WPP takes the plastic out of Wire & Plastic Products at Cannes Advertising Festival 2019

While WPP had yet another successful Cannes Lions Festival it was the announcement from the company to take on a series of initiatives designed to ensure it is playing its part in tackling pollution from single-use plastics by the end of the year demonstrated to me the company vision of a creative transformation company.

WPP will no longer buy or provide single-use plastics such as bottles, straws, cutlery, and cups in any of its 3,000-plus agency offices and campuses worldwide. And it will make it easier for people to recycle their own plastic materials at work.

WPP has also signed the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, led jointly by UN Environment and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, thereby endorsing the vision of a circular economy for plastic in which it is designed never to become waste or pollution. Other signatories include Colgate-Palmolive, Danone, Johnson & Johnson, Mars, Nestlé, PepsiCo, SC Johnson, The Coca-Cola Company and Unilever.

The company has also committed to working with partners and clients to inspire consumers to think differently about plastic packaging and change their behavior; create more sustainable approaches to product and packaging design, and develop new systems for delivering and recycling products.

Facebook is among the first partners to collaborate; the two companies are exploring ways to work together to harness their collective global reach to drive action among consumers.

Plastic_RemovalThe Cannes announcement follows a special internal WPP summit in May which brought together people from across the company’s agencies to discuss how to reduce the impact of plastic on the planet, from redesigning products, packaging and experiences to creating closed-loop systems and using communications to improve recycling rates.

It also builds on various existing initiatives within WPP agencies. To kick off the program, WPP will host a series of “Unpack the Problem” creative hackathons over the summer to develop actionable ideas that help tackle plastic pollution.

Mark Read, CEO of WPP, said: “Our industry has the tremendous collective power to bring about change for the better, but our efforts have to begin at home. Taking the plastic out of Wire & Plastic Products by phasing out single-use plastics in our offices is just the first step. People expect companies to act responsibly and help them live more sustainably, and our clients look to us to help them deliver brands with purpose. We look forward to working with partners across the industry and using our creativity, insight, and scale to make a difference.”

On the Cannes Advertising award front, the WPP agencies brought home more than 180 Lions, including five Grand Prix: Air Max Graffiti Stores by AKQA São Paulo for Nike; Keeping Fortnite Fresh by VMLY&R Kansas City for Wendy’s; The Tampon Book: A Book Against Tax Discrimination by Scholz & Friends Berlin for The Female Company; The Last Ever Issue by VMLY&R Warsaw for Gazeta.pl, Mastercard and BNP Paribas (a collaboration with Wavemaker that also won a Titanium); and Bluesman, again by AKQA São Paulo, for Baco Exu do Blues.

Notable Gold-winning work included campaigns for Burger King and Coca-Cola by Ogilvy’s DAVID Miami; Wunderman Thompson London’s The Not So Beautiful Game for the National Centre for Domestic Violence; and The People’s Seat for the UN from a WPP team led by Grey London with BCW, Finsbury, Kantar, MediaCom, Townhouse Productions and Wildfire all contributing.

Salesforce Ohana Culture Alive and Well at the 2019 APAC Partner Conference

This week I was in Thailand for the Salesforce APAC Partners Conference at the beautiful Renaissance Phuket Resort and Spa.

Salesforce hosted their top fifty partners from across the region to join the Salesforce APAC Leadership team and APAC Alliances Leadership Team for an exclusive opportunity to network, interact and exchange business, whilst celebrating the success from FY19.

Salesforce cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) platform is a key partner to WPP and software platform for supercharging our client’s omnichannel customer first strategies across marketing, sales, commerce, and service. 

Salesforce has seen continuous growth over the years and over the last eight quarters in particular. The growth has been above 25% every quarter in FY 2018 as compared to the same quarter in FY 2017. In Q1 2019 (ended April 2019) the revenue grew by 24.3% y-o-y.

If you invested in Salesforce shares ten years ago in Salesforce, that decision would have paid off. A $1,000US investment made in May 2009, would be worth nearly $15,000 today for a total return of around 1,400%. Which over the same period, the S&P 500 has returned just over 250%.

