Monday, September 1, 2014


By Roger Pe
Published in Rappler
August 31, 2014

To be able to ride on the crest of digital revolution, traditional ad agencies have added digital as one of their services to clients. A number bought into existing digital agencies. A few added a room next door to be called ‘digital experts’.

But some of them have fallen short, paying only lip service to the digital dynamics.

It is common knowledge that some subcontract work to digital agencies that have sprung a couple of years back. Not born like a digital native, growth has been hampered for lack of real digital sense.

But things are looking brighter as forward-looking agencies are integrating digital into their network and professionalizing the media channel of the century.

Why the race for digital? According to Ad Age, “People are moving money out of print, leaving some on television and putting it on digital." The writing on the wall is clear. The message is chilling. Enough to send shivers to those who still think that traditional media still rules.

The continuing boom of digital media is being felt locally and much more globally. National TV advertising in the U.S. for example, as reported also by Ad Age is now smaller than digital media advertising largely due to the World Cup and political advertising. This will reach dramatic proportions when the next Olympics opens.

In the Philippines, Ogilvy Neo Digital has laid the groundwork as early as five years ago and is making its presence felt, filling the gap where existing local digital agencies are meeting challenges.

“We exist to build the business, focusing on performance media. We find customers and convert them so that brands can actually interact with them,” says Chris Actis, Ogilvy Neo Digital Regional Managing Director for Asia Pacific.

Actis was in Manila recently to make OND in synch with its global operation. The network prides itself in providing clients valuable media insights, efficient buying, responsive creative and complex analytics delivered within aggressive time frames.

All over the world, Ogilvy Neo Digital has built a performance-driven model that thrives on discipline specialization within an integrated agency framework. It offers best in class media solutions that compete on quality with any digital specialist agency. In the Philippines, the agency is built in-house.

From aggressive direct marketers to the largest global brands, the agency provides customized performance marketing solutions with measurable results.

Rappler interviews Actis to give marketers and readers knowledge on OND’s capabilities as a topnotch digital media agency:

How different is Neo Ogilvy Digital from other media agencies?

CA: Ogilvy is one of the only full-service advertising agencies that has an in-house digital media agency. Neo’s focus is on integrating with Ogilvy to provide real time insights that inform strategy and creative, data driven customer centric media that drives business performance, optimization and insights which in turn, garner high return on investment for marketers.

With the explosion of digital technology, what makes Neo Ogilvy distinct and why would a business engage with it?

CA: Neo@Ogilvy has proprietary tools (such as our consumer intent modeling product) and aligns with the best in-class tech and media partners whom we feel are most appropriate for meeting our clients’ business goals. Our singular focus on driving our client’s business through performance media ensures that we are partner-agnostic, flexible in whom we work with, and transparent on cost/benefits to clients.

How advanced are your digital tools and technology compared to your competitor next door?

CA: Our consumer intent modeling tool is unique and proprietary. Nobody else possesses or offers such a bespoke solution.

How can Neo Ogilvy interact with consumers in a more intimate way?

CA: Because we focus on search and behaviorally-based and data informed media, instead of just impressions, Neo feels like we are closest to consumer intent and understand behavioral that has moved from the analog world to the digital and mobile world.

Neo uses search data to inform strategy, creative, digital journey planning, and media activation. All of that is focused on and based on our closeness and intimacy with consumers through media data.

How can Neo Ogilvy build a client’s business coming from an analog environment?

CA: Offline and online communications should be increasingly aligned. Paid search is as much a branding channel as it is a direct response vehicle and Neo’s in-house presence in the world class advertising global network of Ogilvy enables us to seamlessly align around consumer engagement online and offline.

Neo Ogilvy loves to flag the phrase “Performance services and marketing”, please explain this in layman’s terms.

CA: Performance marketing is media that produces outcomes. Those outcomes are conversions, sales, customer acquisitions, database building, and purchase intent. Our focus is on using media to actually accrue revenue for our clients. There is no waste. Impressions aren’t the KPI, but business metrics are what matters.

How do you plan to revolutionize digital media in the Philippines?

CA: By combining the energetic and creative spirit of marketers and Ogilvy with media that can inform communications and drive results for our clients. Most other agencies just focus on media. Neo@Ogilvy focuses on customers and creative apart from using digital media to create results.

Compared to the whole Asean digital world, where is the Philippines now and how big is the market potential?

CA: The Philippines is one of the youngest and most digitally enabled markets in the region. Consumer receptivity to brand messages ranks highly as does Internet penetration and usage of social media. Because of this connectivity, marketers have a great opportunity to engage with consumers via digital media in relevant and impactful ways.

How do you train Filipino digital people, how wired are they compared to other digital experts from around the world?

Our team in the Philippines is exceptionally knowledgeable about global trends in digital media. Search, performance social media, and programmatic buying are all topics that the teams are aware of and utilizing in client engagements. This is because Filipino youths, who make up a majority of our team, are very digitally connected and are themselves engaging in advanced digital environments.

Because Neo@Ogilvy is a global network, we are able to bring best practices and mature market case studies into Philippines and have our teams adapt quickly to the changed marketplace.

Our training programs are very specific around services and solutions that have changed the digital media landscape. We will frequently include clients in workshops covering topics such as paid social media, real time bidding, organic search optimization, and consumer insights.

The workshops help our client partners evolve quickly to the changing consumer media landscape.

Your personal assessment of Filipino digital talents

CA: Young, creative, and innovatively focused, Filipino digital media talent is eager to implement globally standardized as well as emerging media channels.

How do you see Neo Ogilvy 5 years from now in the Philippines?

CA: Neo@Ogilvy in Philippines will be on the front lines of how data, content, and media enhance the lives of consumers and drive marketer’s business. Underlying this evolution will be the creative spirit of the Filipino people and the desire to progress and lead in ASEAN.

Do you think media agencies will return to their mother agency network soon like you are in-house in Ogilvy?

CA: Increasingly clients are looking for seamless and integrated services that holistically address consumer behavior in the digitally focused world. Advertising agencies that have digital communications and media capability will have an advantage in their ability to offer end to end solutions and streamlined points of contact that are client and customer focused as opposed to discipline and niche configured.