MDC Partners is a marketing services holding company with a brand strategy. That’s right, they have an idea. IPG doesn’t, though back in the day one might have assigned them “entrepreneurship.” WPP, Publicis, and Omnicom don’t have ideas, though perhaps at one point Omnicom might have owned “creative.” At holding companies the powers that be feel brand strategies are not really needed.
MDC Partners owns talent. “Where great talent lives” is their idea. For some, that might be a platitude or poesy but for Miles Nadal, CEO, it’s a real strategy. As a practice, MDC does not own a majority stake in its companies, it owns 49%. This insures that great talent will stick around. Their hands-off approach also insures that the talent stays great. Though I only know Mr. Nadal through his actions and deeds his focus is solely on the leaders he hires, not their output. Any person who has been around this business knows managing people is easier than managing work output. Talent is what drives great marketing. The talent to see what sells, the talent to package it, and the talent to promote it has driven the business since soap suds. Never mind if that talent is traditional, digital, mobile or whatever’s next. (What could possibly be next?)
MDC Partners stock grew last year while every other holding company’s tanked. Campaigns come and go and talent comes and goes, but in the marketing world “talent” is a powerful idea. Peace!