Australian National University Transformational Management Program

I have joined the Australian Transformational Management Program run by the Australian National Univesity (ANU) developed in conjunction with the Australian Transformation and Turnaround Association (AusTTA).

I was delighted to be invited by the Chair of AusTTA Adam Salzer to attend the program that designed by leading international scholars in the fields of organisational behaviour, change management, and project management to give the group chosen the confidence and skills to stretch yourself beyond your current boundaries as agents for transformational change.

Last month on September 8th fellow participants, faculty members and project sponsors held a launch session at the Allan Barton Forum at ANU to meet each other and whet the appetite discussing megatrends, the role of the projects/case studies and evidence-based management. The dinner that night at Boffins Restaurant in University House was just as rewarding.


The ANU Transformational Leadership Program now has a core goal now and a set of resources that ANU’s Research School of Management team can deliver too.

The AusTTA believe leading transformation is a rapidly evolving field. To unlock future opportunities and transform existing organisations, change leaders must be able to contend with a volatile and rapidly changing macroeconomic environment, unprecedented technological disruption, legacy systems and processes as well as my personal favourite resistant organisational cultures.

The Australian Transformation and Turnaround Association, the ANU Transformational Leadership Program has been built around the ANU’s unique evidence-based approach to management capability development.

The aim is to ensure that participants have the skills and knowledge to solve today’s change problems, and the capabilities to collect and synthesize the best available evidence to respond to future transformational challenges.

By the end of this program, the participants will receive new thinking, skills to:

  • Provide pragmatic, evidence-based Board-level advice to maximise the benefits and minimise the distress associated with fundamental transformations;
  • Design and lead complex transformations using cutting-edge theory, tools, and models to effect change in complex organisations;
  • Effect culture change in support of transformation and sustainable agility; and
  • Establish efficient governance structures and controls in favour of change initiatives.

I’m looking forward to the contribution I can make over the coming year.

Launching Telstra Broadcast Services

Telstra Broadcast Services
Telstra today announced the rebrand of recently acquired business, Globecast Australia, to Telstra Broadcast Services, unveiling the new brand at the International Broadcasting Conference (IBC) in Amsterdam.

The move cements Telstra’s commitment to providing deeper capabilities in media services for customers in the broadcasting industry. Telstra Broadcast Services offers its global customer base media delivery over satellite platforms, including direct to home satellite transmission and IPTV managed services; IP streaming and encoding; satellite monitoring and disaster recovery. It has also developed live point-of-view miniature camera technology which is used extensively at sporting events through its Globecam business.


Martijn Blanken, Group Managing Director, Telstra Global Enterprise and Services, said, “Telstra Broadcast Services, formerly known as Globecast Australia, has built an enviable reputation ensuring its customers can deliver the quality content their users expect, quickly and effectively. When coupled with our extensive investment in Ooyala, our partnership with Akamai and our growing portfolio of specialised media products,  our decision to rebrand and clearly define our media services division is a strong indication of the strategic importance of this industry to Telstra.”


One of the first deals reached under the Telstra Broadcast Services name, has seen Network Ten renew a multi-year contract for its global content delivery via fibre.

Jason Tuendemann, Chief Technology Officer at Network Ten said, “Network Ten has entrusted the Globecast Australia team with delivery of its live, digital television for more than a decade across satellite and fibre.

“In recent years, OTT via Globestream and the Globecam miniature cameras have added new dimensions to the service provision and indeed to Ten’s interaction with audiences across news, sport and entertainment.  Telstra is also a long-standing, trusted partner of Ten and we now look forward to working with the Telstra Broadcast Services team.”

This year will also see Telstra Broadcast Services increase its Globecam live, digital devices commitment for Network Ten’s broadcast of the KFC Big Bash League, with more games than ever before.

Triple Screening the new finding in Telstra 2014 Smartphone Index Report

Nielson Research

Ever sat down to watch TV in your living room with your tablet in hand to check your favourite websites and social feeds? Only to then pull out your phone to check a text message that’s popped in?

