KPEX’s Richard Thompson and Dentsu Aegis Network’s Alex Radford have announced a new a digital consultancy business, Future State Consulting.
Radford, who is currently general manager of digital media at Dentsu Aegis Network, and Thompson, the chief executive of KPEX, will depart their roles in March. Their aim with the new venture is to support clients from strategy development right through to delivery by providing the leadership, strategy and tools businesses need to succeed in the digital economy.
Having worked together previously at Omnicom Group and at VivaKi NZ, the pair have been talking about the need for senior-level digital advice for about seven years now and looking at the state of the market, they believe if marketers don’t start getting this advice, there will continue to be a lack of trust in the digital channel.
Thompson adds there’s a huge opportunity to accelerate the quality of digital thinking and work being provided to New Zealand businesses and Future State will fill the gap.
While agencies and clients are good at getting activity into the market, he sees a need for high-quality thinking to make sure the structures are right, people are understating what they’re trying to achieve in digital, and the objectives are aligned with the business objectives.
“It’s about making sure that whatever you are doing in the digital space is directly correlated with what your business objectives are and you have absolute confidence that you can use the channel to do that,” he says. “Not just doing digital for digital’s sake.”
And where Future State’s point of difference lies is that it’s not positioning itself as an agency. Instead, Thompson says it will work alongside agencies as well as with clients on their own.
“If we can do this properly for brands, we will really give them the confidence to invest more in the channel, engage more with the channel and hopefully strip back some of the fear at the moment that we are seeing.”
While the pair will continue in their current roles until March, Future State already has a couple of founding clients and Thompson says it gives them the confidence that their proposition feels right.
He also says it feels like the right time for him and Radford to enter a new venture.
Thompson will depart KPEX after two years with the company. His final months with it will see him ensure a smooth and stable transition to global technology provider Appnexus, which has recently been appointed as KPEX’s lead SSP partner.
Both KPEX and Dentsu Aegis Network are looking for replacements for Thompson and Radford from March next year.