TBWA launches shopper marketing division in Toronto

Managing director Marcus Evans heads up the first Canadian office of the Integer Group.
Marcus Evans' Picture

TBWA\Toronto is getting in on the shopper marketing game with the opening of its new division, the Integer Group, this month.

Part of the TBWA group, Integer is a promotional, retail and shopper marketing agency with offices in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North and South America.

The Canadian office, opening Oct. 26, will be headed up by managing director Marcus Evans, who has been with Integer for a couple years, opening offices in the Middle East and working with clients like P&G, Unilever and McCain. Evans’ background is in sales promotions and sponsorship, CRM and interactive. Before Integer he was with Proximity in Toronto.

The time was right to launch the division in Canada, Evans says. “In Canada you’ve got a very mature market place. Some people make the mistake of assuming the Canadians are just like Americans in fur coats.” But the commercial background, retail setting and mindset in Canada are completely different from the US, he says, so American shopper and consumer studies won’t always be applicable north of the border.

Evans is in the process of hiring staff for the office now, including roles in client services and specialist creative resources, and he says he’s aiming high, with the goal of recruiting the best shopper marketers in Canada. He’ll borrow mobile expertise from the Denver office when he needs it and digital savvy from the TBWA\Toronto office, with the goal of enhancing TBWA’s shopper marketing knowledge and using its expertise, so both sides of the operation will benefit.

Integer in the US is known for its monthly research, he says, and the Canadian office will follow suit. Evan’s first order of business is to understand the differences between the Canadian and US shopper.

“Integer’s approach is to really get under the skin of the shopper rather than relying on at-shelf promotions.”