Accenture Interactive has hit 25,000 staff worldwide as the consulting giant continues its rapid expansion in digital marketing services, winning Radisson Hotel Group for a global experience agency brief.
Radisson, which already uses Accenture Interactive, said it wanted the agency to "increase the digital presence of the company’s brands and hotels and transform the digital experience to improve customer acquisition and retention".
Accenture Interactive has positioned itself as a global experience agency of record that can handle every aspect of the customer experience for brands and has previously won Maserati and The Vatican as clients for its end-to-end proposition.
Radisson, which is battling digital disruption from online entrants such as Airbnb, will use Accenture Interactive to run "personalised and targeted campaigns" and curate "unique, tailored content" across a portfolio of 1,100 hotels in 80 countries.
Remy Merckx, vice-president of digital at Radisson Hotel Group, explained: "In a crowded hospitality space, Radisson Hotel Group is striving to differentiate itself from the rest through personalised and meaningful experiences, and making every moment matter for our guests—starting from a simple Google search to a memorable stay at one of our hotels, post-stay engagement and loyalty."
Accenture said travellers’ engagement "improves significantly when brand communications are personalised".
Anatoly Roytman, Accenture Interactive’s lead in Europe, Africa and Latin America, said: "Taking a holistic approach to data, creativity and marketing technologies means we can support Radisson Hotel Group to deliver market-leading digital campaigns."
It comes after Accenture told investors in New York that Accenture Interactive's global staff numbers have hit 25,000, after making more than a dozen agency acquisitions including Karmarama, Sinner Schrader and The Monkeys in the last 18 months.
Brian Whipple, the global lead for Accenture Interactive, said revenues grew 35% to $6.5 billion last year and described that growth rate as "fairly consistent with the years before".
Whipple said there was "a massive opportunity" for Accenture Interactive because of a number of trends in the last two or three years "that have dramatically changed our landscape":
- consumers’ expectations about brands have risen significantly in a seamless, digital world;
- the convergence of marketing and technology has created great opportunities but is "massively confusing" for clients which need help;
- and the connected customer experience has become more important for brands as "push" advertising is no longer so effective.
Whipple went on to explain the experience agency proposition to investors.
"We focus on creative and have some of the best creative minds in the world, but we’re also a very strong business consultancy and also a technology powerhouse," he said.
"It is the combination of those three things that creates the experience agency that is addressing today’s chief marketing officer market."
Accenture Interactive works with three-quarters of companies in the Fortune 100, according to Whipple.
He said "being on the shoulders" of parent company Accenture is "a critical thing for us" because the consulting giant "is already a trusted business adviser", even if a client has not worked with Accenture Interactive previously.
Accenture has signalled it wants to move further onto agencies' turf, recruiting Nikki Mendonça, the president of OMD, EMEA, to be global president of Accenture Interactive Operations, and she took part by video in Whipple's presentation.
Accenture Interactive's 25,000-strong team makes it larger than Havas, the world's sixth biggest ad group, which has 19,000 staff.