Salesforce reported $13.3 billion in Total Revenues in FY 2018 from three revenue streams. the majority of the revenue comes from Cloud Based CRM Software which accounts for $9.6 billion in FY 2018 (72% of Total Revenues). This includes revenues generated from subscription and support of the Salesforce platform.

Then there is Cloud Software at $2.8 billion in FY 2018 (21.5% of Total Revenues). This includes revenues generated from subscription and support of Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, and Marketing & Commerce Cloud and finally Consulting and Services and $0.9 billion in FY 2018 (6.5% of Total Revenues). This includes revenues generated from any professional services provided by the company.

Enjoying dinner with my colleague Damien Brown
Executive Director, Partnerships APAC AKQA

Salesforce going forward will come from how companies use data integration across its multiple software suites to better understand and serve their customers. Using its Einstein artificial intelligence software, along with data integration technology from its 2018 acquisition of MuleSoft, Salesforce is promoting a strategy it calls Customer 360. Under this, Salesforce and its customers are developing applications to integrate and use customer data across sales, service, marketing and customer-engagement systems to be more responsive to customer needs.

While I enjoyed hearing about all the new innovations and cloud product development from the company what I enjoyed most is the strong focus Salesforce has on culture and values to drive digital transformation both internally and with customers.

They have this thing called the Ohana spirit. Drawing inspiration from the traditional Hawaiian philosophy of what it means to be “family,” and how families are bound together and responsible for one another. While the brand expression of this is a little cheesy I do find it very distinctive.

The Salesforce’s Ohana extends beyond their employees to partners, customers, and members of the communities. With Ohana ingrained into the Salesforce DNA, they collaborate, take care of one another, have fun together, and work to leave the world a better place.

The company has several prestigious “Best Workplace” lists the last couple of years including #3 in Best Workplaces in Technology 2019 and 2018, #2 in 2019 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For, #1 in 2018 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For, #1 in Best Workplaces for Giving Back 2018, #2 in Best Workplaces for Millennials 2018,#9 in Best Workplaces for Women 2018, #19 in Best Workplaces for Diversity 2018 and  #15 in Best Workplaces for Parents 2018.

The CEO, Marc Benioff, is a champion for gender pay equality.  Under his progressive leadership, he’s been able to fix pay discrepancies by dedicating over $8 million to correct compensation differences by gender, race, and ethnicity across the company.

While those awards should be proof enough of how employees feel about Salesforce, there are certain distinguishing features that make their culture a good platform for digital transformation. Salesforce has committed to the philosophy of treating its employees fairly and puts a lot of effort into making sure all employees are valued and rewarded.

It becomes very clear when spending time with the Salesforce employees they have a personal responsibility to live out and uphold the company values of Trust, Customer Success, Innovation, Giving Back, Equality, Wellness, Transparency, and Fun.

The 1-1-1 philanthropic model is also very powerful. A hot button for younger working generations is being able to serve their local communities. And since philanthropy and community service have become a vital part of the Salesforce culture, it has allowed the firm to engage its predominant Millennial and Generation Z employees to improve communities throughout the world.

They call their integrated philanthropic approach the “1-1-1” model. Salesforce donates 1 percent of its software, 1 percent of its equity, and 1 percent of its employees’ time to pay it forward. As a result, Salesforce has topped a list of workplaces that give back.

Since their founding, this unique social responsibility model has given “more than $240 million in grants, 3.5 million hours of community service, and provided product donations for more than 39,000 nonprofits and educational institutions.

During this Salesforce conference, the partners spent a day with the Salesforce leaders at the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary a final home for retired working elephants, set on 30 acres of the lush tropical jungle. We got to observe how elephants rehabilitate into forest life after decades of abuse and experience how incredible the largest land mammal on earth is during a day out of feeding, bathing, and farming.

Lastly, I was also privileged to hear a talk from Dr. Craig Challen and Dr. Richard Harris. An incredible story of leadership and team collaboration working in the unknown. These two have become household names in Australia thought national and international media after his heroic involvement in the Thai Cave rescue in 2018.

