How the digital transformation of the company is approached at Publicis Sapient

How the digital transformation of the company is approached at Publicis Sapient


It has now been two years since structural changes have been implemented at Publicis Sapient. These included what the company called the rebranding of Razorfish and the transfer of work from Publicis Sapient to Publicis Communications.

I recently asked Publicis Sapient CEO Nigel Vaz to update us on the results of the realignment.

Paul Talbot: What was the expected outcome and what did not go as planned? What turned out better?

Nigel Vaz: When Sapient was purchased, a number of brands came under the Sapient umbrella because they were seen through the “digital” prism.

As we know, the reality is that digital crosses all fields of activity. We quickly realized that we had to go beyond looking through the lens of brands to look through the lens of the issues we were solving for customers and how to put the right capabilities in the right place to do it.

This clarity has enabled us to make Publicis Sapient focus more on the digital transformation of the business while having the partnership within the Group on Marketing Transformation to bring end-to-end solutions to life.

Talbot: When working with a client and looking at ways to reinvent their business, what best practices from reinventing your own business can you spotlight?

Vaz: The inconvenient truth is that most companies are great at their core business, but not very good at rethinking the future of their business.

The first thing you need to start is to understand the goal of reinventing yourself. Quite often, companies view transformation through a singular lens like technology or data, but digital business transformation is not just about technology. It’s about transforming businesses to operate successfully in a digital world.

What comes with this is having a business that can operate in an environment of continuous change where technology is advancing at an exponential rate. Once you understand that it is this change that you are solving, you can begin to break down its components to understand what needs to be reinvented and how.

Several years ago, we took a step back and looked at companies and industries to identify six things large digital companies still do very well:

1. Clarity on the need they are meeting or the problem they are solving.

2. Understanding of the customer value that their product or service provides.

3. Understanding of the value of their business and how it can be valued.

4. An emphasis on the design of the experience – the physical experience, the digital experience, the whole experience.

5. Powered by engineering.

6. Refined using data and artificial intelligence.

As we evolved, we designed our business to be able to do all of these things so that we could partner with our customers to be able to do these things as well.

By partnering with our clients to transform, we help them both create an organization that can continually evolve with the changes that surround it and build the ability to identify and realize value through digital to their customers and their business.

Talbot: What changes in your customers’ expectations over the past two years do you find most significant?

Vaz: Over the past few years, customers have become even more focused on reducing their business costs, growing, delivering a better experience for their customers, and all with speed.

Their focus on these goals exists in the context of four connected forces all evolving together as they seek these …

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