The Silicon Review
“We are building an industry-leading platform to address the evolving needs of the marketplace.”
Managing agency partnerships is hard. That’s why brand advertisers need a way – a platform – that can help them realize the transformational value of effectively managed and streamlined partnerships. Agency Mania Solutions helps make this happen through its automation (SaaS) and professional services that produce consistently higher outcomes along every step of the agency management continuum.
In establishing Agency Mania Solutions in 2013, co-founders Bruno Gralpois, Shaun Wolfe, and Teri Wiegman joined on a mission to create a cloud-based technology platform to help brands improve business performance by strengthening their relationships with core agency partners. All three co-founders come from complementary backgrounds with combined decades of experience on both the client and agency sides – the perfect recipe for this tech venture to flourish and become the industry’s leading platform. The company’s name was inspired by Gralpois’s first edition of Agency Mania (2010), which he wrote while leading a global function at Microsoft.
We recently interviewed the company’s co-founders to learn more about Agency Mania Solutions. Read on for excerpts from the interview.
Q. How uniquely does Agency Mania improve the ability of brand advertisers to effectively manage their valuable agency and supplier relationships?
Bruno Gralpois: We offer automated, Software as a Service (SaaS)-based solutions, designed to support the world’s largest brands in optimizing every critical aspect of the agency management life cycle: agency briefing; scope of work planning; financial benchmarking and reconciliation; agency performance management; roster and contract management; and KPI tracking. We are unique in that we implement custom software solutions that conform to each unique business and are tailored to their needs and processes. Our highly agile solutions adjust as the businesses do, and are unbiased, which means we do not try to steer clients one direction over another. We build the solution according to their needs, and we work with clients to identify new, enhanced features and modules to drive value that matters.
Q. What are the various SaaS solutions Agency Mania offers? How do these solutions work in favor of your clients?
Shaun Wolfe: Built in the backyard of Amazon and Microsoft, Agency Mania offers the most extensive modular platform of SaaS solutions available in the market, allowing organizations to realize greater value from their strategic supplier relationships. From choosing the right agency to managing their roster of global partners, our software allows companies to accurately scope and monitor global campaign work, effectively manage supplier resources and related financials, and gives them the ability to know where they are at any given moment on project milestones, deliverables, and budget. Other capabilities include managing and tracking performance of a company’s key partners, as well as best practices for managing marketing agencies and compliance. We help them automate the briefing process, agency contract management, and KPI-tracking dashboards. We are trusted by some of the largest brands in the world, including but not limited to American Express, IBM, GSK, Dell, WarnerMedia, Toyota, Mondelēz International, Novartis, etc. that are looking to realize the transformational value of effectively managed and streamlined partnerships.
Q. How skilled is the Agency Mania team of experts? How do they bring value to the company?
Teri Wiegman: We employ experts in managing the client–supplier relationship across networks, brands, and regional teams globally. Because of our deep client–agency experience, we understand the complexities and nuances of the organizational challenges of the largest brands in the world and their ecosystem of agencies and marketing suppliers. Each client engagement is unique, as 100% of their focus is on designing and implementing solutions tailored to the specific client needs and operating model, which drives adoption, ease of use, flexibility, and agility to evolve with the client and stay relevant. This custom approach makes our solutions far more preferable and superior, as adaptability and conformity to the client needs are a priority for this category. Our competitors’ off-the-shelf software simply fails to deliver the unique characteristics that contribute to the making of a successful, long-term solution for these large, complex organizations and ecosystems of agencies.
Q. What new endeavors is Agency Mania currently undertaking?
Bruno Gralpois: As our tools succeed expectations across our clients’ marketing ecosystem, the value is clearly scalable across other categories. And so, we have begun exploring ways to expand our value beyond “agencies” to other strategic supplier relationships. Our established leadership in the marketplace offers Fortune 200 brands who are looking to create greater value and return from their agency partnerships, with industry leading enterprise-grade custom software.
Q. Given how frequently circumstances change, what plans for transformation are you pursuing to remain relevant now and in the future?
Shaun Wolfe: Most of our efforts are tuned into what evolving needs are facing our clients, and how to best solve for those. Because of our custom approach, we are constantly building new, innovative solutions to address different needs. These are above and beyond our publicly available portfolio you see online. All our clients benefit from solution enhancements through new features and modules. Our consultative engagements often result in the birth of new capabilities, benefiting the industry as a whole.
Q. How do you stand out in the industry?
Bruno Gralpois: We realize that in today’s fast-moving, complex world, managing agency relationships is particularly hard. We make it easier. We are entering an era of relationship and talent capital, where a company’s greatest asset is its ability to compete successfully in the marketplace by relying on its ecosystem of valuable strategic partners. Advertising and marketing are the largest company expenditures, so large brands must operate more efficiently than ever with their agency partners to get the right outcome from these efforts. We stand out in helping companies make sure they achieve efficiency and their desired outcomes.
About the Leaders
Bruno Gralpois, Co-Founder & Principal
Bruno has been instrumental in establishing agency management as a central global discipline for many of the top 200 advertisers, utilizing strategies for ensuring efficient collaboration and driving high-impact results for advertisers and their agency partners. This dedication to improving advertiser–agency relationships has elevated him as an expert in the industry. He is the acclaimed author of Agency Mania (two editions), Success Freak, Magnifique, and more). He previously served as head of global marketing and operations at Visa Inc. and director of global agency strategy at Microsoft, and in other leadership positions in pre-IPO high-tech companies, including AvenueA/Razorfish, Visio, and Clearwire/Sprint. At Microsoft, Bruno received the Marketing Excellence Award from then-CEO Steve Ballmer for his continued global leadership.
Shaun Wolfe, Co-Founder & Principal
Shaun’s experience in the high-tech world spans 30 years, multiple continents, a half=dozen startups, more than 50 major product launches, multiple mergers and acquisitions, enterprise and consumer software, and CEO leadership for small to $150 million-plus companies. He is former president and CEO of WRQ Inc., a global enterprise software company (sold to Francisco Partners and later merged with Attachmate). Shaun combines extensive business experience with rich software knowledge to deliver practical and effective automated solutions to the market.
Teri Wiegman, Co-Founder & Principal
A former CEO of Rhythm Consulting Group and former VP of The Resonance Group, Teri has provided agency management consulting services for the past 15 years to Fortune 100 companies such as Microsoft, Visa, and HP. A trusted resource to her clients, Teri is an expert in developing and implementing robust agency management strategies, frameworks, and a broad range of programs. On the client side, Teri served as VP of Marketing for Onvia, a leading publicly traded provider of comprehensive government sales intelligence. She also worked as VP of marketing for Content Technologies, a leader in email security software.