_Adrian Capobianco is VP Interactive at “FUSE”:http://www.fusemg.com/. As Adrian puts it, FUSE is “a marketing agency that is completely focused on creating results for clients – instant and measurable results in the direct, promotions and interactive disciplines”._
*One Degree: So, you’ve been associated with Publicis for quite a few years now. What was the impetus for the change?*
Adrian: The last 4-5 years at Publicis has been a great ride. The move to FUSE was one of those times when a good and interesting opportunity comes along that you have to jump on. From a business perspective, FUSE has a great Management team in place, and great staff. They have a good reputation on the street and a good client roster to back it. The opportunity to be part of the dynamic and growing team to continue and build on the success was a prospect I wanted to be part of.
From a personal perspective it’s an opportunity to do what I’ve done before… be part of the team that is responsible for driving new growth for clients via interactive channels. In this case I get a better chance to more directly drive and lead this growth as part of the management team. This is an opportunity to make FUSE’s interactive practice bigger, more strategic and well engrained with the company’s day-to-day client services. Despite all the talk in the industry about ‘integration’, FUSE truly is integrated in terms of being organized in a manner that provides unbiased promotions, interactive and direct services for clients. At the end of the day, what is best for the client’s business will prevail under FUSE’s business model.
Plus I hear Stephen Brown the SVP and GM has an extensive shoe collection and I just had to find out for myself.
*One Degree: What is your role at FUSE?*
Adrian: My role at FUSE as VP of Interactive is to run and grow the Interactive practice for the company. There is a great opportunity to extend the breadth of interactive services to the existing client base and continue to build on the work done to date. This will include the use of web development, email marketing, online advertising and other interactive online marketing tools. Plus I think they need someone who can make a mean espresso.
*One Degree: You’re moving from a big agency within a very big holding company to a small local shop. What do you expect the biggest challenges will be with this change? Are there advantages to being with a small shop?*
Adrian: Publicis Group is one of the world’s largest ad agency holding companies, but on a day to day basis when it comes to working with clients this really doesn’t have a big impact. As VP of Client Services at Publicis NetWorks this really represents a small slice of the ‘global pie’. I’ve worked at large co’s such as IBM and a much smaller Internet Development company, Rare Medium. At the end of the day the basics of good business still apply.
FUSE has over 40 employees and a dozen great clients such as CIBC, Canadian Tire, Lavalife and Tetley so we’re not exactly talking about a small shop. In fact if you compare the size of FUSE to the size of Publicis’ Direct, Promotions and Interactive business in Canada we’re actually talking about a similar size.
With that said, FUSE does not have the international network that the larger agencies have and that means that there are not client accounts based on global alignments. However, on the opportunities side this also means there isn’t an expensive global structure to support. In addition the smaller size means many of the political, structural and organizational issues faced in larger agencies do not exist. Finally, there’s the ability to be more nimble and react to opportunities that larger agencies may miss.
*One Degree: You’ve been an online marketer since the last century. How has the industry in that time?*
Adrian: My entire career has always been in high-tech. Specifically I’ve been in online marketing for about 6 years. The change during this time has been huge. The last 6 years include the boom days, the now distant bust, the holding years and finally the turn around, which I think really began to break about 12-18 months ago. With the rise in the online ad spending and the increase in online marketing tactics within the marketing mix, I think that online marketing is really coming of age. More and more folks are becoming familiar and comfortable with the medium and are acknowledging that the medium will continue to increase in importance and relevance over time.
Folks outside of the interactive space took the bust days as an opportunity to discredit, discount and dismiss the medium and that resulted in a few years of decline. However, as more and more people across all demographics continue to increase their interaction with the medium and tracking results show that it can continue to be used as an effective and efficient medium the story only gets better.
*One Degree: How are Canadians doing at online marketing? Is the market getting more sophisticated?*
Adrian: Although I haven’t really worked on too much interactive marketing outside of NA, I think that Canadian’s are doing a good job – and really why wouldn’t we be? Canada is one of the most wired nations with high broadband penetration, and many other ‘leading online indicators’. Of course there are always opportunities for improvement such as increased mobile marketing activity but I believe this will come with time.