CX is 'critical' to brand building – Saatchi CEO

Rachael Micallef
By Rachael Micallef | 17 February 2016
Saatchi & Saatchi Australia chief executive, Michael Rebelo.

Saatchi & Saatchi CEO Mike Rebelo says customer experience (CX) is “critical” to brand building, following the network’s acquisition of CX agency MercerBell.

Saatchi & Saatchi announced it had bought 100% of the independent agency this week, in a deal which will see MercerBell retain its branding and leadership team of CEO Nick Mercer, executive creative director David Bell and managing director Julie Dormand.

MercerBell will, however, relocate its 65 strong staff to Saatchi & Saatchi's office in George Street Sydney.

Speaking to AdNews, Rebelo says the acquisition is a boon for the agency, ramping up its capabilities in the CX space.

“The experience that people have with brands these days is so critical to building a brand and building a business,” Rebelo says.

“You can’t just rely on acquisition and broadcast channels anymore – you have to be able to interact across all touch points.

“For us as a creative agency this has been an area where we’ve had the ability to advise on, but not the depth and the data that MercerBell bring to the table.”

It follows moves by other agencies into the CX space including Lavender, which last year repositioned its business under the CX moniker.

It is also thought that for Saatchi, the acquisition is part of a bid to strengthen its hold on the Toyota business. The car manufacturer is one of Saatchi & Saatchi’s biggest clients which also works with MercerBell for its CX needs.

Toyota has a global alignment with Dentsu Aegis and also has its creative agencies, BWM Dentsu and Oddfellows, on its local roster.

The acquisition means that Saatchi will now advise Toyota across the customer journey.

However, Rebelo says that CX will be beneficial for all of its clients, as it has become critical to the way brands work in the modern media landscape.

“It’s a very interesting space which we didn’t have a capability in but now when it comes to our clients we can provide those experts in that space to work with us,” Rebelo says.

“What we try to do for clients is solve business problems. Now we have a team of 65 people that can help us do that from a customer experience lens.”

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