Marketing Tech Symposium 2020

This week I attended the Marketing Tech Symposium with Ashton Media.

It’s a yearly event and an opportunity to discuss with inspiring people to learn about local marketing technology work as well as connect with clients and potential clients alongside technology solution providers in a sophisticated and relaxed environment. The Hunter Valley NSW traditional lands of the Wonnaruah people in November is beautiful and it didn’t disappoint.

 

 

 

This year WPP AUNZ COE partnered with Microsoft and LinkedIn to deliver a keynote talk ‘How Martech can get you a seat at the top‘. 

The panel included myself, Isabel Boniface, Martech Industry Lead, Microsoft, Lara Brownlow, Head of Agency & Channel Solutions, LinkedIn and Rose Herceg, Chief Strategy Officer, WPPAUNZ.

WPP AUNZ is a Gold Microsoft Partner, and we were joined by our agencies, including AKQA, Wunderman Thompson, Ogilvy, VMLY&R, and GroupM, who enjoyed a real-world and virtual experience to promote Creativity powered by Technology.

Traditionally WPP AUNZ is the partner for the CMO and Microsoft with CTO, and we discussed our leanings toward Australia’s digital transformation during 2020 when you bring these executive work streams together.

We discussed our experience in getting buy-in alongside a realistic Martech budget and program of work that keeps an accountable customer experience, with accessibility and business growth objectives aligned to transform business in Australia.

Join our WPP AUNZ LinkedIn Martech Community

We have made some progress this year and as Scott Brinker editor of @chiefmartec. expressed in his keynote digital transformation is growing much faster with the COVID-19 impacts that are driving much faster organisational change. 

We discussed some of the problems and our concern that the Marketing Executive leadership on Australian companies is too small. 

In fact, LinkedIn revealed that only 2.6% of firms’ board members have marketing experience. While we feel this is short-sighted, we do see there are opportunities through the need for Marketing and Technology professionals to do more to change board perception that Marketing matters more than ever.

In an ever-increasing digitally-driven economy, customer experience is king. 

Data nouns we need to learn

An intangible asset such as brand value, customer equity, and perceived innovation accounts for over 80% of enterprise value and acts as a primary driver for a companies relevance.

Marketing matters more than ever. In an ever-increasing digitally-driven economy, customer experience is king. Intangible asset (such as brand value, customer equity, and perceived innovation) accounts for over 80% of enterprise value and acts as a primary driver of a stock price. 

Advertising is a highly effective business investment when used in digital channels. We discussed companies’ total profit return on marketing investment (ROI) over three years. The average campaign has a return of 324%. 

The watch out? Over 50% of this return is ignored when only short-term measurement and assessment is applied.

Workflow verbs to be creative

Customer experience can be risk assessed like any other capital expenditure and delivers an excellent return on operating expenditure and investment. While this ratio dipped in 2019 and now, in the face of a pandemic, recognition, and priority have been given to marketing to retain customers and maintain brand awareness.

The WPP AUNZ COE, was established to help our clients transform their businesses, unlocking untapped growth through the power of breakthrough Creativity. 

We help to reinvent our client’s business by embedding data and Technology at the heart of everything our clients do, to help them change faster than the world around them. 

Our WPP AUNZ and Microsoft partnership are expressed with the saying Actionable Imagination. We do this through the best-in-class application of Technology + Creativity.

UI/UX  language to create accessibility, engagement and growth

Our Partnership was formed to empower every person, and every organisation in Australia and New Zealand to achieve more through the power of creative ideas made real.

Microsoft and WPP AUNZ believe strongly in Marketing Executive leadership to increase on Australian boards. Boards being more customer-centric via marketers can not only create but sustain a marketing and growth flywheel that drives revenue and growth.  

The flywheel starts with data and marketers are the best place to understand the power of Data. Data drives success today and tomorrow.

There’s a reason it’s the first step in the customer experience ecosystem. The more useful data we have about our customers, the smarter we can be about building relationships with them. Turning that data into insights is the next step. This is where we turn to the power of AI to analyze the data and help give us insights on customers’ needs and predict their intent that improves engagement.

Governance grammar to take  to your boards

Reach and convert more customers. Those insights can then be driven across all of your customer, sales, and marketing channels to help you reach and convert more customers.

