Nick Waters, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Asia-Pacific, told Campaign Asia-Pacific the purchase will give the network “a competitive advantage in a large and rapidly growing segment.”
“In the first instance you can look at some major marketers that have some emphasis on B2B marketing,” said Waters. “Microsoft, one of our biggest clients, is also one of the biggest enterprise marketers in the world. Canon and Hitachi, who are also significant clients and B2C brands, are actually evolving into B2B businesses as well. MasterCard is another big one, so it makes sense to grow with our clients and integrate B2C and B2B.”
Waters said that the many of these brands have been disrupted by technology. For example, Canon, while still producing high-end camera technology, is selling far less than it used to due to smartphones. Hitachi, which was known as a technology maker, is “becoming more of a technology consultancy.”
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Waters said that in the competitive context, B2B is an “open field” and that “enterprise marketing is an area far less defined in the agency world”. He added that through this acquisition, Dentsu Aegis Network hopes to make a “coherent organisation that is B2B-ready”.
Initially, Band will be integrated into Carat under Sean O’Brien, CEO of Carat Asia-Pacific, which currently manages “B2B marketing activities within Denstu Aegis Network as a small enterprise unit”. “When office leases expire”, Band will be fully integrated with Carat and Denstu Aegis Network in a physical location.
In the short term, Carat and Band will be working to “develop a single and consolidated offering”. Asked why Dentsu Aegis Network acquired Band, Waters said Band had been on the network's radar “for at least two years”.
“We got to know the four partners in the Band business and over time we saw that they fit the strategic objectives of DAN very well,” said Waters. “They’re very strong in B2B and have a fantastic reputation.”
Band has over 50 staff in Singapore and Greater China, and services multinational clients across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa. Band offers end-to-end B2B services including demand generation, channel marketing sales enablement, digital and creative services.
Band was set up by Ian Bickerton in Singapore in 2002. He was joined shortly afterwards by Kieran Vye and James Craik, with John Irwin opening Band’s Greater China operation in 2005.