You’re not alone! In fact, ‘Triple Screening’ is actually a fast growing Aussie trend among connected smartphone owners, as revealed in the 2014 Telstra Smartphone Index released today.

The Index – our annual study with Nielsen on smartphone ownership and usage amongst Australians – reveals 42 per cent of us are triple screeners, with 69 per cent of 16-24 year olds leading the charge.

The most popular combo for triple screening is Smartphone+TV+Laptop followed by Smartphone+TV+Tablet – and women triple screen more than men.


So what does that mean for the everyday Aussie?

As more people become multi-device owners and are engage in triple screening behavior, the more competition there is for content providers to hold the attention of viewers.

In recent times we’ve seen an explosion of content across platforms. As an example, huge increases in network traffic across and in the past year reflect a desire from sports fans to get closer to the action via a mobile device, while they’re on-the-go.

Such is the demand that last year Telstra and the NRL set up a Digital Media Unit to provide a constant stream of quality content to a growing digital audience. Meanwhile both the AFL and NRL Official Apps have notched up more than 1.3 million and 1 million respective downloads.

In fact, the Smartphone Index tells us sport consumption on smartphones in general has jumped – 44 per cent of active Smartphone users access sport content, which is up 10 per cent from 35 per cent in 2013.

To find out more about how we’re consuming more content via more screens, take a look at our 2014 Smartphone Index Whitepaper.

Telstra secures NRL digital and sponsorship rights for five years


Rugby League fans will, for the first time, be able to watch matches live on mobile phones and tablets, regardless of their carrier, under a five-year digital media and sponsorship agreement between Telstra and the Australian Rugby League Commission, announced today.

Under the partnership, Telstra will have:

  • Exclusive broadcast rights of all NRL matches for mobile and tablet devices*,
  • Naming rights to the Premiership and Sunday Football,
  • Operation of the NRL website and related team sites, the official NRL app, and the official NRL fantasy games;
  • Extensive highlights packages during and after games
  • Exclusive post game access/press conferences to mobile and tablet devices
  • Extensive signage and marketing activation rights.

Telstra Media working alongside Australian Rugby League Commission will deliver a game-wide NRL digital strategy committed to providing fans with the ultimate digital experience.

For the first time, Rugby League fans will be able to watch Telstra Premiership, State of Origin and Test matches live to-air on mobile phones and tablets via the Official NRL App on iPhone and Android, regardless of their carrier. Matches on Channel 9 will be simulcast and those on Fox Sports will be live.

A full-time NRL Digital Media production unit will be established working out of Rugby League Central and featuring a large full-time staff focussed to deliver and provide fans with the best digital content in Australian sport, including unprecedented levels of video, player interviews and special behind-the-scenes.

Rugby League’s technology platforms will be rebuilt from the ground up, with the NRL, NRL clubs, NSWRL, QRL and One Community all slated for new digital solutions that will give fans fun and easy interactive access to all the latest content. Fans will have access to extensive highlights packages during and after games and to exclusive post-game features and press conferences on their mobile and tablet devices.

Interim ARLC CEO, Shane Mattiske, said the new partnership Telstra and the ARLC will jointly deliver more fans unprecedented coverage of the game and benefits that flowed through to the sport’s grassroots.

“The Telstra Premiership is the longest running competition naming rights sponsorship in Australian sport and to extend that with the most significant naming rights sponsorship investment in the game’s history is a wonderful indication of the strength of Rugby League’s brand,” Mr Mattiske said.

“Telstra’s proud history in supporting Rugby League and its fans at all levels of the game, from the Telstra Premiership through to the game’s grass-roots and community programs, is at the heart of its commitment to providing the investment and latest technology for a digital network that is changing the ways fans connect with the game.

“Together we have achieved significant growth in the game’s digital network over the past few years and this new investment will fast-track its future development and provide fans with unrivalled coverage and engagement with the game.”


