An agency for clients’ brands and customers: Scott Coldham explains Colenso's new model

  • Advertising
  • April 11, 2018
  • Erin McKenzie
An agency for clients’ brands and customers: Scott Coldham explains Colenso's new model

Last month, Colenso BBDO unveiled a new agency model that puts a focus on creative collaboration, clients’ customers and new ways of working.

The resulting initiatives include Colesno&Co, that fosters collaboration when client problems or opportunities arrive in the agency, and ColensoCX, which refers to its business transformation and growth expertise.

These sit alongside Colenso Ventures, an initiative designed to help clients develop new products, new services and new business ventures to help them move into the white space that’s so often monopolised by start-ups.

And finally there’s Colenso Studios, a collection of the agency’s traditional studio function, creative technology, social, production experiential and its in-house content business to enable the agency's clients to access the ‘doing’ capability of Colenso with ease when speed, accuracy and quality are paramount.

And while the four initiatives are a new way of thinking for the agency, sitting down to talk with managing director Scott Coldham about the move, it’s clear the key forces affecting the agency are not exclusive to Colenso  - they’re trends that spread across adland.

The first, he says, is clients have an appreciation that marketing is more than a department. He says every touchpoint a consumer has with a brand has the ability to drive a positive or negative outcome and “gone are the days that it’s solely the domain of the people responsible for the advertising”.

Telcos, utilities, insurance companies, banks and retailers, as well as smaller brands are grappling with the same types of challenges and that facilitates a bigger conversation, a deeper understanding of the business and ultimately the ability for their agencies to help navigate to win.

Because of this, Coldham says the agency is dealing with people beyond the marketing department and operating in water further upstream than communications.

“Advertising is simply the end of the conversation and the opportunity for agencies to help more clearly define the problem and contribute to the solution is when the best work happens.”

New models all round

The idea rolls into Coldham’s second key force, that while advertising isn’t dead, the runway for the tenure of traditional advertising agencies is getting shorter.

The rise of consultancies, start-ups and innovation practices are constantly repositioning advertising agencies and he says agencies are sitting waiting to see what the likes of Accenture and Deloitte do with creative businesses.

Coldham says time will tell whether consultancies buying up creative agencies will work. The way agencies show up with a breadth of capabilities and operating systems to wrap around a particular client, in a particular marketplace, and provide a rhythm or a model to do what they need to do in the right amount of time is challenging for agencies.

Talking about Colenso specifically, he says it’s bringing back the consultancy expertise and experience to transform organisations, and help clients deal with the digital age that is now.

This can be seen in the hire of a new senior management team member from Accenture Singapore.

Coldham anticipates the new recruit will grow its capability in the customer experience and considers him a cherry on the top when considering how brands are grappling with how they navigate the digital world.

He adds the new hire will be joined by others, which will see the agency’s staff numbers go up after remaining stable over the course of implementing the new operating model.

Putting the customer first                                           

The final key factor Coldham has identified, which he points out is again pretty common-place, is the ability to understand and ultimately influence consumers is greater than it’s ever been.

He explains that consumers expect brands to understand them, their relationship with the brand, their history with it and then provide experiences, engagements, products and service accordingly.

“Most organisations are going through some form of transformation to put the customer at the centre, and to enable them to turn up more consistently as a brand. I think there’s something lovely in acknowledging we have always been able to represent our clients’ brands to the marketplace, but in today’s day and age, we also need to be able to represent our clients’ customers too.”

That realisation has had a profound impact on the agency in terms of its services and skillsets. Coldham says the company is now an expert in both its clients’ businesses as well as in those clients’ customers and what they want and how they are living their lives.

“Evolving towards becoming an agency for not just our clients’ brands but their customers too is something we're passionate about.”

A creative core

Having talked about the move away from the traditional agency way of working with a new operation model, how does Colenso see itself today?

It’s been declared Axis Creative Agency of the Year for the last three years and Coldham shows no sign of it losing that creative force.

He says it unreservedly believes in the power of creative thinking to drive commercial outcomes first and foremost so creativity will be what it champions day-in and day-out.

“We will never walk away from our belief in the power of creativity, we’re simply evolving to ensure it can flourish in more and more places.”

In fact, the agency's creativity has the potential to increase, if Coldham’s thoughts about creativity coming from collaboration are anything to go by.

He sees collaboration as a key to work that’s both commercially successful and famously creative, referring to the likes of ‘Brewtroleum’ for DB Export, which won big across award shows locally and internationally including an Outdoor Grand Prix at Cannes, and ‘Backyard Burger King’, which recently won 19th place on the WARC 100 List that measures and awards the 100 most effective advertisements in the world each year.

'Backyard Burger King' was created with insights uncovered by research/customer intelligence company Perceptive Group, which was acquired by the Clemenger Group last year. It’s now been named as one of the partners Colenso will be collaborating with under its Colenso&Co initiative.

Other partners include Facebook, Google, Scion and Soul Machines, and they have a physical and a virtual seat in the agency to foster collaboration when client problems or opportunities arrive in the agency.

