Disruption is an inevitable consequence of the scale and speed of innovation that is happening in the transition to a digital economy. This is generating both risk and opportunity as market structures shift and both people and organisations are impacted in new, often unexpected ways.
Business is powered by a new set of economics that has been created by digital innovation and is close to the conditions of Perfect Competition. At the same time innovation is also helping us better understand people, their motivations and their demand patterns.
Building a business that is fit for the digital economy is the best way of embracing the potential of disruption with resilience and optimism. This means seeing opportunity where others see uncertainty, as we create personalised brand experiences that engage consumers to drive growth for our clients.
Through our pioneering and agile culture, our focus is to innovate across the marketing and business mix and to deliver short term business performance, long-term growth and value creation for our clients. To achieve that, our system is designed to harness all our capabilities across media & performance, content, creative & technology in two key ways; offering deep specialist services and fully integrated solutions depending on the needs of our clients. Underpinning everything we do is our ability to maximise the value of data and drive competitive advantage for brands and businesses. We transform consumer data into addressable insight, powered by dynamic content, that delivers consumer engagement to drive business outcomes.
There is a need for the new level of expertise that Agency Groups can offer, to be delivered through a new model of collaboration. In taking a consultative approach we can help identify, source and drive new streams of revenue and value to our clients’ businesses and brands. My new role will enable me to work even closer with clients in the transition to a demand-led digital economy.
The future of Dentsu Aegis Network’s business is founded on the new marketing world where marketing is planned around people, and not just product. Bolstered by strategic acquisitions, including Merkle, and in the context of a transforming digital economy, Dentsu Aegis is at the forefront of this shift in our industry to people-based marketing via PII data (Personally Identifiable Information). I’m excited to lead the Americas to achieve this ambitious agenda where sophisticated data analytics and real-time insight enable us to imagine the best creative, experiences, engagement and addressability to deliver the optimum results for our clients.
The rules of brand engagement have changed in a world where consumers are in control and innovation outpaces regulation. Brands are either built for this environment or have to adapt quickly. That’s why we’ve set out to become a leading digital economy business ourselves. In this way, we can ensure that we’re better placed to support all our clients in the digital economy, helping them to embrace the potential of disruption together—using high-quality data, cuttingedge technology and world-class talent to innovate the way brands are built and experienced.
Dentsu Aegis continues to evolve as a diversified business with an exciting ambition, progressive vision and high performance culture, all of which are critical to creating value for clients. Diversity is key to driving innovation and creativity, and Dentsu Aegis Americas continues to reflect this. I’m looking forward to building on the existing success within the region, by drawing upon the groups’ talent and connecting resources and capabilities between North America and Latin America to drive regional growth.
In 2017, Dentsu and Dentsu Digital announced People Driven Marketing™ (PDM) as a planning platform for the entire Dentsu Group in Japan. Based on changes in people’s awareness and behavior, the platform integrates and manages marketing measures that take a fresh look at client business and marketing issues. More than a methodology, PDM is a vision and strategy for how the Dentsu Group will develop data infrastructure and cultivate human resources, as well as what we must do to provide high-quality services.
With digitization now commonplace, we discern a need to look at the people behind the data. To this end, our vision is to approach planning from the basis of IDs rather than cookies. This has accelerated data alliances in a variety of areas, thanks to the support of numerous clients and platform developers in Japan and overseas. We are planning advances in PDM through alliances with the Merkle Group Inc., and Dentsu Aegis Network.
Japan is preparing to host the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020. We see this as a golden opportunity to understand, through the use of data, changes in people’s feelings and behavior.
With its role as growth leader in the Dentsu Group, Dentsu Digital has adopted “Exciting Digital” as its slogan. By generating stimulating ideas, we hope to drive marketing innovation and contribute to Group growth.
In 2018, Dentsu changed the name of its Account Management Division to Business Producers Division. This expresses our intention to commit to the success of customer businesses by going beyond the meeting of corporate needs and creating solutions in the advertising communications domain to deliver true achievements, namely, those resulting from meeting the needs of consumers and society, the recipients of products, services and advertisements.
Given that consumers are increasingly discerning and have the option of not buying or using items and services, they must grasp the underlying meaning of products if purchases are to be encouraged. To this end, Dentsu is engaged in two major reforms.
The first reform involves piecing together the behaviors and articulations of individual people, rather than viewing product and service recipient as a group. As a result of the advancement of digital technologies, we have devised a People Driven Marketing™ concept to take the pulse of individuals’ behavior.
The second reform involves working environment innovation. We will share and utilize the knowledge and skills accumulated by each Dentsu employee, and improve their performance competency so as to increase opportunities for individual input. Through these reforms, we will develop human resources able to offer a variety of solutions for the issues surrounding business partner products and services, with a Company-wide and social perspective.
In this way, Dentsu will continue taking on challenges and growing as business producers with solutions.
In a fast-paced and constantly evolving digital economy, the companies that will succeed are those with the people who have the skills and capabilities to combine data, technology and creativity to drive innovation. That’s why, at Dentsu Aegis Network, we believe our people are at the heart of delivering our vision ‘innovating the way brands are built.’
