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Business-to-business marketing agency Stein IAS is opening a Tokyo office this month and also launching an agency network that will allow it to scale its global presence. Four partner agencies have been accredited: Ark in Benelux, ID in the Nordic countries, Marco in the Czech Republic and wob in Germany.
The Stein IAS Tokyo office will serve the needs of existing clients who are marketing to Japanese buyers, said Tom Stein, CEO of Stein IAS, Americas. It will also engage Japanese companies that are building a presence in European, Latin American and North American markets.
The agency’s six core offices and its partner network will function as hub and spoke, offering consistent service across a growing number of markets, Stein said. Partners will carry the Stein IAS approach, tools and technologies to geographies outside of the company’s established footprint, which includes offices in London, Manchester, New York, Paris and Shanghai.
The partner network will be functional on launch, Stein said. “These agencies are all B2B specialists. The network is an affiliation of agencies that have committed to using our model and our processes. We are not just beginning this process. We’re ready to pull the trigger.”
The inaugural partner agencies all are listed as members of the existing Business to Business Network, a global organization of independent agencies formerly known as the Business Branding Network. Stein IAS formed in a 2013 merger of two agencies that were part of the BBN network, and Robert Morrice, CEO of Stein IAS, EMEA, served as a longtime board member and led the organization at the time of the merger. Stein IAS, however, is not part of the current BBN membership roster.
Stein IAS expects agencies in Australia, East Asia, India and South America to join its network in coming months. All partners will be B2B specialists that have been certified to work with both Oracle Marketing Cloud and the Stein IAS agency model, dubbed Mi 3.
“There will need to be a cultural fit, too,” Morrice said in a statement. “It’s important for clients that no matter which office they walk into, it feels and acts as one. Our company values are the backbone of our model, so we will be recruiting agencies which live and breathe the same principles, whilst maximizing their own potential in their own territories.”
The move to build a network comes one year after the merger of New York-based Stein + Partners Brand Activation and U.K.-based IAS b2b Marketing. “It’s always been part of the plan,” Stein said. “This is the next big step in our evolution and expansion.”
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