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2019: Seeking Brand Growth and Customer-Centricity


INFLUENCER: Ogilvy UK's Clare Lawson on embracing change and breaking from tradition in the new year

2019: Seeking Brand Growth and Customer-Centricity

This year, we’ve had a decisive pivot toward the power of the customer. Now more than ever, customer-centricity has to be at the heart of how we communicate and construct brand experiences, co-creating experiences and services that meet the needs and expectations of the customer. 

However, for many companies, this is easier said than done. According to Forrester research, only 39% of companies have any senior executives leading the charge from a customer point of view. So how should brands and agencies approach the year ahead to harness a changing consumer and agency landscape?

Embrace change at a pace

There is no doubt that many organisations are going through transformation, whether that’s mergers, growing into new areas or shrinking to fit. It’s well documented that Ogilvy has been through its own transformation in 2018. But change as a moment in time is dead. Change is now what we do, what we live with and what we need to embrace as an ongoing rhythm of business. And you’ve got to find a model that works to embrace it.

One way to embrace this speed is through an incubation or acceleration model within a company – for example, at Ogilvy UK, we have an accelerator strategy which next year focuses on the areas of data, user experience design, influencer and marketing and performance technology. Ever changing and ever growing areas that we can incubate to grow and change at speed. 

Break from tradition

Scale no longer needs to come from spend. One of the big growth areas which will continue to flourish in 2019 is certainly influence and influencer strategies. For a brand to truly scale, they have to start connecting with customers on a personal, relatable level, rather than solely focus on media placements. Tapping into the influence networks of your brand's biggest advocates, and using their reach and scale to unlock opportunities is the new black. At Ogilvy we are consciously investing in bespoke influencer strategies and technology to provide end-to-end service to help our clients tap into their most valuable advocates and use them to scale their brand. 

2019 is the year of the curious

Of course, none of the change in processes or product is possible without people. Traditionally, siloed structures and teams have meant talent is celebrated for a singular skill. Now, talent needs to be given the space and opportunity to learn new skills and stretch their potential. We’re no longer talking about capabilities like advertising or customer engagement in isolation; now we talk about advertising under the lens of brand performance, and customer engagement as seamless customer experiences enabled by technology. Those who will thrive in 2019 and beyond are the curious: the talent who are willing to bring new perspectives and learn skills beyond their existing roles – quickly! 

Clare Lawson is chief customer officer at Ogilvy UK

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Ogilvy UK, Fri, 30 Nov 2018 12:08:26 GMT