Integrate, Re-Specialize, Pivot

Having introduced ‘Villages’ as part of its together strategy to bring the best of its collective strength, Havas, under the leadership of Yannick Bolloré, is now initiating phase two that will see it develop verticals, across regional hubs, to augment its global presence.

“As integration has become core to our DNA, this is the right time for us to re-specialize our talent and offer, and ensure the best of our best for our clients,” remarks Yannick Bolloré, Chairman & CEO Havas Group and Chairman Vivendi.

Mr Bolloré can be credited with the foresight of breaking silos to create a more integrated network back in 2013 with Havas’ ‘together’ strategy. Now, he is creating focused verticals to pivot for the next level of growth.

The ‘together’ strategy transcends the traditional separation between ‘creative’ and ‘media’ in order to create a fully integrated service. To ensure its success, Havas Group brought together all communication disciplines –– creative, media, digital, activation, events and public relations –– under one roof forming Havas Villages. 52 of these now exist around the world.

The success of Villages was seen when from 25 percent of shared clients, Havas grew to over 50 percent shared clients, with more adapting to the structure. With the addition of Vivendi, Havas retained its ‘together’ approach.

“Last June, in Cannes we announced that Havas Group and Vivendi were joining forces. A year later, I am thrilled to see the positive results and the growing number of examples of collaboration at the convergence between communications and entertainment. I am proud to see our teams working hand in hand in our Villages as we roll out these new verticals and I thank them for their entrepreneurship, energy and enthusiasm,” Mr Bolloré says.

Havas’ second phase involves streamlining its offerings into verticals without “losing the advantage of integration”. Consequently, it is expanding its Annex model, growing the AMO network, strengthening Edge Performance Network, creating Havas Events international experiential network and a global CRM network Havas Helia.

A Vertical Approach
The Annex is the cultural and entertainment offer of the group. With a new office in Atlanta, the Annex will continue to work closely with Universal Music Group and Vivendi to expand into Los Angeles and create a new Annex/ Vivendi Village in New York.

Havas plans to invest EUR 100 million over the next five years to boost AMO, the international strategic advisory network of corporate and financial communications consultancies. AMO serves the needs of the network’s bluechip clients, by combining local knowledge that the individual AMO agencies provide with a collaborative international approach to strategic corporate communications.

Havas Group has also created an offer for performance marketing, the Edge Performance Network. The Edge Performance Network is vertically integrated, offering experience and expertise in all aspects of performance marketing, from analytics to strategy, creative and production, media planning and buying across all channels, as well as attribution and modeling capabilities. Led by Havas Edge, All Response Media and Revenue Frontier, the network is expanding with eight offices.

Havas has brought together its events agencies in Paris, Milan, Shanghai and New York to create the Havas Events international network. Over the medium term, the group plans to open Havas Events offices in the Middle East as well.

“We are one of the first communications groups to establish a real experiential network. We are counting on the Havas Events brand, now with stronger and coordinated marketing and development behind it, to become the go-to network for advertisers looking to conquer international markets,” Mr Bolloré said, adding that Havas is ambitious of its expectations from the Middle East.

Havas has also created a 100+ unit for CRM strategy and implementation, loyalty programs and marketing technology consulting and game-changing creative with an analytic bent, called Havas Helia.

The Right Time
Mr Bolloré points out these verticals are integral to Havas Villages. “This is critical as the intention is to not recreate silos. The problem in the past was specialists being added to holding companies through acquisitions. Villages forced integration by breaking silos, and now we can re-specialize people by verticals. We could not have done that without going through the five-year period of integration,” he says.

Each of the chosen areas of expertise is a direct result of what Havas reads as marketer needs and expects as market-wise growth.

Step one of the second phase is ensuring the presence of the verticals in regional hubs, enabling global servicing. “We want to have powerful hubs in key regions. Dubai, for instance, is one of the centers of excellence for events given the scale of that industry in the market,” Mr Bolloré explains.

By its nature, Villages brought skillsets together, minimizing redundancies and duplication. Despite this, it group has still grown its people strength from over 15,000 to 20,000. Mr Bolloré attributes this to growing stronger together and earning marketer’s trust. “Marketers are asking for change, and we are ready for it, driving it even. All our clients love the Village stories. They are telling others to do what we are doing, and all I can say is that others are now playing catch up,” he concludes.

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