When Publicis Groupe revealed details of Marcel on the stage at Cannes Lions, we took a great deal of interest.
It actually made us feel a little nostalgic, because we launched our own planning and collaboration platform, Source, six years ago at the same venue.
To be clear, we are very supportive of Publicis Groupe doing Marcel. We understand their ambition. And it is a good one.
But it is a long journey – to create a bug-free platform that people actually use is no mean feat.
We have built up Source since 2012 to be a platform that is used by 90% of our entire workforce, with just under 50% coming in every week.
Crucially, collaboration sits on top of a complete, end-to-end, campaign workflow.
The workflow allows planners to create campaigns, set budgets, select channels, optimise with reach and revenue curves and flight activity. It joins global and local teams together.
Many hundreds of campaigns are created each day, and they are automatically "surfaced" on the Source home screen and mobile app as challenges for the entire PHD world.
And the average campaign will receive over 30 collaborations. 77,000 ideas were created on the platform last year.
This led has led to a dramatic uplift in the amount, and quality, of innovation across PHD.
The result of this can be seen in the number of awards won. PHD moved up to be the second most awarded media network globally in the Gunn Report in 2017 – something of which we are very proud given that we are the eighth largest media agency.
And in 2018 we won more Media Lions at Cannes than any other media agency network.
The key element that makes Source work is the addition of a game-layer. Without this, people would not be motivated to help others.
With a game layer, people compete in a live environment where better ideas earn more "pings".
Staff compete individually and by country – across desktop, app, live website dashboard and on mobile.
For those that engage the most, it makes work addictive.
Our people also have their activities categorised and analysed in a performance card.
This enables us to understand their cognitive strengths. Which in turn enables us to build the right teams for our clients
We find Source to be a tremendous point of supply for inspiration and ideas that bring the group closer together – a camp fire for the agency.
So well done, Publicis Groupe, for getting started with Marcel.
We hope you find it to be a great source of collaboration – as we have done.
Mike Cooper is the worldwide chief executive of PHD