Technology At Heart Of Agency Coalition

MONTVALE, N.J. — The alliance of eight independent sales and marketing agencies here under one umbrella organization has been enabled by their joint use of syndicated data and technology platforms, the members said at a formal launch last week. The eight agencies have formed BeaconUnited, which seeks to preserve the local know-how of the independents and add national scale. Every member of this group

MONTVALE, N.J. — The alliance of eight independent sales and marketing agencies here under one umbrella organization has been enabled by their joint use of syndicated data and technology platforms, the members said at a formal launch last week.

The eight agencies have formed BeaconUnited, which seeks to preserve the local know-how of the independents and add national scale.

“Every member of this group has made a significant investment to form a network of technology and a team of analysts that will level the playing field for national representation,” said Barb Usher, chief financial officer of Phoenix-based Co-Sales, one of the eight agencies.

BeaconUnited has a contract with Nielsen, which will provide national sales data, and it is also developing a Web-based portal that will allow its customers to access other data and analysis, along with updates on retail conditions, such as resets.

Jim Hertel, managing partner at Willard Bishop LLC, Barrington, Ill., said he thinks the new group could be successful if it can offer “unique and valuable points of difference,” such as “access and influence” at specific retailers or channels, or specific category or product expertise.

“The other area that might create opportunity for them is to go after brands with conflicts at the big [agencies],” he said.

Other BeaconUnited members are Blackford Brokerage, Brennan & Nagel, KCBS, Riteway, Carlin O'Brien, ESM and ArchPoint Sales.