Meerkats look east for growth in 2017 as it moves to 3.0 model

Perth-based agency Meerkats is casting its eye over the eastern states as it looks to forge a new partnership and grow its business beyond Western Australia.

The Meerkats: Ronnie Duncan, Melanie Wiese, Gavin Bain, Mike Edmonds and Martin Beecroft.

The Meerkats: Ronnie Duncan, Melanie Wiese, Gavin Bain, Mike Edmonds and Martin Beecroft.

The agency, which already boasts a number of national clients including emerging coffee franchise Muzz Buzz, Silver Chain and Synergy, has undergone a restructure over recent months with CEO Gavin Bain saying the business was ready for its next stage.

He said that that agency had already earned national credentials with its work, including developing iiNet as a national brand, and the east coast represented an opportunity for the

“Four years ago we had an intent to spread geographically but because of the dramatic change (as founders Ronnie Duncan and Mike Edmonds prepared to step back from operational roles) within the business and the industry, we held,” Bain told Mumbrella.

“We are now back in a position where we are looking at that again.”

Bain said that plans to expand east were well advanced last time but the agency partners agreed that what they had to offer in the context of the shifting market was not quite suited.

“So we focused back on the business to transition and that is the thing that we have been doing over the last two years and the thing that’s come to fruition over the last six-to-12 months.”

Duncan and Edmonds, stepped back from operational roles earlier this year and Bain said that expansion was now firmly set within the business plan. As part of the transition Martin Beecroft was named chief creative officer and Melanie Wiese as chief strategy officer.

“Across the planning horizon – it’s probably in horizon two, which is probably the next financial year – we are actually doing a project in Sydney at the moment and that came through a referral from Sydney clients.

“We are absolutely open to doing projects now and the physical presence is something where just the logic of it is when you partner with the right client.”

The agency will have the advantage of having watched the expansion of local rival, 303 (now 303 Mullen Lowe) into the Sydney market and there were were lessons that could be learned.

“With the geographic expansion component the difference now is because we are through the transition period and the offer that we are making to the market is much more solid and the rate  of change is not as great so we have got a packaged solution that you can transfer to like-minded people,” he said.

“So with the Meerkats offer here and with the right people in another market, I think it’s more likely that we would partner-up with some like-minded people in another state to take the Meerkats thought – not a franchise.”

He said the ideal make-up was what he called “the triple threat” with a solid planner who would also be the people and culture person, chief creative officer with a strong digital record and a business growth specialist.


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