Coldham explains the idea behind it is that a diverse group of specialists coming together around a table opens the opportunity to either solve a problem or exploit an opportunity together.

“Often the most interesting and powerful creative ideas require us to work with people who have skillsets we don’t have in our building. Having an open mindset to partner smarter, and ensure the idea turns up as best it can is obviously the right thing to do. Those partners are now far more wide-reaching than traditional advertising partners because ideas are increasingly diverse. We want to foster an environment that brings those diverse partners into the agency more often.”

Widening the scope

Summing up the rationally of Colenso’s new operative model, Coldham says it’s about remaining relevant and of value to organisations, beyond marketing.

“We have to disrupt old processes. The capability our clients value today, demands it. The processes we follow to deliver advertising outcomes vary from the processes we follow when doing sprints or problem design sessions. We have to have the flexibility to do it all.

"How we work is just as important as the work we make these days."

Colenso isn’t alone in this thinking. FCB also has new client solutions within its walls in the form of The Hive and FCB Open. The former is a content service team that allows clients to develop, produce and deliver audiovisual and static content fast and cost-effectively, and the latter operates to keep the agency and its clients relevant and up to date with what makes Kiwis, new and old, tick.

Meanwhile, Special Group has recently unveiled Nimble, a new production company that’s the result of a collaboration with executive producer Patrick McAteer. The plan is for Nimble to access the best talent, no matter where it is, rather than being limited to the talent under one single production company roof.

But what about changes on client side? Coldham says the factors affecting its business are also, in part, affecting clients and with this in mind, he sees room for clients to embrace new technologies and consumer expectations. However, some are doing it better than others as it’s not considered to be a threat—but complacency will only see its threat grow he warns.

To explain, he recalls a talk by Wired founding executive Kevin Kelly about AI and VR—the latter being a technology of huge hype that’s grossly overrated because it’s not yet affordable and saleable.

However, Kelly said look five years down the road when VR could be taking over mobile and changing the internet, and suddenly the way it could be fundamentally dictating how consumers experience brands is grossly underrated.

"Just embrace them and have some fun with what they can offer. Start small. Test and fail. They’re going to change your category in one way shape or form sooner or later, and leading your customers into that future is the only option."

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

#suffrage125: How media and brands are celebrating New Zealand's historic move

  • Advertising
  • September 19, 2018
  • StopPress Team
#suffrage125: How media and brands are celebrating New Zealand's historic move

Today is a proud day for New Zealand as we celebrate 125 years of women’s suffrage in New Zealand. StopPress looked around to see what media and brands in Aotearoa did to mark the occasion.

Read more

Changing faces of women in advertising

  • Voices
  • September 19, 2018
  • Georgia Middleton
Changing faces of women in advertising

It’s 2018. That’s 125 years since women in New Zealand have been recognised as equals in the eyes of democracy. But what’s the story of equality in advertising? It doesn’t take much research to find articles about the changing faces of women in advertising – and yes, things are changing. But the casual sexism, the call-outs and the cover-ups have sparked a different kind of debate. Is misogynistic advertising a thing of the past, or do seeds of it still exist? To answer that, I’ve looked at different portrayals of women to see how things were then…and now.

Read more

Sharks and lightning: expect the unexpected in LifeDirect's new campaign

  • Advertising
  • September 18, 2018
  • Georgina Harris
Sharks and lightning: expect the unexpected in LifeDirect's new campaign

Following the sad demise of mascot Simon the sloth, LifeDirect by Trade Me has gone for the humourously unexpected in its newest brand campaign by Y&R.

Read more

Social scoreboard

Zavy and StopPress have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

topics
Follow The Money
Follow The Money
Follow the money. It’s an axiom that journalists have believed in for years and a ...
Regional Rundown
Regional Rundown
StopPress takes a trip down the country to see who the audiences and agencies are ...
Beyond the Page 2018
Beyond the Page 2018
In conjunction with the MPA, the Beyond the Page series shows how some of the ...
Insight Creative
Insight Creative
Insight Creative specialises in shaping business stories out the core insights that often lie under ...
Beneath the Surface
Beneath the Surface
In this series, brought to you by Microsoft, we talk to a conceptual photographer, illustrator ...
20/20 (tele)vision
20/20 (tele)vision
Media consumption is changing. But by how much?
The Hot List
The Hot List
Our rundown of the hottest shows, brands and creators in New Zealand media. 1. magazine ...
Cannes Lions 2017
Cannes Lions 2017
All the winners, the shortlists and the drama from this year's edition of advertising biggest ...
Merger Mania
Merger Mania
All our stories on the nation's two failed mergers in one place
Bauer Beyond the Page
Bauer Beyond the Page
When it comes to creating branded content, there are few better in the Kiwi market ...
The Indies
The Indies
Over the course of this series of articles, we look at how always-nimble indy agencies ...
AdRoll on automation
AdRoll on automation
Marketing automation is tipped to eventually become the only way advertising is traded in the ...
Game Changers
Game Changers
It’s all about PEOPLE. Join us as we discuss global insights, ideas and innovations from ...
TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2015
TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2015
Celebrating all the winners of the 2015 TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards.
Future Tense
Future Tense
In a new series, StopPress talks to a range of newsmakers currently trying to shine ...
Beyond the Page
Beyond the Page
In conjunction with the MPA, the Beyond the Page series shows how some of the ...
Up Country
Up Country
In conjunction with News Works, the Up Country series talks with some of New Zealand's ...
Sounding off
Sounding off
As part of a content partnership with MediaWorks, we've asked a few of the company's ...
StopPress Podcasts
StopPress Podcasts
We sit down for a chat with industry leaders to find out what they're up ...

