How do you know when a brand is in the market for agency partners? The analysts at our prospecting publication WinmoEdge have gotten predicting agency reviews and hires down to a science. By monitoring subtle triggers like marketing appointments, funding and existing agency tenure, they’ve developed a remarkably accurate prediction model that alerts agencies to pitch-worthy accounts months before a review is announced or an agency shake up occurs. Are their predictions reliable? With an 80% success rate, we would certainly say so.
To give you a glimpse, check out three brands ranking highly on our Vulnerable Account Index (top 100 advertisers predicted to hire agencies in the next 3-18 months). We score these brands on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being the most likely and most imminent.
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Advertiser: Vireo Health | Vulnerability Score: 99
Trigger: Company names new AOR, plans for first recreational marijuana product
Colangelo Synergy was named the strategic marketing AOR. “1937” is the brand’s new platform focusing on recreational marijuana products; it previously focused solely on medicinal products. As our WinmoEdge team predicted, this partnership follows an increase in spending we reported in June.
Vireo is licensed to sell in Arizona, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico and Rhode Island. Vireo seems relatively active on Instagram, so consider offering social media services to continue pulling in millennials and legal-age Gen Z. We suggest any agencies who specialize in the cannabis industry and have experience with NE regional marketing, to reach out.
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Advertiser: Pizza Hut | Vulnerability Score: 94
Trigger: Hires CMO, CBO from KFC and look to push digital
Following their CMO and CBO hires in January in 2020, both coming from KFC, our team thinks the pizza giant is looking to rebrand. We predict Pizza Hut will follow sister-brand KFC and use humor-based campaigns (digital and social emphasis) and partnerships to target younger males.
PH spent around $7 million from February 2019 – 2020 on digital display ads, according to Adbeat. Media sellers should be excited by the recent increase in activity for this channel; PH increased at the very end of 2019 and has continued spending more than usual into February 2020. We suggest reaching out to offer social marketing services – if that is your specialty.
Advertiser: Smile Direct Club | Vulnerability Score: 91
Trigger: Onmi-channel focus, increasing spend
Smile Direct Club execs say they plan to push omnichannel marketing to increase brand awareness. Previously the company utilized celebrity sponsors as a channel for brand awareness. Now the company is especially focused on social media and other digital marketing channels. Adbeat reports that SDC’s digital display ad spend is on the rise; from Dec 2018-2019, it nearly tripled to approximately $9.6 million from an estimated $3.8 million (Dec 2017-2018).
SDC handles creative in-house; however, its decision-makers may be open to shifting media and/or digital. Overall spend is rising and should continue to do so as the company seeks to increase brand awareness. Those able to boost foot traffic to SmileShops locations (view here) will have the upper hand.
Successful Agency Predictions
As we said, our WinmoEdge team boasts an 80% success rate when it comes to agency change predictions. Want proof? Check out a couple of recent agency changes that have us saying “told ya so!”
Advertiser: Dave & Busters
Hired new CMO, other changes in leadership
As we predicted in February, after appointing Brandon Coleman as SVP and CMO the company looked to tap new agencies. Dave and Busters added Mother Y is their new creative AOR. The agency is tasked to help the arcade chain with its re-opening campaigns and guest communication.
Advertiser: Weight Watchers
In March the WinmoEdge Team predicted changes in thanks to the new DM. Weight Watchers has added WPP Group, Inc.; specifically, Mindshare, Neo & Wunderman Thompson to handle “upstream strategy and media buying & planning” in North America.
Moving forward we recommend agencies look for spending to remain steady through the end of the year until WW’s peak spend period: Q4-Q1 (weight loss season, when spend is usually highest).
Advertiser: Budget Blinds
Hires AOR agency after CMO hire
The WinmoEdge team noted a CMO change in October of 2019, bringing Heather Nykolaychuk to the company. The home decor company hired The Many to handle the brand’s creative and media strategy across TV, digital, video, radio, print, social, and activations. Nykolaychuk had previously worked with The Many at Mattel’s Hot Wheels. We expect the agency to launch Budget Blind’s first-ever integrated campaign next year.
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