Digitas LBI leads a team of agencies, all part of the Publicis Groupe, comprising BBH and media agency Zenith (or ZenithOptimedia as they prefer to be named for now, pending a full implementation of the recently announced restructuring).
The team is tasked with brand strategy, creative strategy and execution, digital platforms, social media, CRM, and media planning and buying across global markets for the Shangri-La, Hotel Jen, Kerry Hotels and Golden Circle brands.
Rather than hold a pitch, Shangri-La chose to work with on projects with various agencies during a trial period. DigitasLBI has been working since the middle of last year on the hotel group's Golden Circle loyalty programme.
"Ultimately we were impressed by the data-led, customer-centric approach of DigitasLBi, which matches that of Shangri-La," said Shangri-La International Hotel Management CMO, Steven Taylor, who praised the #LoyaltyIs campaign that DigitasLBI developed in collaboration with the hotel brand's marketing team. "This is a strong example of the work which led us to appoint them in this broader capacity," he added.
'Team Shangri-La', led by DigitasLBi global client service director Laurent Ezekiel, comprises more than 70 people around the world from the three agencies. It is perhaps the first external inkling of the new Publicis Groupe approach following its restructure in December last year.
“This fully integrated agency team model reflects Publicis Groupe’s continued drive to break down agency silos in order to create more effective partnerships with clients,” said Ezekiel.
Incumbent agencies on the account were Ogilvy & Mather, which has held the creative account since 2009, Havas Media and iProspect.
"Ogilvy & Mather has represented the Shangri-La brand and creative strategy for many years and has been a fantastic partner in supporting the development of the brand into what it is today," commented Taylor.
Adam O'Conor, CEO of Ogilvy & Mather Hong Kong, said the agency is immensely proud of its work for the hotel company. "We wish the Shangri-La brand well as it continues its journey," he said.
The decision to move to the new agency team was driven by a need for the brand to be able to "look across the entire customer journey in all its complexity, obtain a holistic view of how consumers connect and be able to respond to ongoing conversations around the brand at a moments notice," said Taylor. "DigitasLBi were able to demonstrate the holistic thinking and capability necessary to accomplish our objectives and also integrated talent from across their network to great effect on a variety of projects."
Following Shangri-La’s investment in a new CRM platform last year, the group is in the process of redesigning its entire branded digital presence to deliver a responsive, authentic and personalised guest experience.
“Today’s customers decide what luxury means to them and expect brands to recognise their individual preferences and behaviours, which is why we’re excited to partner with Shangri-La to develop a data-driven approach we hope will help them to lead and innovate in a highly competitive environment," said Ezekiel.