Question time at Telstra Experience Centre
From left to right: Rick Ellis Group Managing Director Telstra Media, David Thodey CEO Telstra, John Grant Chairman Australian Rugby League Commision, Shane Mattiske Interim ARLC CEO

Telstra Chief Executive Officer, Mr David Thodey, said Telstra was unmatched in its ability and commitment to deliver Rugby League to more Australians and match content will be available to all consumers via the NRL app.

“Australians have embraced smartphones and tablet devices and this partnership provides for us to make the app and its live coverage available to all NRL fans where and when they want it,” Mr Thodey said.

“Whether it is watching live coverage of the Telstra Premiership while they are out and about, catching up on latest news or highlights or competing with friends in fantasy football and tipping, the 2013 season will see Telstra and the NRL deliver an unprecedented experience,” he said.

Mr Thodey said that as well as taking the league to a wider audience, the partnership between Telstra and the NRL would support the continued growth, success and enjoyment of the game.

“At NRL games and events, fans will have the opportunity to interact with the sport and their heroes in new and unique ways. Meanwhile we will continue to develop the sport through local community programs,” he said.

*Five matches per round live and three as per Nine Network broadcast times

Sometimes change may not be what we want. Sometimes change is exactly what we need.

An email to my friends at BBDO and Proximity Worldwide,

After five years in the BBDO and Proximity networks, and thirteen years in total in the Omnicom Group I leave today the advertising agency world for a new role at Telstra Corporation.

I have accepted a newly created position, Director of Digital Media and Content in a newly established division called Telstra Media based in Sydney. Telstra Media has been established to manage Telstra’s end-to-end media capabilities led by newly apppointed Group Managing Director Rick Ellis former CEO of TVNZ. The new division will consist of over 4,000 staff  and over $4 billion in combined annual revenues.

Telstra Media has the operating responsibilities of FOXTEL pay TV business, Telstra IPTV business including the global award winning set-top box the T-Box. The BigPond Movies app that has already accumulated over 3,000 film titles with over 2.4 million movies downloaded by customers to date.

The BigPond news, lifestyle and entertainment portal and mobile feature phone properties that reach over four million unique users a month.

Also in the media portfolio is the marketing services division Sensis which includes Yellow and White directory digital media products.

Besides Telstra’s eclectic mix of media businesses, the deciding factor to take on this new opportunity was the company’s involvement in the Australian federal government’s National Broadband Network agenda. Telstra has recently announced a major commitment to media flagging new upgrades in its media delivery infrastructure, namely in video distribution capabilities for broadcast-quality video streaming services to any device connected to the internet.

As a proud Australian, the opportunity to return home to Sydney and shape the overall strategic direction of Telstra’s digital content services and advertising sales portfolios was just too exciting an opportunity to pass up.

Sometimes change may not be what we want. Sometimes change is exactly what we need.

I thank you all for a truly wonderful BBDO network experience. I have met and worked with many talented people in the markets of Australia, New Zealand, China and United States and as such I hope to keep in contact and continue to collaborate with you all in my new role.

My new email contact is



The role of Innovation in agencies

I was asked by Creative Social to talk about the role of Innovation in agencies. Creative Social is the global digital collective founded by Daniele Fiandaca the Head of Innovation of Cheil UK and Mark Chalmers former creative partner of Strawberry Frog.

Below are the answers to their questions.

How do you define innovation?

It’s the opposite too madness and doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. In business, advertising or production development innovation is the delivery of value through an idea or set of ideas that focus on improving the customer experience. It’s about developing a culture to trying things, pilot programs, test and learn always seeking incremental change that show improvements in the customer experience. 

You have had Innovation in your job title before, what does that actually mean?

When I moved from President Tribal DDB Asia Pacific to the Clemenger BBDO Group as an Executive Director responsible for the group digital direction I added the word innovation to the title. It was 2007 and many marketers had a perception of just digital advertising as banners and web sites. The guy or girl who came along to an agency meeting speaking internet stats, digital promotions, online advertising and email campaigns etc. I really wanted clients to look at digital as not a channel but as a new language to enhance their customer experience. Social media was on the increase at the time enabling immediate broadcasting of positive and negative experiences of brands which ultimately influences the buying decisions of others. I wanted clients to see digital could be used beyond a cold fixed desktop screen communication platform. I wanted them to look at the entire customer journey using digital to create action sensory communication. 

