Coles Group will create a specialised marketing agency named “Smith Street”, following a robust four-and-a-half-month RFP process for its marketing services which saw Omnicom Group (+ Deloitte Digital) retain the business in a two-way pitch against Accenture Song.
The new bespoke agency will be made up of experts in customer experience, data analysis, creative services, media management, culture and insight, the structure designed to ensure the Coles marketing team drives transformational growth for Coles Group by combining superior commercial intelligence with unparalleled consumer insight.
The Smith Street team will be handpicked from across Omnicom Group. Omnicom Group, who at a group level were the successful agency in the RFP process, will supercharge the skills around the table at Smith Street with experts across their network and work with existing partners Deloitte Digital to bring data and analytics to the core of Coles Marketing.
With customer obsession at the heart of Coles’ strategy, Smith Street will be created as a Customer Centre of Excellence designed to have a one team approach to creative, media and digital marketing activity for Coles Group. The new structure will also be a cornerstone in supporting Coles Group in providing more meaningful and personalised customer communication, insights and reporting.
Coles chief marketing officer Lisa Ronson thanked all agencies who participated in the RFP process: “Our marketing strategy is to position Coles as the most trusted and sustainable retailer in Australia by demonstrating our purpose through relevant omni channel experiences, focusing on targeted trusted value, sustainability, loyalty and health & happiness.
“This process has ensured going forward we will have one lead, one home and one ambition for the Coles marketing team and will have a structure that moves at the pace of Coles customers.”
General manager of brand, digital and design Samantha McLeod said she looks forward to the newly created agency generating strategic outcomes for marketing across the whole of Coles Group’s business: “Smith Street will operate as a world-class network of creative and media experts with a unified goal and agenda to achieve Coles’ strategic outcomes, rather than a group of different agencies operating independently, which will lead to more impactful and effective communications and interactions with our customers.”
Omnicom Group CEOs Peter Horgan and Andrew Little said the team is excited to help make customer obsession at Coles feel real to every Australian: “Exceptional customer experience will be at the heart of what we are trying to achieve, and our experts will work together with the talented Coles marketing team to ensure shopper trends, behavioural science and data analytics is integrated into every campaign, end-to-end.”
Deloitte Digital partner Katherine Battle-Schulz said the team is excited to help Coles understand the impact of marketing investment and help predict future returns on that investment: “This is a transformational way of approaching marketing and genuinely puts the customer at the heart of all thinking, while helping the Coles marketing team drive growth across the business.”
Smith Street will be a physical space for the agency and Coles team to come together and work in one dynamic space. It will be led by a board made up of a mix of Coles and agency representatives to ensure the best outcome for Coles customers.
It will officially launch in the new year with an implementation team from Omnicom Group to onboard with each Coles Group marketing team over the coming months.
Smith Street board representatives:
Lisa Ronson – Coles Group Chief Marketing Officer
Samantha McLeod – Coles General Manager Brand, Digital and Design
Kate Bailey – Coles General Manager Media and Sponsorships
Peter Horgan – Omnicom Media Group CEO
Andrew Little – DDB CEO
Sian Whitnall – OMD CEO
Kimberlee Wells – CEO, TBWA
Mike Napolitano – DDB Managing Director
Katherine Battle-Schulz – Deloitte Digital Partner