We discussed the need to get the language of business along side marketing and technology and with that we launched two workshops.

Friday, 11th December 2020 | 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM (GMT+11:00) Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney

What is Artificial Intelligence, and why should you and your organisation care? Our AI Masterclass for Marketers identifies key AI building blocks and think critically about them. Facilitated by Professor Genevieve Bell Australian National University. Register Now 

 

UNLOCKING THE VALUE OF YOUR DATA WORKSHOP #1

Data disconnection hinders brand growth and blocks the potential value of marketing technology investments. The ability to use data to drive more valuable experiences for customers is what will help brands accelerate their technology transformation. Our workshop is designed to help brands accelerate their technology architecture transformation. By mapping current architecture, identifying CX challenges, and defining future state data objectives, you can set-up your #MarTech #ecosystem for future fluidity and digital acceleration. Register Now

Which-50 Post: Opinion: Integrating Artificial Intelligence Into How We Live, Work, And Communicate

Artificial intelligence touches some form of our life every day. Not only does it change the way we see and interact with brands, it also improves the way we manage brands.

Efficiency, accuracy, and automation are currently the key advantages of working with AI technologies so it is imperative for brands to understand AI and how it can enhance the overall customer experience journey.

For example, Facebook uses facial recognition to recommend who to tag when you upload a photo. Facebook is now claiming that its AI DeepFace program has a 97 per cent success rate in recognizing whether two images are of the same person or not – compared to 96 per cent for humans.

When on Google, AI uses deep learning to rank our search results. Netflix uses machine learning to personalise our recommendations. Amazon uses natural language processing to give us the news delivered by Alexa. The Sydney Morning Herald’s website uses AI to write data-driven articles to support our daily editorial consumption. From smarter web searches to e-commerce recommendations to voice assistants, AI is integrated into how we live, work, and communicate in the world.

Connected devices now capture unthinkable volumes of data: every transaction, every customer gesture, every micro- and macro-economic indicator: in fact, all the information that can inform better decisions. In response to this new data-rich environment, we have now started to adapt our workflows when we fuse creativity with technology.

Moving from data-driven to AI-driven is the next phase of our business evolution. Embracing AI across company workflows affords better processing of structured data and allows for the touch of human creativity to contribute in complementary ways.

Early in my career, human judgment was the central processor of any business decision-making. Just about any input in the creative process, we relied on highly-tuned intuitions, developed from years of experience to pick the right idea, develop the correct creative execution, and then determine the right media spend. Experience and gut instinct were two key factors available to discern right from bad, high from low, and risky vs. safe.

Over time we have learned that advancement in technology can provide the evidence to enhance and support a decision or create an output—getting the balance right as AI advances are both a challenge, a responsibility, and where the magic can be found.

Different Strokes
AI is often confused with marketing automation, yet the two are fundamentally different. AI mimics human intelligence decisions and actions, while automation focuses on streamlining repetitive, instructive tasks.

Automation has been around for some time and continues to be integrated into most marketing operations such as auto-generation of emails or mobile alerts to customers when a customer data signal has been triggered along with a customer decision map.

Artificial intelligence tries to solve problems that occur in the world as it exists, many centres on what people had initially been created. We can teach and use AI to do some pretty creative problem-solving solutions if we can understand this.

Technology does not suppress creativity, in fact, technology enhances creativity. The difference is that creativity comes from observing the world, interpreting it, and bringing new concepts and ideas. In other words adding humanity, which is not something a machine is ever going to be able to do.

Technology and AI advancement do however have significant implications for a Chief Marketing Officer especially in terms of where to spend time and find differentiation. Marketing is now about creating an experience across the entire customer journey and less about creating messages about the product you sell.

To learn more about Automation and Control in an AI powered world, check out Secret & Lies ‘Humanity and Machine’ podcast with special guest Lee Hickin, Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft Australia.

Humanity and the Machine – WPP AUNZ Secret & Lies Series

WPP AUNZ

WPP AUNZ is invested in getting under the skin of our clients’ audiences and this involves constantly building our knowledge to better understand the attitudes and behaviours of Australians and New Zealanders.

Secrets & Lies is WPP AUNZ’s major thought leadership platform created by our Chief Strategy Officer Rose Herceg.