What is your background? How did you get into an innovation role?

I have been in digital media, marketing, content, advertising, publishing and technology for over twenty years. I started in the Australian film and television industry, moved to Microsoft and then onto Newscorp. I jumped into advertising with Omnicom agencies DDB, Tribal DDB, Clemenger BBDO and now with Proximity Worldwide.

During this ride I have lived and worked in varies countries including United States, China, Australia, and New Zealand. The advertising and technology industries continues to change, but my professional goal seems to stay the same. I just want to always be part of a team looking to break new ground and develop creative interactive brand experience programs for clients. I’m passionate about how brands and businesses can create participation with consumers in both the real and digital channels.

What do you think are the key characteristics to being successful in an innovation role?

You have to be an energetic, creative with analytical  skills. Be focus on teamwork, collaboration and building effective working relations with clients and all members of your team. When driving a project for a client be the one leading consumer engagement and always getting to the truth of the brand. You also need strong understanding of brand marketing functions, as well as operational dynamics that can affect a company’s ability to reach audiences and drive sales. Be driven to create meaningful tools and architecting user experiences. Once you have an idea on the table, apply and interactive mindset and a focus on making the end user feel personal with it. The idea must be helpful towards advancing the users purpose. Always ask yourself why do I care about this idea?

Give us an idea of what you do day to day to deliver innovation in your business?

Obviously plenty of reading, following innovation blogs and people with a strong design background is something I do each day. I also think it’s important to get away from technology and try to do things that don’t use it at all. Try to move away from complexity and get to enjoy very simple things. Here is where you find great ideas.

From your experiences, what can be the biggest barriers to true innovation?

Worried about failure. No one likes it but unless you make mistakes you don’t learn anything and you don’t move forward with new thinking.

What has been the most innovative thing you have seen in the advertising space over the last six months?

We all can impulse spend but what about a product to help us impulse save. Westpac launched in March this year an innovative impulse savings product to help New Zealanders save as impulsively as they spend.  Impulse Saver, a free iPhone app that enables customers to save denominations of their choice up to $50 with a simple click of a button.

What technologies/behaviours that we can see coming up in the next 12 months excites you the most?

People are in love with their personal internet enabled smart devices. Doesn’t matter if it’s a phone or tablet they are never more than a couple of meters away from them at any given time. These devices for the first time in our short technology history are actually becoming smarter every day. To make them smarter people choose and seek out an array of useful applications to download and improve their device and of course their lives.

The increase in hand held internet enabled devices has allowed us the ability to create action sensory communication. Mobile phones and smart devices today have eyes with inbuilt cameras. They have brains to know where they are located via mobile networks. They also have ears with built in microphones. They have a skin that you can touch which increasingly allows a brand a platform to augment consumer’s senses and truly change behavior.

Creating useful and immersive digital experiences

Campaign Brief May / June 2011

Agency creative’s can learn a lot from the application developer approach in creating useful immersive ideas. To have such a mind-set the focus must begin by making the user – feel personal.

The idea must be helpful towards advancing the user’s purpose writes Adam Good, Executive Director of Digital Innovation Clemenger Group Australasia – who  has just relocated to San Francisco as Executive Vice President of Proximity Worldwide.

Get your copy at


It’s no secret that customer experience is one of the cornerstones of an effective business and marketing strategy. In all honesty, customer experience should have always been the focus all along, but many companies have chosen to hide behind corporate walls and only communicate to customers when it was convenient for them, instead of when the customer actually needed them.

There’s no need to belabor the point that social media has put customers in the driver’s seat. Marketers continue to be challenged in getting through to people via traditional advertising methods. With digital TV recorders (DVRs), do-not-send lists, pop-up blockers, and spam blockers, people are doing everything possible to tune out of advertising messages.

At the same time, word of mouth continues to rise as social media sources enable immediate broadcasting of positive and negative experiences which ultimately influences the buying decisions of others.