This previous cave diving experience combined with his expert medical knowledge, saw these two advise, overlook and navigate the treacherous and dangerous conditions to save the lives of twelve young soccer players and their coach. In 2019, Richard ‘Harry’ Harris, alongside Dr Craig Challen SC OAM, was named as the first dual Australians of the Year.

Thank you Charles Woodall Vice President, Head of Channels, Alliances, and Partners for Salesforce APAC for putting on such a wonderful event.

 

Adobe Summit 2019 Las Vegas

Adobe

The Adobe Summit in Las Vegas is where I find myself this week in the constant search for creativity using martech. It has been running day and night from March 26th and is wrapping up today April 2. The big pressure on companies and brands now to produce creatively using their current Martech investment is a key program of work for 2019.

Company web sites have evolved from the static content and word processor approach to the primary business, marketing and sales application to create brand preference that grows the companies e-commerce approach primarily driven via machine learning and new digital applications.

The high-pressure environment for CIOs, CTOs, and CMOs who are currently making decisions on their martech investment is now a constant conversation in many board rooms and investment working groups.

Brands need much more than just touching up of existing photos combining with some long-form copy to great a category winning customer-led business solution that drives new revenue. Hence why some feel when discussing technology license and renewal agreements their current Adobe tool investment has not gone far enough. More work to be done in other words.

Brands require creativity first to go alongside a digital economy strategy and then the technology and toolset license agreement that delivers and creates compelling and personalized customer presentations always looking to improve customer experiences and revenue outcomes.

This is done using frictionless customer journey programs using a combination of text, sound, and videos that can be assessed in omnichannel environments using gesture and voice commands.

At Adobe Summit, Adobe unveiled the latest Adobe Experience Cloud innovations, including Adobe Commerce Cloud and Marketo Engage, as well as global availability of Adobe Experience Platform.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly, Chegg CEO Dan Rosensweig, Intuit CIO Atticus Tysen and SunTrust Bank CMO Susan Johnson shared their respective enterprise playbooks for digital transformation. Additionally, Adobe announced key strategic partnerships with ServiceNow, Microsoft, and LinkedIn to accelerate Customer Experience Management (CXM) across enterprises.

Adobe continues to push to be the only martech tool provider that is constantly acquiring leading capabilities across the customer journey, adding marketing automation and commerce capabilities to bookend its strong digital foundation of content and data within experience cloud.

WPP is a key partner to Adobe for many years and has strategically developed a leading set of capabilities to respond to market demand for agile, technology-enabled customer experiences across the Adobe experience cloud suite.

At WPP we have over 2,225 Adobe Experience cloud practitioners, over 375 Adobe Experience Cloud Certificates and 6 Adobe Experience Cloud Advisory Board seats so our commitment is high to this martech partner.

The Adobe Sumit was attended by over 16,000 people that included Adobe direct clients as well as clients that use Adobe through a myriad of partners and add ons who assist organizations implement their big, complex solutions.

At WPP our unrivaled Adobe capability has the most comprehensive experience and expertise than anyone else in the industry. Period.

Our specialized WPP agency brands have a long-standing and deep relationship with Adobe and other experience technology companies for many years.

Adobe is a long partner of mine personally both direct to client and to the agency as a toolset for our creativity. At WPP we use them in four key areas of our business offering across communications, experience, commerce, and technology.

WPP as a creative transformation company know two things: there’s a future in becoming a systems integrator for the likes of Adobe and it is a key offering when stitching together Microsoft, Google, Salesforce and other web CMS platforms together to create business solutions.

The prospects of one company owning all of a customer’s data remains a scary one for our clients and marketing leaders now either have full responsibility, or part of a key stakeholder in the companies overall enterprise technology decisions and that landscape constantly changes.

Adobe is a giant tech company at a market cap of ($130.21 billion) but they are still small in the titanic battle martech industry is on. If you decide Adobe you will likley need to integrate with Microsoft ($919.36 billion) SAP($141.80 billion), Oracle ($184.55 billion) and IBM (127.10 billion) via your direct digitial ecosystem or via partner programs.

Outside of these key martech players, you also have integration points to the media platform providers with the market caps of Google ($844.52 billion), Amazon ($900.53 billion) and Salesforce ($122.52 billion) and LinkedIn ($26.2 billion acquisition from Microsoft.