Rose Herceg

Rose Herceg, Chief Strategy Officer, WPP AUNZ

Each of the research studies explores the difference between what we say out loud and what we really think across a range of topics that are particularly relevant to our clients.

What are the public values reported versus the private truths hidden? What are the secrets and the lies and where are the opportunities to engage and connect that lie in these cracks.

As technology plays an even more important role than ever in how we function as a society, what better time to examine ‘humanity and the machine’ and explore our relationship with tech.

How is humanity being improved by technology?

What are the innovative ways emerging technologies are reshaping how we work, live and transact? What do we really feel about the role of technology in our lives? And where do ethics fit in a global pandemic when the old rules no longer apply?

Our findings from the report with contributions from The Ethics Centre and others, show that 82 per cent of Australians believe technology has benefitted humanity and 75 per cent say it has greatly improved their life.

However, 80 per cent want more oversight on the ethical questions around new tech and 63 per cent feel anxious about how quickly technology is changing our lives.

Other key findings from the report include:

  • Parents worry about their children’s online behaviour and believe they should vet the profiles they create. Most Australian parents (83 per cent) say they would force their child to delete a digital profile that makes them uncomfortable.
  • Almost two-thirds (63 per cent) mistakenly believe that they own their child’s digital footprint until they turn 18.
  • Most Australians (80 per cent) would never want photos of children and family made available to third parties. This privacy concern was higher than for any other type of data or information.

For all the extraordinary benefits and breakthroughs, we’re constantly seeking the humanity in tech check out the panel.

How will it help us, protect us, enable us? How should we shape the relationship between humanity and the machine? Will this tech protect our secrets and expose the lies?

WPP AUNZ’s CEO Jens Monsees

Chief Strategy Officer Rose Herceg and our special guest panel:

Melanie Silva, VP & Managing Director, Google Australia & NZ

Pip Marlow, CEO & Executive Vice President, ANZ , Salesforce​

Lee Hickin, National Technology Officer, Microsoft

Dr Matt Beard, Fellow, The Ethics Centre

And host: The Insiders’ David Speers​

Accessibility verses inclusivity

The enormous – and underserved – market for people with disabilities is ripe for innovation and disruption. Companies that understand this and take advantage of the opportunity will be making a strategic decision with long-term benefits.

I wanted to dedicate this months blog post to Christina Mallon who leads Inclusive Design at WPP agency Wunderman Thompson, where she consults brands on how to implement inclusive design practices into their business strategies.

Christina is a woman at the forefront of an important movement towards inclusivity in design and advertising. She has a unique and special voice, championing individuals often ignored by these industries–particularly those burdened by physical disabilities.

At the start of Christina’s professional career, her arms slowly became paralyzed. The transition to “disabled” was challenging but has never slowed her down for a second. As a young digital marketing professional starting her career with a physical “disability” she felt under-represented as a consumer. Rather than being discouraged, she recognized the opportunity to grow awareness and make a measurable impact within the industry.

This realization inspired her to start an inclusive design practice at Wunderman Thompson and lead one of the only incubators focus on wearable tech for people with disabilities called Open Style Lab. She has partnered with brands like Macy’s, IKEA, Tommy Hilfiger, and Microsoft on how to make their customer experiences more inclusive.

Christina outlines her point of view of accessibility verses inclusivity.

Accessibility enables people with disabilities to make use of products and services, but it is very often an item on a checklist rather than part of the DNA of a design.

Inclusive design puts usability by the largest number of people – including those with disabilities – at the very heart of the creative process. The end result can be a hands-free controller for a videogame, a handbag with Velcro closing for people with limited upper-body mobility or a space with lowered countertops for people who use wheelchairs. Inclusive design works best when it’s not intended for a specific need, but rather benefits anyone who uses it.

Understanding disabilities

Disabilities can be divided into four categories: mobility, vision, hearing and neurological. Simply put, a disability might seem like a personal health condition but the World Health Organization (WHO) does not define it that way. Instead, it says that disability reflects the interaction of the features of a person and the features of the society they live in. Disability occurs when a product, service or environment is not suited to a person’s capabilities.

Getting started: how do you design inclusively?

On the surface this would seem a varied and difficult task, with as many solutions as there are different disabilities. But this is not the case. The goal of inclusive design is to create one product that works for all. Instead of helping people conform to inflexible systems, products and services should be able to adapt to the capabilities of whoever needs to use them.

