Led by Hannah Blake, MEC Tonic will work with brands and start-ups to create successful partnerships
MEC is launching MEC Tonic, a new division delivering tech-first solutions to clients via start-ups and early stage companies, Jason Dormieux, the joint CEO announced today.
It has been launched to drive marketing transformation by helping brands use emerging technology at the points in the customer journey that have the biggest impact on purchase decisions. It very much reflects demand from clients for help in developing their wider digital marketing strategies.
The new launch will be led by Hannah Blake, MEC’s director of open innovation. Blake joined in February from BBC Worldwide Labs, where she was programme manager. She will report to Ben Poole, MEC’s recently appointed chief digital officer. Blake has been building the division with MEC’s head of mobile Jide Sobo and group strategy director Toby Strangewood.
Blake said: “There is a growing ecosystem of support and mentoring for start-ups but very little exists to educate and challenge established companies on working with emerging technology. Brands need to work faster, take risks, allocate budget and dedicate resource if they want to deliver innovation successfully.”
MEC Tonic will adopt a proprietary process to help brands realise successful business outcomes from start-up and technology partnerships. It is already working with a portfolio of leading UK start-ups including Seenit, Openr, Rezonence, and US companies, Quid and Affinio.
Stage one is designed to educate and inspire clients, helping them understand how technology can transform their business.
Stage two will help increase tech-first responses to client briefs as well as pro-actively spot off-brief, innovative opportunities through technology such as iBeacons, artificial intelligence or virtual reality. This stage will be supported by a team of newly appointed innovation pioneers from across MEC who will help match the right start-up to a client opportunity.
Stage three is a consultative service designed to source new technology against clients’ wider business challenges via a six month ‘Sprint’. This culminates in an accelerated partnership between a client and the most promising start-up, funded by a ring-fenced budget agreed at the start.
Jason Dormieux said: “Technology continues to disrupt client marketing strategies. For brands to be on the front foot we need to take innovation via new companies and business models seriously. We’re excited by MEC Tonic’s new approach to delivering growth for our clients and our industry.
MEC is also introducing an Intrapreneurs programme to encourage innovation from within the agency.