The best way to influence people is to focus on the brand customer experience. What is the brand doing to delight people and make their lives better? Many businesses this year face the task of fixing their customer experience to ensure that products and services actually do what they’re supposed to do, and the company’s support and service are actually helpful.

Who will business and marketing leaders turn too to deliver brand experience ideas?

In 2011 the creative industry has an opportunity to captalise and look to create ideas that are useful and immersive.  There has never been a better time to embrace digital technology and give a brand a true useful purpose. People are becoming more adept and comfortable using technology and applications to better their lives, but still few marketers are leveraging digital to create tools and experiences for people to use and interact with, and find it easier to create messages where a brand is just talking about itself.

Digital no longer offers a cold fixed desk screen communication platform. The increase in hand held internet enabled devices has allowed us the ability to create action sensory communication.

Mobile phones and smart devices today have eyes with inbuilt cameras. They have brains to know where they are located via mobile networks. They also have ears with built in microphones. They have a skin that you can touch which increasingly allows a brand a platform to augment consumer’s senses and truly change behavior.

People are in love with their personal internet enabled smart devices. They are never more than a couple of metres away from them at any given time. These devices for the first time in our short technology history are actually becoming smarter every day. To make them smarter people choose and seek out an array of useful applications to download and improve their device and of course their lives.

There are now hundreds of thousands of quality free and low cost easy to use applications to find and download. Many of these applications are useful ideas that are both social, can deliver on productivity, offer supporting utilities or just enhance the user’s entertainment and idle time.

Agencies creative’s can learn a lot from the application developer approach in creating useful immersive ideas. To have such a mindset the focus must begin by making the end user feel personal. The idea must be helpful towards advancing the users purpose. Being a useful idea means you have the power to produce or make improvements for the user.  Useful ideas can be as simple as save me petrol, lose weight, get more sleep, use less electricity, save more money, find me a holiday, enhance my photos, or even help me run a marathon. Combining both the brands data with the users input data is the basis of true useful customer experience.

An example of a useful idea is the EcoDrive solution from AKQA London that demonstrates that an auto maker’s environmental responsibility should not stop when the car leaves the production line, but extend into the way people drive their cars. EcoDrive collects all necessary data relating to vehicle efficiency and, transmits it into an advanced USB key.

The driver plugs this into a PC. The EcoDrive system presents the driver with detailed environmental performance of the car including the CO2 emission level for each trip. It analyses the driver’s style and then provides tips and recommendations on how to modify style to achieve CO2 reductions – and save money on fuel. EcoDrive will encourage the driver to set himself challenges such as CO2 reduction targets for specific journeys or over a set period of time. And in a community site will encourage all drivers to come together and pool their savings – working towards much bigger collective targets and showing that a lot of small contributions join to have a massive impact.

Another example is RGA New York’s Nike Football Head2Head from RGA which gives competitive high school football players the ultimate tool to see how they stack up with the best in the game, at any stage of their career, as well as their next opponents. Part numbers cruncher, part data visualizer, and part video trainer, Nike Football Head2Head gives players the tools they need to get stats, get motivated, and get better.

My final example is the world’s first Impulse Saver™ from Westpac developed by Colenso BBDO. Save money as easily and impulsively as you spend is the useful goal for this useful iPhone application. It allows you to save money on a whim, anytime by just pressing a button. New Zealanders spend on average $16,600,000 daily on impulse purchases such as chocolate bars and drinks, simply because it’s easy and convenient. So what Colenso BBDO did was make saving as simple as spending. Forget logging into a bank website, choosing an amount, selecting the account, confirming the transaction with your password, than logging out again. Now saving money whenever, wherever, is as simple as pressing a big red button.

The question on how to create a useful brand depends on many factors. Foremost among these is our own possibilities, our talents, style, propensities, knowledge, skills, and level of being. We may need to hone our skills, learn new knowledge, and develop our talents. When we get it right creating a brand idea to play a more integral and ongoing role in people’s lives can be very satisfying.