We can understand this better by looking at the difference between an accessible parking spot and a smart assistant with a screen. The parking spot improves access to an already existing infrastructure that is not designed to cater for people with disabilities. A smart assistant with a screen can be adapted to the needs of whoever is using it. It might enable someone with limited mobility to turn on lights or someone with limited vision to hear the news, but it can also enable a non-disabled person do those things as well.

Three core principles of inclusive design

Recognise exclusion. Exclusion occurs when we use our own biases to solve problems. Inclusion requires us to consider the widest possible set of capabilities of the people who might be using a product or service.

Learn from diversity. In designing for people with disabilities, we must recognise that a key feature of their daily lives is adaptation. We’re not designing for limitations but rather for people who can adapt to new situations. In recognising this, we can unlock the true potential of the design for the people who it is intended to serve.

Solve for one, extend to many. Inclusive design focuses on what’s universally important to all people. If you create a solution that works well for someone who cannot hear, you might be surprised to find out that it also increases the productivity and improves the life of a person who can. A simple example might be a self-driving car: it enables a blind person to increase her or his mobility, but it would also likely be a safer and more convenient option for anyone else.

Marketers in Pyjamas

More than anything in a very long time, the global coronavirus pandemic will reorganize all our lives on a major scale, whether it’s the immediate effects on daily life or its longer-term economic impact.

How we get, our industry information is no different. Trade news, publishing, and podcasts are changing too. Production teams are increasingly shifting to remote workflows, and independents are bracing for hits to their business models.

Jules Lund’s Tribe, with the support of Facebook, is a good example of doing something new. They launched a new video series called Marketers in Pyjamas, in a bid to keep the marketing industry connected, learning, and growing as they work from home and grapple with the long-term effects of the COVID-19 outbreak.

I was invited to join Jules with Rachael Powell the CMO of Xero to have an off the cuff discussion on what we are finding during COVID-19. See the link below for the full video interview.

It’s great to have programs like Marketers in Pyjamas this during COVID-19 as innovative marketers around the world are always craving inspiration. To hear the weird and wonderful ideas floating around the minds of the world’s most creative marketers each week, as they share their experimentation and the ingenuity born from it.

Early this month, I joined a great discussion on Paul McIntyre, MI3 Podcast. This weekly wrap of the “must-know” developments in Marketing, Media, Agency, and Technology for leaders and emerging leaders in the industry.

Paul is a veteran industry journalist who talks each week with guest marketers who are in the know on what matters at the nexus of marketing, agencies, media, and technology. I was asked to join Citi’s Roger Slater to pour a little cold water on Gartner’s prediction that 80 percent of marketers will ditch personalisation by 2025.

Brand Traction principal Jon Bradshaw also joined the discussion saying “herd behaviour” going on among marketing teams rushing to stay “on-trend” around CX and personalisation without deep interrogation into their strategy and the efficacy of these deployments. It was a robust conversation.

Mi3 is a contemporary take on an industry journal – part journalism, part equities-style analysis and is producing some great content during COVID-19. It is designed to be different in its conversations across the nexus of marketing, agencies, media, and tech. Paul is doing an exceptional job at finding the balance between it all.

It’s always a pleasure to be invited to have a discussion on the marketing landscape. Thanks, Paul and Jules, for the opportunity to be on your shows.

Bunnings lower prices is just the beginning

Bunnings Group managing director Michael Schneider, revealed last year the hardware giant intentions to fire-up its digital and omnichannel offerings across Australia and New Zealand. That decision has put them in a great position during COVID-19.

Australia’s strict social distancing measures and the closure of all non-essential businesses have helped control the spread of COVID-19, but has also severely hurt most retailers aside from supermarkets and led to large layoffs in the sector.

While some of the Bunnings stores in New Zealand remain closed in line with the country’s stricter measures against COVID-19, in Australia, the business has experienced significant demand and growth due to the introduction of a number of digital and low touch economy programs now up and running.

With a workforce of 43,000 people, the Wesfarmers-owned business rolled out in 2019 a number of test and learn projects to make sure the company could harness digital commerce and to learn the impacts of shifting sales into a different channel to see what worked and what didn’t.

