The move has been taken in response to what the agency describes as ‘evolving client needs’ coupled with the integration of search marketing agency Lakestar.
McCann Connected will operate as a digital resource centre for new and existing agency clients with its team of 140 specialists spanning digital strategy, SEO, data and analytics, content marketing, digital media, design and development, social media and conversion rate optimisation.
The new entity, which is believed to be one of the largest fully integrated digital offerings outside London will also act as a digital centre of excellence for the wider McCann network and work alongside McCann Manchester’s creative, planning and account management resources.
McCann Manchester chief executive Sue Little said, “Over many years we’ve developed an outstanding digital capability but until now we’ve not packaged it in a fully cohesive way. The marketplace is undergoing significant change at unprecedented speed and we have spent time analysing this and listening to the needs of our clients.
“McCann Connected is our response to this landscape, which while ever changing, is here to stay. We’re structured to understand the complex digital journeys consumers make, and create marketing solutions without bias or border.”
The restructuring comes as the acquisition of Lakestar enters its final year. The McCann Connected team will be split between McCann’s Bonis Hall headquarters and Lakestar’s offices in Manchester and London. The Lakestar brand will continue to exist as a specialist SEO offering to clients.
The new operation will be managed by a leadership team comprising Sharon Palmer, head of channels; Andy Mitchell, client services director; Marcus Hadfield, managing partner; Abi Whitfield, director of earned media and Brett Cooper, technical director.