This challenge of constant change and evolution of technology keeps everyone at WPP engaged and challenged and we enjoy being a strategic partner at the intersection of all these points with our clients.

Our WPP agency team were aplenty at the Adobe Summit as we scattered ourselves across the 300 sessions and labs either presenting or we found ourselves within the eleven content tracks that included;

  • Advertising
  • Analytics & Data Management
  • B2B Marketing Automation with Marketo
  • Content & Experience Management
  • Design-Led Customer Experiences
  • Email & Omnichannel Marketing
  • Experience-Driven Commerce with Magento
  • Marketing Innovations
  • Personalization
  • Platform, Machine Learning & Ecosystem

The most interesting aspect of the Adobe summit this year for me personally was seeing Microsoft getting heavily involved in the conference with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadellaand keynoting and showing the integration of their business tools and putting some life into the category beyond Office.

Microsoft is doing great with Azure but the other office tools and larger applications like the Dynamics portfolio have some slow traction in client uptake. What was signaled at the summit was the relationship between Dynamics CRM and the Adobe marketing suite is going to get stronger. Microsoft and Adobe pushed an extension of the Open Data Initiative (ODI) partnership with SAP and their investment in Account-Based Experiences (ABX) with LinkedIn is going to see a lot of new opportunities.

Adobe and ServiceNow announced plans should enable integrations between Adobe Experience Platform and the ServiceNow Now Platform to enhance Adobe’s real-time customer profiles with ServiceNow’s rich customer support data. This will create a more comprehensive view of a customer across the entire digital journey, from acquisition to service. Additionally, Adobe Experience Cloud solutions will integrate with the ServiceNow Now Platform, including its Customer Service Management (CSM) solutions.

Adobe and ServiceNow will partner to enable their mutual customers to integrate and leverage digital workflows, service catalogs, intelligent content and knowledge management capabilities (see press release).

Frank Health Insurance Google Voice Assistant

Frank Health Insurance has launched Australia’s first voice app via WPP AU NZ whiteGREY, for the Private Health Industry (PHI) category, built for the Google Assistant.

The ‘frank insurance’ app provides easy answers to the complicated PHI questions that plague the industry. 

To get access, users simply ask any google assistant to ‘speak to frank insurance’.  The app has been developed as an extension of frank’s ‘easy as frank’ brand platform.

frank_wG voice App Image 2.jpg

OK Google ‘Speak to Frank Insurance’

whiteGREY head of technology Juan Garcia said the voice app is designed for members and non-members alike, as both a customer utility and demonstration of frank’s brand ethos.

Says Garcia: “With the cross-channel voice era now well and truly here, service categories like private health insurance are looking for innovative ways to keep up with public expectations of simplicity and convenience.

“frank found themselves uniquely suited to lead the PHI industry into voice technology, not only because of the brand’s role as a digital insurer but because of a mission to set the standard in ease. With imminent changes to the category in the near future, an app for consumers to easily get the right answers was a great opportunity to set the brand apart.  We knew immediately what was needed and what would make it unnecessarily complicated.”

Says Diane Pavlicevic, who holds duals roles as the head of frank Health Insurance as well as marketing head of parent company GMHBA: “As a digital health insurer that lives to simplify a complicated category, building Australia’s first health insurance voice app was a natural decision. Not only is it a clear demonstration of the ‘easy as’ proposition that defines frank so well, it sets up the brand to continue innovating into the future.”

The frank insurance voice app will be promoted through a media partnership with Spotify and accompanied by an awareness campaign encouraging consumers to not direct their PHI questions to the wrong people. This will run purely on digital channels (display and social).

Joining WPP as Executive Director, Marketing Technology.

WPP

I’m excited to announce that WPP has appointed me into a newly created role of Executive Director, Marketing Technology Australia, and New Zealand. I start today located at 1 Kent Street, Miller Point in Sydney.

WPP AUNZ is the leading marketing communications services group in Australia and New Zealand. No other group comes close to our scale and breadth of capability comprising 5,500 people working across over 80 companies in over 170 offices.

