Tag Relaunch Adds Williams Lea Marketing Solutions

Matt Swain
Jul 29, 2013

Creative services has been a focal point of expansion for document outsourcing providers in recent years, with Williams Lea making the most significant play in 2011. That July, Williams Lea acquired marketing execution and production agency Tag, which delivers marketing communications through a process called “smart centralization” designed to help brands maintain marketing consistency across markets and media. Tag recently relaunched with a full brand refresh, new logo, website redesign, and the integration of the Williams Lea Marketing Solutions team. In addition to these changes, John Paulson has been promoted from CEO for the Americas region to Global CEO of Tag. Peter Zillig and Todd Handcock will work closely with Paulson and continue in their roles as Tag CEO for EMEA and Asia Pacific, respectively, with full operational responsibility for the business and its clients across their regions.

Ahead of the announcement, I had an opportunity to catch up with Paulson. 

Tag has a rich history of working with brands and agencies to create, manage, and deliver campaigns efficiently and cost-effectivelyensuring that impactful ideas are executed on time, on budget, and on message. Bringing Williams Lea print management and strategic sourcing solutions under the Tag brand is an important step in evolving our offer, growing our business, and delivering better, more cost-effective and scalable services for our clients. The relaunch of Tag is exciting and creates an enviable position in the marketing services arena.

Expanding Paulson’s role to global responsibility is in line with other recent moves by Williams Lea to global executive responsibility. Lesley Lindberg was appointed as global CMO last year, a newly created role. Aurora Coya’s role expanded to global COO of its Strategic Document Outsourcing business last year and, while not yet formally announced, she has just been promoted from that role to global CEO.

With clients increasingly asking for multi-national support, the expansion of these roles is critical to help maintain a unified brand identity. Client culture is also evolving. Paulson noted that he is seeing reduced tension between Procurement and Marketing departments within client organizations as they are beginning to recognize the value of collaboration. “Chief Marketing Officers are concerned with building their brands. Chief Procurement Officers are focusing on finding efficiencies in their marketing spend, among other things. The new combined proposition means we are able to address these converging needs of creativity and efficiency while helping to improve ROI.”

While acquisitions generally take time to integrate, I was interested in understanding what successes the Tag and Williams Lea teams have identified and realized. Since the beginning of the year, Paulson has seen a number of new opportunities across the organization–including clients expanding their contracts to include additional regions and services, as well as brand new clients–and expects to drive substantial growth globally in 2014, assisted by the co-location of staff globally into Tag offices around the world.

The mixing of an efficiency culture with a creative culture is part of what makes the original acquisition and this relaunch so intriguing for us (and surely for the competition). While Williams Lea Marketing Solutions may have experienced modest organic growth, the integration into Tag and the increased collaboration between Tag and Williams Lea’s Strategic Document Outsourcing business have significantly elevated the opportunity.

 

Matt Swain
Associate Director, Document Outsourcing

@SwainfoTrends

InfoTrends tracks the Document Outsourcing market via our advisory services and studies such as Service Expansion Opportunities for Document Outsourcing.

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