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.

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.

Do reach out for marketing technology advice, stay safe and meditate often.

WPP AUNZ New Corporate Strategy and the 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 Centre of Excellent to transform, strengthen and grow.

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

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

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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: 

WPP at Salesforce Dreamforce 2019

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Dreamforce is Salesforce’s flagship annual event that brings over 170,000 industry leaders together to collaborate, learn and inspire.

The four-day event hosted in San Francisco has grown into so much more than a conference – from inspiring keynotes and sessions to visionary thinking to discovering the future of technology and actually changing the world, it’s a jam-packed event that puts Salesforce products on full display for their suppliers, vendors, and consultants.

WPP IS A TOP 10 GLOBAL PARTNER OF SALESFORCE AND THE LARGEST AGENCY PARTNER WITHIN THE ENTIRE SALESFORCE PARTNER ECOSYSTEM

We partner with brands to build differentiated customer, marketing, commerce, and product experiences. By unlocking the potential of salesforce, we can turn data into engaging and profitable consumer relationships.

As a first-time sponsor of the Dreamforce event this year, WPP came out strong with a beautiful activation that was inspired by our brand identity. “Living Art” was designed by WPP agency MJM and featured renowned artist Alexa Meade.

In an environment where competition for consumer attention has never been fiercer, it is the truly creative experiences that breakthrough and have an impact. Delivering this for our clients and utilising the support of our many partners, such as Salesforce is WPP’s strength – and our Dreamforce activation was no different. As a result of our creative brand-inspired collaboration, our booth was recognised by Salesforce as 1-in-4 “Best in Show” in 2019

How we use Salesforce with our clients is via our agency consultants and salesforce centres of excellence that has 7,400 certified specialists. We design, build and manage campaign and commerce strategies and operations, specialising in delivery on the salesforce cloud platform​s.

Our partnership gives us early access to the technology itself as well as insights into upcoming features, functions, and benefits within the roadmap planning.

 

 

Introducing auric, the world’s first beautiful, connected, and personalized essential oils experience.

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The world has fallen into the trap of constant ‘doing.’ We’re forever busy with work, family life, and digital distractions. We’ve forgotten the importance of being still, mindful, and present.

21st & Dolores, my personal business venture, has spent the last twelve months with an experiment called Connection Oils exploring how natural organic essential oils combined with technology can help create well-being, alertness, relationship connection, and stillness.

The result of this work has created auric, the world’s first beautiful, connected, and personalized essential oils experience.

auric is a platform, a digital defusing device for your home that combines essential oils and experiences, a daily sequenced playlist for your senses to cleanse the mind, purify the body and give you the high awareness required to create intimacy with others.

auric’s beautiful range of essential oil blends are designed to give you what you need at the right moment, and are activated and sequenced via our mobile app.

To be part of the auric community or be part of the second-round investment of the platform click here.

Mindshare Invites Ad Industry to #ChangeTheBrief to Tackle the Global Climate Crisis

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Mindshare, the global agency network that is part of WPP, is today issuing an invitation to the wider industry to #ChangeTheBrief and use its skills to address the global climate crisis.

Our greatest challenge as a society is to find a way to live sustainably.

Our greatest challenge as an industry is to show how living sustainably is possible, enjoyable, fulfilling and aspirational and that it can also drive our clients’ business. #ChangeTheBrief is Mindshare’s response to that challenge.

A recent project saw Mindshare work with Volvo in Australia on the Living Seawall project – where Volvo partnered with the Sydney Institute of Marine Science and Reef Design Lab to create a Living Seawall that actually helps to clean the water.

#ChangeTheBrief helps brands unlock and activate their social purpose in media.

Agencies that support #ChangeTheBrief commit to creating work which answers the ‘Now’ brief, to help clients sell their products, but also the ‘Future’ brief, to encourage the attitudes, lifestyles and behaviours which are consistent with a transition to a carbon-free world.

