Starting a new role is always an exciting journey of discovery and opportunity. Starting a newly-created role as business development director at the world’s largest digital performance agency and part of the global media giant that is Dentsu Aegis Network, presents a whole new level of excitement.
Now that I am two months in, I thought it would be timely to provide some initial observations into the iProspect culture, its clients and a newfound love for collaboration.
Let me begin by saying that my position was created to maximize the huge new business opportunities presented both within the Dentsu Aegis Network and the wider market generally. iProspect has evolved quickly over the last few years, diversifying its pure search proposition into a more holistic digital marketing service and it makes for a compelling proposition to take to new prospects.
Having begun my media agency career at Carat London in the mid-90s, I had already enjoyed the charms of agency life and experienced the different characters that come together for 8 hours a day to create that unique company culture.
Coming back to the agency-side after 10 years, I have been truly blown away by the energy and professionalism on show from all the team in the Melbourne office: never a curse word, not once an elevated voice (dare I say a far cry from the TV-trader set I was once part of at Carat London!) and where a quiet humility pervades in an environment of excellence.
Being the new kid on the block, with an eagerness to open dialogue with new prospects in the market, I had to quickly understand the key insights of our work. Support was there at every turn and from every member of the specialist iProspect teams – after all, my outward voice is only ever going to be as strong as the information provided from within the office.
I have even gone back to University – iProspect University to be precise, where I regularly tap in to the central platform to further my knowledge in certain disciplines and so I can go toe-to-toe with my digital marketing counterparts.
Our specialist teams work seamlessly together, delivering an output greater than the sum of its parts. Everybody takes ownership for the role they play in recognising the iProspect mission. For sure, agency life a decade ago would have been different to that of today but there is something truly infectious about the vibe at iProspect.
Intelligence, fearlessness, confidence and charisma are just some of the characteristics sought in iProspect employees and it’s not just a corporate wish-list, it actually does exist here. When you embody these characteristics it is so much easier to attract like-minded clients. We like to work with clients whose values align with ours – bold, ambitious, growing and collaborative.
It is my job to ensure that we are speaking to these prospects.
Every client we work with, from global blue-chips to smaller business retailers, each provides at least one shiny nugget of digital performance excellence – something particularly useful for me when talking up credentials and experience to new prospects.
One of the first things I did when starting the role was to get one unique or best-in-class story from each of our key clients which spoke to the benefit of partnering with iProspect. In just one year, the iProspect team’s outstanding work on the Lenovo account has seen it grow from the green shoots of search to now include search, display and social.
There are a number of similar growth stories of clients gradually building to include all of the digital channels to the point where having a full suite of iProspect’s services is really the only way to drive transformative business performance.
Our clients naturally expect and have come to expect the best service and results. As we continually strive to improve and learn, we also ask our clients to provide feedback on our work in the quarterly Rating Referral survey. With an average score of 8.12 out of 10 in the most recent survey, it is clear that our high-quality work is being recognised and it also presents an open forum to discuss areas where we can improve.
Clients are also invited to get inspired at ongoing workshops across the year hosted by Mark Byrne, our GM of Products and Services, as part of his Emerge series with the Dentsu Aegis Innovation Council.
I have been fortunate enough to witness one of these workshops designed to inspire future thinking from senior marketers via a mix of content, exercises and group discussion. This consultative approach iProspect adopts to its client relationships is of paramount importance in the fast-changing digital world marketers find themselves in nowadays.
I’m excited to report there will be a new crop of themed workshops being rolled out over the coming months.
For the benefit of this article, I am treating the use of the word collaboration as working with our other Dentsu Aegis Network brands.
Dentsu Aegis Network offers its clients specialist services across 20+ brands in Australia. Indeed, iProspect works collaboratively with other DAN brands on a huge 40% of its total client base. Some of the best work can be found in a DAN collaboration, where clients not only receive the experience and services of specialist agencies but everything is geared to one agenda, one KPI and one P&L.
One particular example of this was PayPal’s Shop Off the Beaten Path campaign which was shortlisted in the recent Mumbrella Award for Collaboration category. The holy trinity of media, creative and performance across Vizeum, Isobar and iProspect enabled a truly cohesive collaboration across all stages of the planning and implementation process.
Collaboration across Dentsu Aegis Network brands is also therefore a massively attractive toy to take out to prospective clients. This is fast becoming a major focus for my new business drive as I seek out collaborative opportunities with not just the agency brands but also with some of the recent technology and data services within the Network.
Our global offices also provide a rich resource of collaborative examples which is a great proof point for opening discussions locally. On that front, we have several new business projects already underway within the group; whether it is adding our complimentary services to the consultative and creative spearhead of Isobar, or providing on-ground mobile extensions to MKTG activations.
With a flurry of new business wins in just the last few weeks and with a number of exciting new business opportunities being carved out, the next-level excitement just keeps growing.