The globally established performance media giants announced the merger earlier in September this year.
In a push for a fresh global omnichannel media giant, Forward PMX and Assembly came together under the global name, ‘Assembly.’ Assembly will be led by current ForwardPMX Global CEO, James Townsend, who is also the Global CEO of Stagwell Media Network. The agency’s management team will be a combination of Assembly and ForwardPMX leadership.
Communicate sat down with Faisal Dean, Managing Director at Assembly for the MENA region to discuss the ambition and motive behind the move.
What does Forward PMX do and how will it do it differently after merging with Assembly?
ForwardPMX is largely a performance and digital media marketing company. Assembly brings to the table, integrated omnichannel planning under one roof. There are two things that really stand out for us here. First, the expansion with more services, and to be able to increase our capabilities for clients. Second bringing media and a lot more under one roof, to have a consolidated view for clients where we can work with them a bit more strategically. The market is generally moving towards this phase where clients are looking for a partner that can do more under one place, and truly be an extension of their team rather than an outsourced marketing agency and that's our two big plays.
With respect to opening to a more consolidated view of providing digital services to your claims. What attributes exactly is Assembly going to focus on after this merger? Will there be a change in your target audience now?
As for Forward PMX, we are recognized as global digital leaders and that's what we're going to continue to do. With Assembly, we will be adding services complimentary to what we do. Our capability will be expanding beyond digital and to become more omnichannel. We will be able to explore more in the offline world to look at how customers consume content and then be able to service our clients across both the digital and the non-digital world. We've seen a challenge from clients at a global level and the challenge they've set out to the industry is more consolidation and all answers in one place, since time is precious, and resources are limited. Clients always look forward to working with companies like us, which can really become their strategic partners.
It makes us a little bit different than and where our view is operating as compared to where the big media networks are today. Most agencies come up with all the insights and the answers, but they're not able to activate a brand. Where Assembly sits is in the middle now as we're able to give those answers to our clients, and then we're also able to activate that it locally, if that's the need, and further collaborate globally.
How would you explain omnichannel media to a layman?
Let’s use the example of a retailer. A consumer can go down to the store to make a purchase or surf through its e-commerce platforms such as the website or the application. As an omnichannel retailer, they are able to connect with an audience at different touchpoints. It’s a customer centric journey which involves interacting with consumers online and offline and even connecting all those complex journeys. As moderators, we’d be helping our clients understand these journeys and deliver integrated communication solutions.
In the light of a constantly evolving future, and the shift into AR and VR technology. How is Assembly going to move forward? Especially in the post-pandemic era?
When we look towards the upcoming advancements, and the future, we also look back at the last ten years as to what made us successful, and how we became a leading global digital company. While we look to add complementary services to deliver more for our clients, we still have the same sort of DNA and are still looking to advance while keeping on top of industry trends. For instance, when we think about the metaverse, we’re already having the conversations.
In the realm of the constantly evolving nature of the creative industry in the region, what do you think lies in the future for this merger?
When we entered the region five years ago, we imported our global best practices t the region. We've expanded our client portfolio to some of the best-known brands in the region. So, what do we do now to move forth? First, is expanding our footprint. With an office in Egypt, Bangalore, and one in Saudi, which we just opened we will continue to expand. Along with this merger with Assembly we are looking to expand our capabilities, we've started to offer more and more digital services every year. In addition to that, we're just going to carry on the same trajectory, and start off for offline media alongside our digital.
What is the significance of this merger as opposed to any past collaborations or partnerships that ForwardPMX has been a part of?
Partnerships that we've had in the company before having been more industry driven, Whereas, now with this merger, there is a significance as a sponsor, to where we see the industry moving. Therefore, it's a very forward-thinking decision that we've made. A decision that's been led by client conversations, and client needs globally.