connected thinking

When agencies work in silos, thinking about a brand is a relay, with one department or agency handing off their thinking to another. But in today’s world of connected media and connected consumers, brands need connected thinking.

As independent communications agencies, we’ve turned the profit-center model on its head. Our talent is free (and encouraged) to collaborate, iterate and beta wherever the idea and need may lead. The underlying engine that keeps the wheel turning is the belief that Local Is King.

Public vs. Independent
The Big Deal.

Independent marketing agencies live by the mantra "Results Before Profit," making them distinctly different from multinationals. Running independent, owner-led businesses means they understand the true value of ROI. They report to brands, not shareholders.

Responsibility is placed on the structure, processes and the people doing the work. Gone are the endless layers of decision making, so often associated with large public networks, where great ideas are often destroyed by corporate decision makers who don’t fully comprehend the local market and customer expectations. The independent agency model is more responsive to the changing and varied needs of the brand and more in-tune with what resonates with each agency's local audience. It’s collaborative and fast instead of linear and slow.

With bureaucratic layers removed, our teams are better able to focus on doing their best work and seeing the direct impact of their efforts on a brand’s business.

our process

Great creative work is steeped in an understanding of the brand’s positioning and local customer insights. When agencies listen to each other, appreciate that "Local Is King" and know how to work in global alignment, the process is hugely insightful and beneficial to all involved.

ICOM has two approaches.

Centralized Structure

In this approach, the lead office centralizes the business. Overarching strategy, creative development and media engagement are determined at the lead office, working in concert with in-country offices and regional brands. The executive creative director, media director, PR director and digital director at the lead office are responsible for the delivery of all in-country work and coordinate with all participating offices.

In-country offices still present their own work and are expected to have close working relationships with the brands—both at the corporate level as well as regional. But it is coordinated in the lead office. Billing and all data and analytics are centralized through the lead office.

Multiple Regions

In this approach, the lead agency plays the same role in establishing overarching strategy, creative development and media engagement, working with the in-country offices. Once that’s agreed upon, the regions work independently to develop creative, PR, digital and media plans, although it’s still vetted internally. The relationship occurs at the in-country level with the regional agency leader. Decisions are made at the in-country level. Invoicing occurs at the regional level in that currency.

While decisions are made at the in-country level, a centralized core of KPI setting, reporting and data analytics remain centralized with the lead agency. This has been a proven tool to ensure that while the various deliverables coming off the overarching strategy may vary by market, the delivered business results do not.


The independent communications agencies of ICOM are beholden to clients, not shareholders. Clients come first. Always.

Our agency leaders are personally invested in every endeavor and take responsibility for their team’s results. We call this "Grown Up Care."

Our approach is collaborative and fast instead of linear and slow. Think simplicity rather than complexity.

Owner-managed businesses understand the true value of ROI. They put your money where their mouth is.

ICOM agencies apply key local insights to every piece of work they produce. Brands are global but audiences are local. Local is King.

Our agencies know their markets. Each follows the guidance of the lead agency and implements effectively in their respective countries at the same high standard. This ensures global delivery with top talent participating and located at every point of execution.