MARCO named finalist for Best Agency of the Year in Southern Europe at the SABRE EMEA Awards after again winning the category last year. In addition, MARCO also places two finalist’s campaigns with Kraft Heinz Orlando and with Friends of Glass.
2020 was a challenging year. The agency stood by its clients and helped its clients overcome the difficulties caused by the Covid19 pandemic was saw an increase in internal comms, digital and video. On the other hand, MARCO has incorporated 24 new clients during this period, including IBEX35 firms, new technology leaders such as Audible and Snapchat; new tourism clients such as Dubai and Visit Finland; European institutions DG TAXUD and the European Investment Bank; as well as Nickel, part of the financial group BNP Paribas.
The increase in demand for internal communications, video and digital services, together with the addition of new clients, has partially offset the loss of revenue due to the crisis. Sectors that were particularly hit hard include events, tourism, retail and horeca. As a result, MARCO Group, which includes Influencia, Kela, Ejecutivos and its operations abroad, did 8.8 million euros in billings in 2020, compared to the approximately 10 million euros in billings in 2019 while maintaining an operating profit of over 11%.
Despite the initial uncertainty during the pandemic, the group has not considered the possibility of widespread redundancies in any of its 12 offices around the world. Instead, it used the situation as an opportunity to evolve its services, as well as to improve the skills of its consultants, enhancing their knowledge in the areas of digital and paid media. All this has been translated into a programme of internal training in new areas of expertise and improvement in skills linked to the digital environment.
In parallel, this investment in internal talent was complemented with the arrival of senior hires to reinforce its leadership team, including industry veteran Tomás Matesanz as Chief Innovation Officer and Samira Sitaïl who has been heading up operations in the Maghreb region and France since. Sitaïl was previously MD of the main Moroccan TV channel 2M and started her career as TV News Anchor-woman, while Matesanz was Global Head of Comms at Silversea, MD at LLYC and VP Comms and Public Affairs at CLIA, among others. Furthermore, MARCO incorporated Vassilia Orfanou as its Director of EU Affairs and Head of its newly opened Brussels Bureau.
MARCO’s growth has also gone hand in hand with its continued international expansion. In the last 12 months the group has opened new offices in Brussels, Berlin, London and Milan. MARCO has also initiated the process of acquiring Africa Communications Group, the leading pan-African communications agency based in Johannesburg with a presence in more than 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
MARCO also continued to demonstrate thought leadership. The publication of the English and French versions of the book ‘A Country Brand, a Branded Country´ coincided with the launch of the first ever Country Brand Awards. The jury of the Country Brand Awards was presided by Didier Lagae and was further composed by KOLS, industry experts and ambassadors. Furthermore the agency produced ‘The New Communication Frontiers’, a docuseries available on Amazon Prime Video in Spain, the UK and the US as well as on www.lasnuevasfronteras.com with subtitles in five languages. Through its five episodes, it shows how several communication frontiers are being redefined as reflected in its patented approach TFCOM® (Transcending Communication Frontiers). The docuseries explores how the internet makes geographical borders obsolete; how DirComs and MarComs need to work more closely together; how emotion wins out entirely on rational analysis, a key insight against populism and fake news. The final episode highlights changes inconsumer behaviour due to the Covid 19 pandemia as reflected by MARCO’s own study carried out in eight countries across LATAM and Southern Europe.
MARCO’s reason to be is to promote understanding. By optimising communication, MARCO brings employees, consumers, voters, stakeholders, tourists on one hand and institutions, brands, destinations, governments and companies on the other hand closer together. Understanding each other better means eliminating prejudices and reasons for hatred. Mutual understanding undermines racism. MARCO has been doing this for over 18 years while managing reputations and building brands. Many of its campaigns have received global industry recognition. In fact, MARCO is to this day, one of the most awarded independent communication consultancies in Southern Europe. Its founder and CEO, Didier Lagae, a climate leader, was recently named Global and European PR Professional of the Year by the Stevie Awards and PR Week, respectively. With 12 offices on 4 continents and 150 consultants, MARCO brings together unrivalled expertise in country branding, in the areas of sustainability and climate change and in the production of audiovisual content.