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Tangible Group Blonde Technology

'Big clients want less agencies that can do more,' Blonde Digital, Tangible and Instinctiv consolidate to become Signal


By Gillian West, Social media manager

October 18, 2016 | 3 min read

Cello Group PLC has announced that Blonde Digital, Tangible and Instinctiv are to merge to create new CRM and digital agency, Signal, as clients increasingly want “less agencies that can do more.”

Speaking to The Drum, ahead of the merger, Cello Signal chief executive officer, John Rowley, revealed the decision to consolidate the agencies was down to the fact these agencies have become “increasingly connected” as far as clients are concerned.

“Tangible and Instinctiv both work in the CRM area whereas Blonde focus mainly on digital marketing and web design and build but client enquiries, increasingly, are about the connectivity between those two things,” Rowley explained. “Clients have become much more digitally-led and you have to understand both camps, especially now with social, if you rock up to a client with three different business cards across different agencies you’re fundamentally confusing them before you’ve even begun.”

Spread across Edinburgh, Cheltenham and London, Signal’s 200 staff look to provide ‘data-rich, digitally-oriented solutions’ to large organisations such as banks, utility companies, retailers and charities with clients including Lloyds Banking Group, Npower, the British Heart Foundation and Nando’s already on the books.

Officially announced today (Tuesday 18 October), Rowley revealed the three agencies have been working “behind-the-scenes” under the Signal umbrella to work out teething problems and address the challenge of working together from different locations.

“The challenge to us internally is where if you have different agencies you have different P&L’s and you have different staff sitting in those P&L’s and whether you like it or not that becomes a barrier as they’re all run by a management team who are asked to deliver against a profit budget and, understandably, that’s what they want to do but that creates a little protectorate, so what we need to do now is get people’s mindset around a shared environment and working collectively,” Rowley said, “[but] what’s been encouraging is in the last four weeks we’ve had five major client enquiries that we couldn’t have delivered without this merger.”

In addition to focusing on retaining existing clients of Blonde, Tangible and Instinctiv Rowley revealed now the merger was public it would be “ramping up” marketing and new business efforts.

“Our priority has always been making sure our existing client base was comfortable with the change as the thing is with new business if you know you’re going to change your name it can be difficult to go out and promote yourself but say ‘we’re called this, but in a week, we’ll be called that’ it’s not a great message. So we’ve really been waiting for this moment,” he added.

“[So far] it’s been really positive from our clients as, on a whole, big agencies do want less agencies that can do more, you can see that from the number of roster reviews happening at global brands. Our breadth of offering isn’t about trying to do everything, it’s about how data flows across clients’ digital architecture, the more we know, the better the campaigns will be.”

Tangible Group Blonde Technology

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