Moving to Proximity Worldwide based in San Francisco

Yes the news is correct I will be leaving my current role as CEO AIM Proximity / Executive Director of Digital Innovation Clemenger Group Australasia for a new role still in the BBDO Network as Executive Vice President Proximity Worldwide based in San Francisco. I will be transitioning into the new role over the next two months traveling between Auckland and the United States.

Proximity Worldwide is the world’s most awarded, direct and digital agency network. With more than 2,000 employees in 62 offices around the world.

The network is aligned with BBDO Worldwide and a member of the Omnicom group of companies – the world’s largest marketing services organization. I will be focused on running new business, managing some major multi-national accounts and providing support to Proximity teams across our network.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Clemenger Group. The move from Hong Kong to Auckland four years ago has been one of the best decisions of my life. New Zealand is a wonderful country to live with a family and the advertising industry is one of the most creative in the world. I feel very lucky to be have worked alongside some of the best creative, strategic and agency management talent being part of Clemenger BBDO Group.

The chance to now move into the extended BBDO and Proximity family based in the USA is a great new challenge and something I am very excited about. To have the chance to work in the San Francisco bay area in what is the digital capital of the world at the moment is very exciting indeed. The family is also looking forward to this next chapter of our lives.

There are plenty of people to thank in the Clemenger Group. First and most importantly I have to give a big thank you to Roger MacDonnell the founder of Colenso BBDO for enticing me to join Colenso in early 2007. The opportunity to come to Auckland and work alongside Roger and Brent Smart, MD was very appealing. When Roger told me Nick Worthington and James Hurman were also joining Colenso I couldn’t refuse the chance to be part of something very special.

After Roger left I was lucky enough to have Jim Moser as my boss. Jim has been a great motivator and I have had the pleasure of being both a co-worker and a friend to Jim since meeting in 2001. In and out of the office, Jim conducts himself with integrity. Jim can be counted on not just to work hard, but to always represent the Clemenger Group in a positive light.

I would also like to thank Robert Morgan who has-been wonderful mentor to me over the last couple of years. I appreciated the chance he gave me to lead digital for such an amazing agency group. Clemenger Group is very successful and its position in the market place is because of Robert’s leadership.

A special thank must go to Aaron Turk, Terry Williams-Willcock, Dan Wright, Andy Bell, Michael Barnfield and Ian Hulme who have been fantastic to work with in New Zealand. In Australia there are so many good folks but a big thank you must go to Peter Biggs, James McGrath, Hamish Cameron Jonathan Isaacs, Eaon Pritchard, Andy Pontin and Al Crawford who have made me feel so welcome in their respective Clemenger agencies. They are all such talented people to work with.


Campaign Brief: Future Digital Article


I was asked by Campaign Brief magazine to write an article for the Feb / March addition to discuss the changes all agencies are experiencing because of the growth of digital . Below is the story that was published.

Last year in the advertising industry, we saw more change in twelve months than we had in the previous five years. The frightening financial environment played its part certainly, but it was the media fragmentation caused by social networks and the increasing importance of the conversation economy that caused a tipping point in ad-land.

Interactive thinking was in hot demand in 2009 and the push was to create ideas that had value exchange and encouraged customer participation. This meant agency Creative Directors and Managing Directors started to review their creative output and their agency approach to meet the new marketing demands of clients.


Everything was up for discussion within agencies. What talent they needed, what approach suited this new environment best and what structure would allow them to meet these new challenges in a sustainable and profitable way.

My advice to you is simple: embrace it because we’re only at the beginning of what will be a period of dramatic change in the agency offer. The next 10 years promise to be the most exciting, hectic and challenging in our industry’s history and a shake-up of epic proportions is ahead of us.

I’m certainly not going to debate which is better: a pure play digital agency structure or digital silos within a traditional advertising agency group. It’s been my opinion for some time that digital will drive every agency approach and this will ultimately mean every agency will end up in the same place over this decade. No-one owns digital any longer. The best online work last year consistently came from traditional agencies. Digital specialists, the writing is on the wall. Stay as digital specialists and you will soon become little more than a production house. What I do believe is that pure play digital and more traditional agency models do give us a path to where we are heading as a creative industry.