As Wesfarmers announced financial results this week, sales growth has accelerated at Bunnings since December 2019 as customers work from home and undertake home improvements during the lockdown. Sales growth in Bunnings in the March quarter and the first three weeks of April increased compared to levels achieved in the December half, when Bunnings’ sales rose 5.3 per cent.

Schneider’s vision to focus investment in technology, not just as an enabler but also as a line item that people, homes, and lifestyles are become increasingly digitised.

Over the last twelve months Bunnings have created and now offer a wide range of products available to buy online, click to collect, click to delivery and drive and collect, including lighting, sheds, bathroom, kitchen, and plants.

Click & Collect is available on any product that is marked ‘Buy online’ and ‘Pick up in-store. Once your order is processed, you’ll receive confirmation letting you know that it’s ready to pick up. To pick up your order, bring your confirmation email and ID to the Online Pick-up Counter at the front of the store.

Click and Delivery is offered to customers in most locations, this includes stocked key items. Depending on the location, size, and service requested, a reasonable delivery fee will be applied to the customer’s order.

As Bunnings continues to follow government advice relating to COVID-19, they have adapted to how they operate to make sure customers are safe, while ensuring customers have access to the products they need. Another more recent addition is Drive & Collect option available at 250 of Bunnings’ larger stores around Australia — excluding Tasmania.

DIY enthusiasts just need to complete their purchase online, wait for notification that their order is ready, and select their preferred pickup date and time. Then, when you drive to the store, you’ll park in a designated drive and collect bay, and text or call the store to let them know you’ve arrived. All you need to do next is wait for a staff member to bring out your goods and put them in your car boot.

While finding and ordering products from home have plenty of options. The real-world channel has also received an addition with the recently launched a Bunnings Product Finder App to make shopping in-store even easier. The app is available now in the iOS app store and will available for Andriod devices in the future.

Bunnings strategy that their customer and their families will be spending more time working, learning and relaxing at home could not be more true during COVID-19. Wesfarmers said at last weeks quarterly results, the Bunnings sales growth for the third quarter and the first three weeks of April speeding up over the first-half.

Bunnings commissioned research and found consumer segments on Australians who were planning on working on their home garden in the coming months so Bunnings went forward and launched a new seven-part gardening podcast series called Staying Grounded.

The podcast series offers listeners gardening advice and handy tips. It’s hosted by Chloe Thomson of gardening and cooking show The Gardenettes, and feature plant psychologist and landscaper, Dale Vine and plant designer, Jenna Holmes.

Being Creative with Technology Remote Working Tools during COVID-19

COVID-19 has impacted the lives of people around the world. Travel restrictions and new rules on large public gatherings have changed the daily routines of millions around the world.

What was clear at WPP AUNZ this week was the first priority of our staff and their wellbeing, and doing what we can to mitigate the impact of the virus on our communities. The second was meeting our responsibilities to our clients and our colleagues by continuing to do great work.

WPP AUNZ is open for business. Subject to government policies, our offices will remain open for some employees. However, the majority of us will be working remotely in some shape or form.

In these circumstances, the term remote working means doing your job in your usual working hours from a location other than the office, producing the same high-quality work as you would typically, collaborating with your colleagues using technology, and being responsive to requests from clients, your manager, and your team. But doing this with a healthy body and mind.

Our clients need our creativity, skills, and resources more than ever right now. We are focused on continuing to focus on outstanding client service.

In my role as WPP AUNZ Executive Director Marketing Technology I am working with our agencies and Technology partners to provide support to our clients in keeping the business community going through our Martech Centre of Excellence.

Technology can and is playing a vital role in reducing the impact of COVID-19 on our people and our client organizations.

The WPP people work with a myriad of cloud technology tools that drive media, strategy, creativity, production and marketing technology solutions.

We use Microsoft Teams, as our company’s preferred collaboration software to stay connected. We use Microsoft Teams calls, video and webchats, as well as phone calls and video conferencing all powered alongside the Office 365 applications and services that the majority of our people and clients use every day.

Teams pull together in the cloud Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, SharePoint, and Power BI, Adobe, Salesforce, Sitecore and Google applications, and it an excellent enabler to help remove repetitive tasks to focus our time on more creative ideation to help our clients through what is a tough time for business.

Microsoft Teams, which launched worldwide in March 2017, passed 32 million daily active users (DAUs) earlier this month. This week it has in part to COVID-19, usage spiked to 44 million DAUs. That’s up from 20 million daily active users in November, a 60-110% jump in just four months.