WPP starts 2019 following twelve months of unprecedented growth and client investment in technology services, and my new role aims to provide a valuable resource for all WPP AUNZ Group agencies to access best in breed technology and programme delivery capability.

I am excited to be joining at a time of new WPP vision to be a creative transformation company, bringing together creativity and expertise in technology and data – with the purpose of building better futures for its people and clients.

WPP’s future offer will cover four areas: communications, experience, commerce, and technology.

  • Communications
    Focuses on advertising, content, media, public relations and public affairs, and healthcare.
  • Experience
    Reflects the growing need of clients to create new brand, product and service experiences.
  • Commerce
    Allows WPP to expand its growing omnichannel commerce business and its work with brands to help them succeed in marketplaces such as Alibaba and Amazon.
  • Technology
    Underpins WPP’s work with both CMOs and CIOs to build and operate marketing technology that supports their consumer- and customer-facing activities.

My role is to focus on establishing an interface for all WPP agencies, connecting with global WPP network shared service models, plus evaluating and filling any resource gaps at each of the Group’s agency brands – while leveraging existing capabilities. I look forward to collaborating with many of my colleagues in the expanding MarTech and AdTech industry.

This role is about providing guidance and support to our agencies today while future-proofing our client relationships. It’s about being technically astute and deeply aware of digital, technical, scientific and business model innovations. Connects these to business benefits and human values is essential. As a transformational professional, I also know how much it is about a ‘felt experience’. To be able to bring the worlds best transformation tools, processes and techniques to maximise the benefits and minimise distress.

In other words, evidence-based decisions to understand and apply the role of evidence to all our client work and solutions.

I have been working at the intersection between business strategy, creativity, technology, data, marketing, and digital customer experience for more than twenty-five years, living and working in the United States, China, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore and it’s always great to be based in Sydney.

I will be calling on my agency side experience working with Omnicom and more recently Dentsu Aegis, and client-side roles with Microsoft, Newscorp and Telstra who have taught me so many life lessons to use straightforward language without lessening complexity.   Able to bring order and simplicity to ambiguity and complexity.

I feel very privileged to return to Australia and join an organization dedicated to creative transformation. I have always been passionate about how brands and businesses combined with technology can create participation with consumers to enhance the customer experience and advance the users purpose.

Connection Oils. The language of touch and smell.

Wellness is one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing industries. Consumer demand for wellness services and products is higher than ever with recent reports indicating the sector is worth $3.4 trillion, making it nearly three times larger than the $1 trillion worldwide pharmaceutical industry.

One component of the industry that seems to touch a number of Wellness sectors is the market for Essential Oils which is expected to touch US$17.36 billion by the start of 2019.
Further, the Essential Oils market is projected to expand at a CAGR of 9.60% between 2019 and 2022 and attain a value of US$27.49 billion by the end of 2022.

Although the future of the Essential Oils market looks thriving, it may face obstacles in its growth trajectory from the high price of essential oils and the confusion of its use among consumers regarding their benefits, however, the increasing demand for essential oil in aromatherapy and various natural remedies are expected to propel this market further.

21st & Dolores my personal business venture is working on a minimum viable product in the Essential Oils market and is now seeking first-round investment.
It’s called Connections Oils and to learn and follow its progress click here.

Always be useful first

A constant theme in my professional life that I openly express to clients, and also write about on this blog is how technology and digital channels continue to drive people to become more demanding of brands and businesses.

People are expecting to be able to do anything they want, anytime and everywhere with the companies and brands that they deal with.

This means all manner of industries are changing their business approaches and becoming increasingly digitized, seeking and demanding a variety of new interactive services to meet what is the most demanding consumer the planet has ever experienced.

In my professional career, I have always been passionate about three key business strategies for brands. Each hyperlink provides further details on this theory.

1. Be customer centric in everything you do and make your brand useful to people first, before doing anything else.

2. Understand the entire customer experience you are operating in and advance the user’s purpose pre, during and post any engagement and transaction of value.

3. Don’t create friction or worse take up oxygen with messages that are not important at that point of the user’s goal. Always attempt to create twenty-four seven customer led experience that continues to be optimized both online and offline.