I see agency leaders this year needing, or if they don’t already have then acquiring, an interactive mindset. This means grasping that the Internet is NOT just another way to engage people. It is the central hub in which communication will happen this decade and it is TV, radio, print, experiential and every other channel that will be the spokes of that hub. Without this Interactive mindset, today’s agency leaders will not, and cannot, make the right decisions in 2010 on how best to shift and evolve.

It’s never been more important to get your structure, your talent and most importantly your services and solutions in alignment so you can create and manage brands for clients in this volatile media landscape.

Today most agencies have the typical functions in place, i.e. Account Management, Creative, Planning and Production. If an agency has their interactive digital departments sitting as a silo discipline, or worse a separate agency, then they have a long road ahead.

Digital professionals should be integrated throughout an agency into key leadership positions. Advertising is no longer just about the display ad or the TV commercial or the banner; it’s about creating meaningful tools and architecting user experiences. This means digital professionals being full partners in the campaign development process and contributing to the Big Idea with clients. They can’t be an executional afterthought, buried in the basement. Digital professionals must be integrated across all agency disciplines and functions. Digital skills such as data, measurement and customer experience planning must also be raised into the briefing stage of client’s business problems.


If you put your Interactive mindset at the centre of everything in the agency it means your thinking goes from just producing one big idea and expressing in a one-message-fits-all fashion across all channels, to actually developing interactive participation ideas which are interlinked coherently by useful applications and customer tools, which do not necessarily start and end in the same place, i.e. a move from campaign thinking to programme solution thinking.

While production departments have seen great change, the entire agency needs to live and breathe digital innovation, not just see digital as a production requirement. Successful marketing programmes are now being conceived in both the online and real world to take our client’s customers on a journey of brand touch points. It means with more digital channels, the agency communication programme has become real-time and data driven. Ultimately, this means it can be tracked and is accountable. It also means the ideas and strategies you create for clients are getting much closer to something that is useful to customers and part of a consumer’s daily routine and habit, rather than just producing a series of advertising messages.

If you have a true interactive mindset in place in 2010, it is in the creative department where you will see the biggest changes, especially in how they are structured. In most advertising agencies today, the art director and copywriter team rule, but in a pure play digital agency world that is very different. Here strategy and planning, information architecture, user experience and technology are the kings. Most agency managers see how amorphous advertising is becoming but are in thrall to large numbers of people they employ with specific craft skills. Outsourcing and crowd sourcing are on the increase. Getting the right agency creative structure with all the varied skills and disciplines working together will be the real focus of Creative Directors this decade. They will act more like conductors managing the groupthink and always pushing for big business solution ideas for clients that are memorable and measurable.

The agency production department is the one area that has changed the most in the past two years. Production people now have to create films for TV, web and mobile; develop console games plus video- and game-driven micro sites; and let’s not forget the need for merchandise and e-commerce capabilities.

Agencies now have to know how to create and roll out Facebook applications, iPhone and mobile applications and all sorts of varied interactive animation content. Production teams have to link offline experiential events, festivals, art installations, interactive billboards, QR-code-based posters and print ads so that they drive people to online digital engagement environments that move the customer closer to a product and sale.

It has become very clear to me that an agency cannot just push digital production out of the building. For creative people to conceive unique and challenging interactive ideas and material, they need to be able to talk freely with technologists. The less barriers (real and imagined) means better client solutions.

Agencies need to find a passion for digital production and get involved in the nitty-gritty. The secret to this is having a creative leader who has a heart-felt commitment to the interactive mindset and is prepared to live it, not just talk it.

The new agency creative models that will evolve this decade will be grounded on a strong understanding of brand marketing functions, as well as operational dynamics that can affect a company’s ability to reach audiences and drive sales.


I see the true evolving agencies in 2010 being focused on translating client and boardroom business needs into multi-disciplinary marketing outputs that operate in bought, owned and earned media platforms. All three of these media channels are data-driven and this means we need to have more focus on accountability right at the early stages of developing ideas.

