketers

Iris has introduced a global executive team to steer its efforts to become an agency that can appeal to companies where marketing is being used as a growth driver rather than a cost centre.

Founders and current Europe chief executive and chief strategy officer respectively Steve Bell and Sam Noble take on the roles of global chief executive and deputy chief executive. Both are tasked with creating ‘centres of excellence’ in Iris’ offices, particularly focusing on content, influencer marketing, sports marketing and B2B.

Within those four categories, Iris will upweight spend on in-house consultancy Concise’s in CRM and insights, spotting opportunities to scale the proposition in New York Chicago, Atlanta, Seoul, Shanghai and Sydney. The roll out will be led by Concise’s managing partner Benj Chilcott, who will pitch it as an additional layer of value to clients that can create new revenue and innovation opportunities.

Concise will work 12 months ahead of the rest of the agency, analysing market trends and helping clients determine how to invest money and make changes to their business models.

Other appointments to the global executive team include Shaun Mcilrath, who will take on the role of chief creative officer and current global chief executive Stewart Shanley as chairman to oversee the network’s mergers and acquisitions.

At its core, the global executive team and Concise’s expansion are in response to the growing need for a clearer relationship between business and marketing goals. Marketing is fast becoming a growth driver for many companies struggling for sales amid significant disruption to their business models which, in turn, has stretched the discipline to other parts of their organsiations .

For Iris, this has led to an influx of briefs that are more strategically-focused and less about communications. Where the agency would have once been tasked with coming up with an ad campaign, it’s now more likely to be asked about concocting a distribution target or developing a tighter product mix.

“That’s what we think the most progressive clients want from their agencies,” explained Iris chief executive, Ian Millner.

Millner’s point that marketers are more interested in commercial value now echoes observations from some of the bigger agency networks like Publicis Groupe, whose chief executive, Maurice Levy, has talked at length about the need to adapt his agencies to shift or risk the likes other consultancies taking budget from them.

“If you speak to the top brass of the big networks, the competitors that really get them on edge are the ones like Accenture and Deloitte because they’re the ones winning the influence from the big clients and therefore how budget gets allocated,” added Millner.

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