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#ChangeTheBrief encourages the creation of marketing and media plans designed to encourage small changes in behaviour that will help address the climate crisis when done at scale – such as promoting shorter showers with 4 minute ad free ‘songs to sing in the shower’ playlists on Spotify or developing packaging that encourages people to freeze unused food to avoid food waste – the idea being to normalise these behaviours in society through advertising and use media and marketing investment to achieve this.

Every creative campaign, every media plan, every production proposal is an opportunity to #ChangeTheBrief, an opportunity to normalise the behaviour, the products, the services and the attitudes we all know we will need to adopt to achieve sustainable living.

With the global advertising industry investing circa $600bn a year on behalf of its clients to drive the consumption of their products and services there is a huge opportunity for brands and agencies to work together to direct that investment to bring the future forward.

Mindshare is using #ChangeTheBrief with some of its clients as part of its Mindshare Day 2019 celebrations – looking for fresh advertising, content and media ideas, which demonstrate the actions we can take to help end the climate crisis.

Mindshare has a strong history of helping brands with sustainability initiatives.

The agency recently worked with eco-friendly home and personal-care brand Seventh Generation to help it donate its commercial airtime on NBC’s The Today Show throughout the week of Sept. 16, all in the name of the climate crisis.\

Mindshare also created a product called Dooonate, which allows the user to donate out-of-office autoreplies by turning them into media space for charities.

#ChangeTheBrief builds on these efforts but has a specific focus on scaling smaller consumer actions to make an impact in the world.

Read the #ChangeTheBrief manifesto

GroupM Adobe Advertising Ambassador Partner Program

GroupM, WPP AUNZ’s media investment arm, today announced that it has become a launch partner in Adobe’s inaugural Advertising Ambassador Program.

The Adobe Advertising Ambassador Program has been created to provide the most comprehensive Martech training and support structure in Australia and New Zealand.

The pilot program is a global first across Adobe Analytics, Audience Manager and Advertising Cloud and will culminate in certification and strategic understanding across the Analytics & Advertising Cloud products.

Being part of the programme will power GroupM’s Martech Centre of Excellence, driving certified experts across multiple Adobe solutions and embedding the media and marketing skillset of the future within GroupM’s agencies, Mindshare, MediaCom, Wavemaker and Essence.

WPP AUNZ executive director of marketing technology, Adam Good “I’m excited about the GroupM program, with Adobe being one of our key Martech partners. Great experiences using technology can set you apart and increase revenue growth, customer retention rates, and customer lifetime value. CMOs like to see agencies using multiple Adobe cloud products to help create and managing experiences that are being deployed and orchestrated across Omni channels.”

GroupM Australia’s head of trading intelligence, Liesa Newland said: “As our clients’ needs change, they are increasingly seeking guidance in the Martech arena.

“GroupM’s Centre of Excellence will provide holistic strategic support, to help brands execute on their technology and deliver their objectives across data, media and creative.

“Being part of the Adobe Advertising Ambassador programme will help our most data-driven and curious teams to dive into the technology to collaboratively solve our clients’ challenges.”

Newland continued: “GroupM are excited to be selected as a media group partner in Adobe’s inaugural Advertising Ambassador program and proud that GroupM is leading the charge for media agencies in the Martech talent space.

“These Advertising Ambassadors will supercharge our existing Martech capabilities and become knowledge hubs within GroupM on Adobe’s Marketing Stack, providing value and competitive advantage for our clients.”

Adobe Advertising Cloud APAC head, Phil Cowlishaw said: “Australian brands are increasingly adopting Adobe Analytics, Audience Manager and Advertising Cloud as they look to get a single, independent view of their customer.

“This provides greater insight into behaviour across the entire customer journey, as well as an omni-channel buying platform.

“The demand for people who can help brands succeed across these solutions has never been higher and I’m incredibly excited to see this first cohort learn, grow and drive success for our mutual clients.”