“If you feel the force of technology, if you’re worried about your lunch being eaten, if you’re worried about your business still being around in five years’ time, if you feel that you need to make a massive change to the technology that runs your business, if you’re looking at your content management system, your CRM system and your supply chain – and as the CMO becomes more central to these things – are you going to talk to your advertising agency about it?” asks Sanjiv Gossain. “Or are you going to talk to someone that really gets your back-end systems, understands your technology, that can talk the language of APIs and CMSs and business processes?” Excerpts:
Joining Cognizant means Zone’s team suddenly has access to a huge, global client base and a vast range of capabilities in technology and consulting that goes beyond marketing. "They have deep expertise, which is exciting," James Freedman, Executive Chairman of Zone says. "This isn’t [just] a digital marketing play."
For Cognizant, the attraction of moving into marketing services is that it also gets to tap into new client budgets in an era when the chief marketing officer’s spend on digital might be bigger than that of the chief technology officer. As Gossain says: "The CMO is becoming a much more important person in the procurement of services like ours."
And, if Cognizant is going to appeal to chief marketers, it needs the creative input of an agency such as Zone to understand the creative process and how to build an emotional connection with consumers.
The Zone deal follows a handful of other acquisitions by Cognizant. These have included Idea Couture, a Canadian digital innovation and design agency, Mirabeau, a Dutch customer experience agency, and Netcentric, another experience agency, based in Switzerland.
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