Dr Mumbo

The Starcom Translator

Welcome to a new service from Dr Mumbo, The Starcom Translator. The paragraphs that follow in plain typeface are what has just (honestly, we promise) arrived in Mumbrella’s inbox as a press release. Our attempts at translation follow in italics. And remember, they really did want the outside world to see this.  

30 March 2009, Sydney: Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) has announced a number of key management changes within Genesis, its strategic consultancy division for driving return on investment (ROI) through human understanding.

Starcom has hired someone. They’re not going to have to worry about media buying.

Operating outside of the rush of the day to day, but integrated within SMG, the team focuses on using the human condition as a compass for delivering ‘best-in-class’ communications.  Its key obsession is understanding where brands live, and seek to live, within the web-like relationships that exist with consumers and their environment.

They won’t have to worry about deadlines while their colleagues run round like blue-arsed flies. And no matter how much it looks like they’re surfing the Internet for weird shit, it’s all for work. Honestly.

“The consumer landscape is increasingly complex and leveraging humanity in marketing has a critical impact on our clients’ and brands’ effectiveness. The changes we’ve made to Genesis are designed to deliver more meaningful brand experiences for our clients within the human dimension,” SMG CEO John Sintras said.

“Have you noticed how everyone’s on Twitter these days?” said boss John Sintras.

“With a number of new appointments and promotions we have assembled a world-class team that will be integral to the success of clients across the company.”

With the downturn we’ve been able to get good people a lot more cheaply than six months ago.”

Consumer anthropologist Seema Patel has joined Genesis to navigate the consumer landscape for clients, providing a differentiated lens to understand consumers as humans first.

And we’re tired of people like Naked having all the wanky job titles like consumer psychologist, so we’ve got a consumer anthropologist. Stick that, Adam Ferrier.

Patel’s focus will be augmenting SMG’s approach to insight generation, through SMG’s fusion approach – a unique ethnographic approach to understanding consumer drivers that takes the best from the psychological and anthropological worlds.

But we don’t see any irony in talking about understanding people as humans first while using language like this.

Patel has a Masters degree in applied anthropology and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology, teamed with a first class background in media strategy. She has worked as a media strategist with BBDO Worldwide and then OMD in New York, before moving to Crispin, Porter and Bugusky in Florida. She then joined Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta as its worldwide marketing communications coordinator and also worked for Coke in Sydney.

Patel is going to have one helluva shock if she has to work with any of our retail clients.

Professor Tim Fry has also recently joined Genesis as an econometrist, on secondment from RMIT University, specialising in the analysis of survey data, market modelling, advertising effectiveness measurement and ‘discrete choice’ modelling.

Tim Fry’s really good with numbers and, being on secondment, he’s not as expensive as you’d think. 

Professor Fry will build on the existing Genesis econometric product by evaluating and testing current and new methodologies to better understand markets. He will build up market modelling (such as the estimation of price and advertising impacts), ensure seamless integration between online and offline measurement and evaluate the impact of policy changes for specific clients.Professor Fry has Honours and Masters degrees in econometrics. He also obtained a scholarship to study for a doctorate in Econometrics. He has worked in advertising research and market modelling in London before pursuing an academic career in London and then Australia. He is currently a Professor of Econometrics at the School of Economics and Finance at RMIT.

Did we tell you he’s really good with numbers? 

SMG National Strategy Director, Di Richardson said: “These specialised skills will enhance our current offering.  We have always had a strong belief that the cross pollination of a diverse set of expertise and experience has consistently driven more differentiated and holistic solutions for our clients.  This will strengthen us in our mission to drive best practice communications and provide further competitive advantage for Starcom clients.”

Di Richardson said: “Do I win a prize if I get ‘cross-pollination’, ‘holisitic solutions’ and ‘mission to drive best practice communications’ in the same sentence?”

Other changes have also been applied to Genesis internally, with Emma Montgomery, who was National Accountability and Research Director, promoted to Strategy Director, Sydney. This follows her success in delivering SMG-owned research and accountability solutions which have improved client communications campaigns. Montgomery will drive “best in class” strategic product from the Genesis team this year.

We’ve also had to give out some new titles internally. 

Consumer Research Manager, Karen Pearson who currently manages SMGs proprietary research and individual client research projects, takes the lead for key 2009 initiatives including IntentrackIntentrack is a world-first ongoing research study that was launched last year and is designed to track the relationships between advertising, consumer purchase intentions and actual purchase. Starcom National Strategy Director Di Richardson leads SMG’s strategic and research products as well as the development of Genesis and its new team.

And you wouldn’t believe how much extra we can charge clients if  you can give the research a funky proprietary name.


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