Isn’t it results that company board of directors talk about? Shouldn’t we bring them solutions that let them see customer interaction with their brands?

Finally your interactive mindset must fit with your agency culture and this is important when hiring new senior digital people and bringing them into agency structures. The interactive roles that emerged in 2009 will be highly sort after this decade. Directors of Interactive, Customer Experience Officers, Technologists, Data Planners, Information Architects and, of course, Interactive Producers. The agency culture will always need to be watched as you alter structures, discipline, skills and approaches trying to find the optimum balance between driving interactive media, adding digital functionality and at the same time maintaining a high standard of creative output and revenue streams

The digital revolution that started last decade is helping create an opportunity for agencies to move up the food chain with business leaders. There has never been a better time for brand owners and creative agencies to work together to create an interactive mindset that will lead to ideas, services and products that are not only focused on both board room objectives but also on a style of brand communication that is truly useful to consumers, more engaging and relevant to their day-to-day life. It’s always hard to figure out the balance between where interactive is now and the major shift to digital that all agencies are on and must take. But rest assured it’s upon us so in 2010 raise your digital leaders into key leadership, management and culture roles to stimulate those interactive minds and you will see agency change happen very quickly and enjoy the results it will bring.

PRESS RELEASE: New CEO for AIM Proximity signals new era for agency


Adam Good appointed to role of CEO and retains role of Executive Director of Digital Innovation for Clemenger Group Australasia

Adam Good, one of Australasia’s leading digital experts has been appointed CEO of AIM Proximity. A pioneering executive in the digital media, content, advertising and communication industry, Adam brings to the role more than 20 years experience in Asia Pacific including the last two with the Clemenger Group.

Commenting on the appointment, Jim Moser, Clemenger Group New Zealand CEO says,
“Over the past couple of months we have done a lot of work to define where AIM Proximity needs to change and evolve – in order to continue its direct leadership in the Australasian and global marketplace.

“Adam was closely involved in this process and it soon became clear that he was the ideal candidate to lead the next exciting era of AIM Proximity. He knows the business, the clients and understands exactly where AIM needs to concentrate to evolve its offer. We couldn’t find anyone better, anywhere.

“AIM Proximity has always been about innovation, challenging the expected and producing powerful creative ideas that get brilliant results in market. Adam has spearheaded AIM’s digital development over the past two years in his role as Director of Digital Innovation across AIM Proximity and Colenso BBDO. He will now take that to a new level for the future,” says Moser.

“Adam joined Clemenger in late 2007, and spent 2008 growing the Interactive offering for an array of communication agencies in the group. This resulted in Clemenger Group, led by AIM Proximity, receiving more digital and innovation awards locally and internationally than any other agency in the Australasian region.”

Earlier this year, Adam was given the added responsibility of Australasian Director of Digital Innovation across Melbourne and Sydney predominantly. Adam will continue in that role as it is critical to the Clemenger Group’s continued dominance in all things digital. However, his priority will be AIM Proximity where he will focus the majority of his time and effort.”

Adam says he is delighted to have the opportunity to lead New Zealand’s largest and most awarded direct marketing agency.

“AIM Proximity has made the transition from a paper-based direct agency to one of the world’s leading direct and digital agencies, and to remain best-in-class it is vital we continue to evolve.”

“New Zealand marketing is adapting from air bombing a large group of people with a few ad messages to engaging lots of smaller audiences with targeted messages and useful applications. This is a fundamental shift from basic integration – which is simply the same idea and message executed in a different channel – to saying different things to different people depending on the data held about them.”

“Tomorrow’s most successful companies will be those that use data to their customer’s advantage, as opposed to their own. Really understanding customer behaviour means going beyond what people say to what they actually do and over the past year I have been working closely with the team at AIM Proximity to develop tools, such as Seventh Sense, so we know who is doing what, where they’re doing it and what they are saying about it.”

One of Adam’s initial tasks will be searching for a new Creative Director and Strategic Director / Channel Planner, all part of engineering the agency for the future. He will begin his duties immediately.