What's your mark of progress? ASB showcases its customers' stories

  • Advertising
  • September 18, 2018
  • StopPress Team
What's your mark of progress? ASB showcases its customers' stories

ASB has launched another round of its business banking campaign with True, and this time it's put the spotlight on its customers, with Pic’s Peanut Butter, Burger Burger, Farmlands and others sharing their business progress.

Read more

Ads of the week: 18 September

  • TVC of the week
  • September 18, 2018
  • StopPress Team
Ads of the week: 18 September

ASB, LifeDirect and Phloe show us how it's done.

Read more
voices

Social enterprise shows how VR can save New Zealand's endangered birds

  • Technology
  • September 18, 2018
  • Elly Strang
Social enterprise shows how VR can save New Zealand's endangered birds

For Conservation Week this week, social enterprise Squawk Squad and virtual reality studio M Theory have joined forces to go into the classroom and get children excited about saving New Zealand’s native birds through VR technology. The experience takes the viewer through a forest journey alongside a robin bird, who encountering friends and predators along the way.

Read more
Follow the money, part three: Where New Zealand's news media is finding pots of funding gold
features

Follow the money, part three: Where New Zealand's news media is finding pots of funding gold

Follow the money. It’s an axiom that journalists have believed in for years and a guiding light when it comes to holding the powerful to account. But that phrase is increasingly pertinent to those who run media businesses. As advertising money flows away from traditional channels towards large tech firms, the old business model of selling space around the news is creaking. And that has led to a range of experiments from publishers and broadcasters hoping to keep the lights on – and to keep shining those lights into dark places. Erin McKenzie dives into the local news media feed and finds plenty of experiments, but no simple answer to the funding conundrum.

NZME secures eight News Media Awards in Australia: News Corp leads winners

  • Awards
  • September 17, 2018
  • StopPress Team
NZME secures eight News Media Awards in Australia: News Corp leads winners

NZME was the most successful New Zealand brand at the News Media Awards in Sydney last week, with News Corp topping the honours taking home 2018 News Brand of the Year.

Read more

Seat appoints DDB to rev up its presence

  • Advertising
  • September 17, 2018
  • StopPress Team
Seat appoints DDB to rev up its presence

After launching in New Zealand last year, Spanish car brand Seat has appointed DDB as its creative agency to grow its presence in the local market. DDB's garage is now home to Volkswagen and Seat.

Read more

Connon Bray: "The debate was misdirected"

  • Voices
  • September 17, 2018
  • Connon Bray
Connon Bray: "The debate was misdirected"

TRA partner Connon Bray weighs in on the Byron Sharp versus Mark Ritson debate, deciding both marketing giants are wrong.

Read more
Digitising New Zealand's SME community: Yellow launches marketing subscription service
Sponsored content

Digitising New Zealand's SME community: Yellow launches marketing subscription service

“It’s not a matter of if, but when,” says Yellow chief marketing officer Bruce Pilbrow on businesses undergoing a digital transformation. For the past 60 years, it’s been serving New Zealanders and their businesses alongside its own transformation and now it’s ready to impart that experience onto SMEs.

Brett Henshaw appointed managing director of Fonterra Brands, New Zealand

  • Advertising
  • September 17, 2018
  • StopPress Team
Brett Henshaw appointed managing director of Fonterra Brands, New Zealand

The Fonterra Co-operative has a new managing director of Fonterra Brands, New Zealand in Brett Henshaw.

Read more

TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2018: Kevin Bowler inducted into Marketing Hall of Fame

  • Awards
  • September 14, 2018
  • StopPress Team
TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2018: Kevin Bowler inducted into Marketing Hall of Fame

The ability to tackle change head-on is a trait most successful people share. And throughout his career, Kevin Bowler has never shied away from a challenge.

Read more

OMD wins SkyCity jackpot

  • Advertising
  • September 14, 2018
  • StopPress Team
OMD wins SkyCity jackpot

OMD has won the SkyCity media account following a competitive pitch, with work commencing immediately.

Read more

Summer's coming: The Warehouse launches refreshed TVCs

  • Advertising
  • September 14, 2018
  • StopPress Team
Summer's coming: The Warehouse launches refreshed TVCs

The Warehouse is taking a refreshed approach to its marketing, with its latest TVC by DDB promoting a new attitude and new goals for its customers.

Read more
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About

StopPress provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2018 ICG Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise

Contact Vernene Medcalf at +64 21 628 200 to advertise in StopPress.

View Media Kit