Today, Ogilvy UK announces two new strategy heads join the business, bolstering strategic leadership and bringing added depth in data, insights and innovation to the agency and its clients. Sarah Blackman, head of strategic innovation and Kate Wheaton, head of customer engagement strategy will both join Gen Kobayashi, head of strategy, communications, to lead an experienced team of over 75 strategists dedicated to ensure every moment that a customer has with a brand matters.
Both hires have vast experience in working as trusted partners with large-scale clients. In Sarah’s new remit, she will be bolstering data-driven creativity across Ogilvy UK, harnessing her deep expertise in well-rounded digital and innovation strategy. Kate will partner with head of customer engagement Louise Whitcombe and her team bringing her extensive knowledge of customer experience and engagement strategy. She is a well-versed architect of holistic, relevant customer experiences across a variety of touchpoints.
Sarah has over 13 years’ experience, leading strategy on both a European and global level for some of the most well-known brands, including Nestlé, Philadelphia, Maybelline, NY and Wella Haircare. While at Accenture Interactive, she ensured the creative output of the agency was borne from data insights. Prior to that, she was chief innovation officer at Proximity, and she has worked at Y&R, BBDO and MRM during her career. Beyond her work in the industry, she has lectured at the École Superior de Publicité in Paris and the Oxford Institute of the Internet.
Kate has been the director of strategy at TMW Unlimited since 2011, leading a team of 30 and bringing together capabilities such as insight generation, strategic planning, data planning, marketing effectiveness and web, social and data analytics. Prior to TMW, she was an executive planning director for EHS Brann, now Havas Helia.
Clare Lawson, chief customer officer, Ogilvy UK says: “We’re incredibly proud to have two fantastic strategic leaders join the agency in Sarah and Kate. Their phenomenal experience bringing insightful, innovative, data-led thinking to the team. Gen, Sarah and Kate will together propel forward our capabilities and the work we do for our clients. All the more important as we enter an age where it’s the customer who really owns the experience they want from a brand.”
Sarah Blackman, head of strategic innovation, Ogilvy UK adds: “Coming from the creative consulting world, I look forward to diving into Ogilvy and working with teams across the business. There’s a strong foundation of capability and talent in the organisation, and I look forward to working with Kate and Gen to shape a truly robust offering which continually pushes the boundaries of what we can do.”
Kate Wheaton, head of customer engagement strategy, Ogilvy UK says: “Ogilvy is at an exciting point, having brought everything together into an integrated offering with depth of capability. There’s a real investment and passion to have the customer at the heart of the work, and with an incredible roster of clients and experts in the building, there’s an immense opportunity to collaborate and create amazing work which enables brands to hold an authentic place in people’s lives.”