Our approach is straight forward. We continue to invest in our unique, values-led culture built on empowerment and entrepreneurial thinking, where diverse and talented people can thrive. We are committed to attracting and retaining world-class talent, and supporting them to grow and develop through cutting-edge learning and career opportunities. Underpinning this is an approach to leadership that enables us to blend the experience and judgement of our more established leaders with the digital mindset and curiosity of our emerging leadership talent. We are built for agility, collaboration and innovation, and this enables us to evolve with our clients, to create even more engaging and powerful experiences for their consumers. It is also why most of the leaders of the businesses we have acquired have chosen to stay within our network and build their careers with us.
Our Network is at the forefront of the industry in its shift to people-based marketing, with an unwavering commitment to our ambition of being ‘a 100% digital economy business.’ Having the right capabilities, values and culture, and talent have never been more important to us.
Technology plays a fundamental role in Dentsu Aegis Network’s strategy and is a key enabler of our business priorities and goals. In 2018, we will continue to invest in our Data platforms and products and strengthen the management of our Global Alliances with Technology Partners so we can offer an increased range of compelling solutions to clients. For Dentsu Aegis Network, technology will help us transform how we operate in every area so that we can deliver better outcomes for clients and be more efficient. Modern, agile tools will enable our young, mobile workforce to work anytime anywhere and will connect all our brands and markets to allow effective collaboration. Powerful, flexible global platforms and increased automation will allow us to streamline every aspect of how we work with clients, manage creative work, buy media and optimise the way our finance, legal and HR teams support the business. All of this will be supported by a flexible, secure infrastructure using the best, modern, public cloud technology platforms.
In 2018 we will pursue several initiatives across the group: Salesforce will be rolled out across all of our major markets to enhance our client management capability across the network; strengthening the client relationships we have built through the launch of the Growth Platform. Workday, our people management system, will complete its rollout across the Network. This helps managers to manage their teams and employees to build their careers.
We will continue our multi-year rollout of a standard set of finance platforms across all markets to improve the consistency and timeliness of our financial data. We will continue to invest in technology to streamline our Media Planning and Buying processes. This year will also see the group begin a rapid migration of its infrastructure to the cloud which will provide better security, speed, and flexibility. As we do so, we will focus on cyber security culture, to keep our organisation safe from increasing risks.
My aim is to ensure that Dentsu Aegis has a strong, effective technology capability that provides the maximum amount of support for our business priorities and enables us to delight clients and operate with a high level of efficiency and effectiveness. As we drive this major transformation, a key part of my approach will be to foster collaboration around the best people, ideas and solutions, so that we help our clients navigate the rapidly evolving technology landscape and create greater value.
The goal of the working environment reforms being undertaken at Dentsu in Japan is the creation of a new Dentsu: characterized by new opportunities for growth by our highly motivated employees and the Company. At the core of the reforms and, thus, our main priority, are the mental and physical health of our employees. We are promoting improvements and reforms in a broad area, covering from in-house equipment and environments to work processes, in order to simultaneously achieve shorter working hours and higher quality work.
In 2017, we introduced the “Work-Diet” to visualize and review our business processes Company-wide. This was the starting point for our work-environment reforms. The result was leaner operations, with some eliminated, while others were simplified, automated, or outsourced. By the end of 2017, approximately 400 business processes had been switched to an emerging form of business automation technology: robotic process automation. In December alone, the automated workflows generated approximately 12,000 hours of operations.
Having achieved this, the Company will support employees so that they have greater input in their work, thereby enhancing the quality of their output. My role is to encourage all employees to increase the value of their activities.
We will grow as a Company by fulfilling our social responsibilities and earning the trust of society. With this goal in mind, I am currently engaged in working environment reforms as a member of a team that will transform Dentsu. This is a huge challenge, but when the reforms have been achieved, the Company will undoubtedly be stronger. I believe we will continue to shine 10 years, and even 100 years, from now.
Dentsu will have the chance to play a number of roles in connection with the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. These activities will enhance the value of the Summer Olympics not only for the Japanese sports world, but also for the nation as a whole, as well as for countries around the world.
The Games represent an opportunity to increase interest in sports and ties to competitive sporting organizations in Japan and abroad. They will help enhance the enjoyment of Japanese professional sports, as well as those sports in which members of the Japanese public routinely engage. At the same time, the Olympics will promote the further maturation of the nation’s sporting world. Another offshoot will be a soft legacy: know-how related to the hosting and management of Olympic and Paralympic Games. That proficiency later can be utilized again in Japan and abroad, while by using it to further social development, we will benefit society at large and create Dentsu-specific value.
Opening up our country to people from around the world by hosting the Games will surely provide us with a chance to transform our values. Having to accept a more diverse way of thinking, to confront the existence of that which differs from our conventional and narrow concept of “common sense,” and to embrace inclusive values will become a driving force—for Japanese society and Dentsu. It will break down any sense of stagnation we may experience and propel developments even after 2020.
Dentsu will earnestly fulfill its obligations to the sponsors and partners of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. Thereafter, we will continue to look ahead, while transforming ourselves in order to advance, parallel with society, beyond 2020.