Microsoft Teams is the WPP company’s Office 365 chat-based collaboration tool that sits on the Azure cloud platform.

We do use Slack (12 million DAUs as of October 2019), Facebook’s Workplace (3 million paid users as of October 2019), and Google’s Hangouts Chat (no user number able to be found) which we have create practitioners in these application across our WPP offices and into our clients. We don’t mind what your tech flavour is we just want to be creative with it.

If you also use Microsoft applications so and check out the top 9 ways Microsoft IT is enabling remote work for its employees on the Microsoft 365 blog. Other useful resources are the  Microsoft Teams Adoption Toolkit as well as the Enable end-user training with Microsoft 365 Learning Pathways and the Microsoft Teams Customer Success Kit

To another technology partner, Google this week announced it will allow free access to the enterprise version of Hangouts Meet to all G Suite and G Suite for Education users. That plan includes up to 250 users per call, the ability to record meetings, and livestream capabilities for up to 100,000 viewers until July 1, 2020.

If you prefer Google Cloud to enable your business, that is fine with us. Wherever your files are stored in one secure and centralized location such as share documents, spreadsheets, and slide presentations we want to help you be creative and make them actionable for what is a new way of working. What we like about Google Cloud is it can be used for reporting on weekly metrics which is a key area of our media business.

Google has also stated that it has now made its video conferencing app, ‘Meet’ free for all G Suite users until at least July 1, 2020. Other platforms such as YouTube have put together a YouTube Learning Hub and webinars in a bid to continue distance education, as social distancing steps are adopted globally to break the viral spread.

In response to the COVID-19 changes to working conditions, another partner Salesforce has offered free access to their base level of Quip for six months to help businesses to continue collaborating in the new fully-remote environment.

Quip is the Salesforce selected productivity platform that combines into one place document, spreadsheet, checklist, live salesforce data, and chat.

The Quip Document Lightning component lets you work with fully functional Quip documents, spreadsheets, slides, and chat rooms directly within Salesforce records. All of your favourite Quip features are there—comments, @mentions, Live Apps, and more.

Here is the quick 1.22 min video overview.


Make no mistake, these are stressful times. Negative headlines, worrying about sick or elderly loved ones, and fighting the urge to go panic buying for toilet paper can all put remote work and emails on the back burner.

But the more effort you put into communicating with colleagues using technology, the better chance you have of avoiding feelings of isolation and better chance of being active and productive.

Build wellbeing into your remote working space and schedule and make sure you take regular breaks. If possible, separate your working space from where you relax within your home – even if that’s just using a different chair or table.

Stay safe while in isolation, so reach out for marketing technology advice, invite me to a House Party for a social video chat and meditate often.

WPP AUNZ New Corporate Strategy and Martech Centre of Excellence Announced


WPP AUNZ announced this week to the market a raft of changes and new initiatives, all part of a new corporate strategy including a Martech Centre of Excellence to transform, strengthen and grow.

In announcing the group’s new group strategy, Jens Monsees, Managing Director and CEO, said:

“This year is the transformation phase of our strategy. Now two months into 2020, I can say we have already made meaningful progress in this phase by announcing a new leadership structure, a restructuring of our New Zealand business, added capabilities in technology through the acquisition of Dominion in New Zealand and announcing the establishment of our Centre of Excellence to consolidate the technology consulting operations of the Group.”

See the full Strategy Briefing pack on the WPP AUNZ web site found here.

As the WPP AUNZ Executive Director of Marketing Technology it’s great to see the Centre of Excellence we call the COE, a virtual shared service launch as part of the new WPP AUNZ.

I’m also excited that Rob Pardini, our group lead Data Scientist and his DATA team joins the COE effectively immediately. This brings together data and technology communities that are all joined via new products and new working models to all the WPP AUNZ agencies lead creative services.

The creation of the new practice delivers both a hub and spoke model to our WPP AUNZ agencies to ensure creativity and marketing expertise leads technology and operational efficiencies for brands to engage and enrich customers using data and marketing technology.

The COE also supports clients when reviewing or buying cloud technology and works to increase the effectiveness of their investments to strategise and deliver marketing automation programs to drive customer lifetime value.

