Jason Davey joined Ogilvy in 2014 after the advertising, marketing and public relations giant acquired his digital agency, Bullseye.
Most recently, Davey introduced two innovations across two core areas of Ogilvy’s business. The first is operational modernisation which has been achieved by implementing cloud-based workflow, resourcing, project planning, collaboration and communication platforms.
Davey says that these platforms are driving efficiencies and integration across four Ogilvy Australia offices with more than 350 staff. At the same time, he implemented a national resourcing model to service the needs of clients across each office, including an offshore production facility in Indonesia, which is driving increased profitability.
“This change has enabled Ogilvy Australia to move from a company operating 13 different PLs to one, changing the way it engages with clients to centre around servicing their business challenges, not business structure,” Davey says.
The second is client innovation or driving technology-based ideas that have resulted in globally recognised solutions for the company’s clients. This has lifted Ogilvy’s profile significantly, being recognised in 2018 as Adnews Digital Agency of the Year and being ranked the third most innovative agency in the World in the Cannes Lions Creativity Report.
These innovations include: AAMI Smartplates, a digital log book app that helps create safer drivers; PEET Vision 360, an industry-first virtual reality tour for residential master plan developments; and Cadbury Live Egg Hunt, which uses Facebook 360 to create an Australian-first digital experience for young adults during Easter.
They also include AAMI Warning Spots, a data-driven safety campaign targeting drivers while they listen to Spotify; and IBM Outthink Melanoma, which uses artificial intelligence and internet of things technology and a smart mirror to help in the early detection of skin cancer among Australians..
“The operational modernisation program was a business efficiency initiative, enabled by cloud technologies, and driven by the need to better leverage a national resource team to collaborate across office locations, including an offshore production centre,” says Davey.
“The client innovation program has been enabled by using design thinking approaches to client briefs. This allows the creative process to consider the role of technology in the solution, and provide access to technical specialists within the team to help conceptualise, design and delivery ideas of the agency for client success.”
Validating ideas with data
It’s one thing to have ideas, it’s another to get them to market, says Davey.
“In every example of client innovations cited, there were internal challenges in these organisations to get the ideas supported. Quite often this required helping our client’s marketing department navigate their internal organisation around topics such as security, systems integration, data privacy and customer operations.
“This was overcome by ensuring we had an inspirational vision at the outset – a well communicated idea and vision, with an advocacy network who helped champion the change. Using data to validate ideas, using co-design techniques and creating prototypes for testing – and refinement – with consumers ensured the success of every solution, every time.”
Building effective relationships
Davey uses monthly executive committee meetings to seek high level support for new initiatives, then supports his team to execute them using a bottom up approach.
“This ensures that people affected by change have the opportunity to be involved in the change and can participate in the solution design, helping to remove any barriers. We then seek out quick wins to help champion the change. This approach resulted in Ogilvy Australia have the fastest and widest update of the Wrike workflow system amongst its global customer base,” he says.
Ogilvy also runs a ‘one on one’ program where everyone with a specific skill set is encouraged – through training support – to develop an adjunct, but complementary, skill.
“For example, our video editors have developed 3D CGI modelling skills, or a technical architect has learnt augmented reality production. Not only does this keep people engaged and learning, it has produced significant business benefits in the reduction of outsourcing.
“My team presents case studies and examples at every monthly meeting, providing a behind the scenes view of projects to reveal the strategy, process and considerations of the technologies we use.”