Colenso BBDO evolves its agency model

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Colenso BBDO has redesigned the agency to focus on creative collaboration, clients’ customers and new ways of working – via an in-depth press release that explains why & how the agency has evolved its agency model.

“We’re hoping this will be valuable to the M+AD audience,” says Colenso communications director Joe Carter.

The NZ agency, famous for work with clients like DB Export, MARS and Spark, has developed their offering to keep ahead of the market. The changing client and customer needs placed on traditional agency models has driven this focus.

MD Scott Coldham says, “These challenges clearly demand we re-assess how we remain relevant and we’ve pursued the things we believe will help ensure creativity continues to flourish. We’re conscious of three key areas: how we collaborate to solve problems, how we evolve towards being an agency that represents not just our clients’ brands, but their customers too, and how we disrupt old processes.”

One of the agency’s new initiatives has seen them call on key partners to have a physical and a virtual seat in the agency; a process that fosters collaboration when client problems or opportunities arrive in the agency.

“Ultimately, we want to provide agnostic solutions to our clients’ problems,” says Creative Chairman Nick Worthington. “Often the solution isn’t advertising. Colenso&Co is a partnership structure with a group of specialist companies – Facebook, Google, Perceptive, Scion and Soul Machines to name a few, to ensure we are seamlessly exposing our clients to the best thinking. When casting, we can call on these partners to build truly cross functional teams to solve for the outcome.

“Partnering with these companies isn’t necessarily a new thing for our industry – formalising a process that benefits from their collective thinking power is.

“It enables us to get better, without necessarily getting bigger.”

In 2016, Proximity and Touchcast merged into Colenso BBDO, enhancing the agency’s direct, digital and data offering. The agency has further built on these capabilities, with the Clemenger Group acquisition of Perceptive – a customer intelligence agency – in June 2017. The agency will also welcome a new member to its senior management team from Accenture Singapore mid-year. Each acquisition has led to growing the CX, business transformation and growth expertise that’s since become engrained in the Colenso culture.

Says Coldham, “How companies re-organise themselves to outpace change and stay ahead of the consumer is increasingly putting pressure on the shape of our creative product. We will continue to enhance our capabilities to keep pace with change and simplify clients’ business problems, extending our creative thinking beyond traditional communication-led briefs.”

New ways of working: How an agency integrates with the increasingly diverse operating models and expectations of organisations requires different team structures, different skillsets and different approaches and there are a couple of ways that Colenso are adapting to ensure more ideas happen, more often.

Colenso Ventures
The appointment of Gavin Becker from consultancy Made by Many in NYC has paved the way for an innovation offering. It’s designed to help clients develop new products, new services and new business ventures to help them move into the white space so often monopolised by start-ups.

This presents a completely new way of working. Short sprints that embrace live prototyping of ideas and consumer engagement with them – giving organisations newfound confidence to pursue initiatives. The offering is gaining real traction – especially with brands that are experiencing strong new market entrants or require different routes to market for their products, services and experiences.

Colenso Studios
Colenso Studios is the collection of Colenso’s traditional studio function, creative technology, social, production, experiential and their in-house content business, Flare.

Led by their COO, Paul Courtney and his Creative Group Heads, it enables their clients to access the ‘doing’ capability of Colenso with ease when speed, accuracy and quality are paramount. Priced to reflect this, Studios is managed with streamlined processes to deliver on time and on budget, whilst maintaining the standards Colenso’s clients value.

For clients with existing frameworks or brand platforms, global material to adapt, or simple local content and delivery requirements in any channel, this offering provides access to Colenso’s delivery powerhouse in new and economical ways.

“Everything has changed, and nothing has changed,” says Coldham. “While we’ll never walk away from the brilliantly beautiful power that creativity can have to affect change, how we get to it and deliver it requires an appreciation of the significant changes that are happening in our industry, and our clients’. We’re confident these gestures will help forge another successful chapter for our creative company.”

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