 

Jens outlined this week, “Our path to growth will be undertaken in three phases – transform, strengthen, and grow – over a three-year period to 2022.”

WPP AUNZ 2019 end of year recorded financials and earnings in line with previous guidance amid very challenging local market conditions and global conditions that can impact our industry over the coming months.

For the full-year to 31 December 2019, WPP reported total net sales of $819.4 million, which was a decline of 4.4% on the prior year.

The financial report shows the Specialist Communications segment, which includes technology brands AKQA and Aleph, have achieved strong performance consistent with trends across markets globally where clients are investing more heavily in marketing and advertising technology.

The group’s continuing business net sales came in at $712.5 million, a decline of 2.6%, while total headline earnings per share (EPS) was 7.4 cents, down by 9.6% on the prior year.  Continuing business headline EPS was 6.0 cents, also down by 9.6% on the previous year.

Pleasingly for shareholders, WPP AUNZ reported a strong cashflow conversion rate of 98% over the last 2 years of operation and the company managed to significantly reduce net debt.

Smoggys the bushfire face mask that gives 100% of profits to the Rural Fire Service

Smoggy Logo

Young talent from Wavemaker and Ogilvy part of WPP AUNZ have begun producing and selling Smoggys, a brand of P2 pollution masks created to raise money for the Rural Fire Service.

After exceeding the $10,000 Go Fund Me target, Wavemaker’s Bec Drummond and Marco Del Castillo and Ogilvy’s Jack Burton and Lucas Fowler have opened pre-orders for $20 masks adorned with ‘bin chickens’ or koalas. Ogilvy Sydney and Wavemaker Australia each donated $1,275 to get the project off the ground.

“It is down to the support of our nation that Smoggys has come to life as an operating business, set to make a real difference,” said Smoggys co-founder and Wavemaker strategy director, Marco Del Castillo.

“Smoggys’ aim is to protect our nation from the smoke and act as a public symbol that Aussies have come together to help and support our fires.”

At least 136 fires continue to rage across the country, with at least 24 people dead, more than 1,300 houses destroyed in New South Wales alone, half a billion animals incinerated, and 6.3m hectares burnt. In comparison, 900,000 hectares were lost in the Amazon fires last year, and 800,000 in 2018’s Californian wildfires.

“As a nation, we are indebted to the heroes and heroines of the RFS, who are out on the front line fighting the fires, day in and day out,” added Ogilvy copywriter and Smoggys co-founder, Lucas Fowler.

“While we are in the cities complaining about the smoke, there are people in the bush doing it far worse and we need to unite together to support the firies as much as we can, so that they can continue to protect us and our land.”

With all profits going to the RFS, Smoggys joins a list of donation initiatives such as Twitter’s #AuthorsForFireys, which sees writers including Leigh Sales, Annabel Crabb, Benjamin Law, Jamila Rizvi and Rick Morton auction off items such as signed books and meals with the authors.

A slew of businesses have chosen to donate a lump sum, or a slice of sales or profits, to bushfire-related charities. Celebrities like Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett used yesterday’s Golden Globes as a platform to encourage support, and comedian and influencer Celeste Barber’s Facebook fundraiser has cracked the $40m mark.

Smoggys can be pre-ordered here

If you’d like to assist with bushfire recovery, relief and rescue efforts, please explore the options below: 

Bushfire season and climate change

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Aboriginal belief is to have a special connection with everything that is natural. Aboriginals believe and see themselves as part of nature. Through thousands of years of life they learnt they impacted nature. All understood that everything on earth we should see as part human. It is true that people who belong to a particular area are really part of that area and if that area is destroyed they are also destroyed.

The short term I thank the firefights across NSW for your efforts to date and what looks like catastrophic conditions and long season ahead. I don’t pray.

Long term I accept humans are making a massive impact to nature. What we are seeing as smoke continues to build is making people sick, sad and angry. I explore what we can do to reduce what humans do to our country and the planet. Climate warming denial is denial, dismissal, unwarranted and unhelpful

Step up government in NSW and Australia and create a smart energy debate and allow the people to create and vote on the policy. Nothing is more important.

Image result for nsw bushfire aboriginals

It’s important you stay up to date before, during and after bush fires and other emergencies this summer. To help, the NSW RFS provides information and warnings through a range of channels. Download the Fires Near Me mobile app here