Managing Marketing: Agency Independence, Retail Clients and Managing Resignations

Dan_Ingall

Managing Marketing is a podcast hosted by TrinityP3 Senior Consultant, David Angell. Each podcast is a conversation with a thought-leader, professional or practitioner of marketing and communications on the issues, insights and opportunities in the marketing management category. Ideal for marketers, advertisers, media and commercial communications professionals.

Dan Ingall is CEO of Big Red Communications, a proudly independent and well-established advertising agency with a rich heritage of great work, particularly in the retail category. Dan and David discuss the essence of great retail advertising and retail clients, in the process debunking some myths and stereotypes about what working with ‘retailers’ is really like. More broadly, they also discuss the future of the industry, the effects of COVID and the response to the so-called ‘Great Resignation’.

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Transcription:

David:

Welcome to Managing Marketing, a weekly podcast, where we discuss the issues and opportunities facing marketing, media, and advertising with industry thought leaders and practitioners.

And today, I’m sitting down with Dan Ingall, CEO of Big Red Communications. But I think it is fair to say you’re a fiercely independent agency based in Melbourne with a focus on commercial performance and a deep range of experience with retail clients in particular, but others as well. So, it’s great to be here, Dan. Welcome.

Dan:

Thank you. And David, just before we get started, I just want to reaffirm that this is an audio-only podcast because COVID hasn’t been kind either to the waste line or other parts, so that’s true.

David:

I think you look delightful, but we’re going to take this discussion on a whole other tangent quite frankly. But yeah, we’re sitting here in jeans and a t-shirt, yeah. So, look, let’s kick-off.

There are all sorts of things I can talk to you about. And I do want to focus a bit on retail in due course because I think it’s a really interesting category and you do have a lot of expertise. But let’s talk about the agency landscape and where Big Red fits in. What I’m seeing in the market and you can agree or disagree with this, but what I’m seeing in the market is increasing whole co consolidation of agency brands at one end.

So, the WPPs of this world are sort of collapsing in on themselves a bit and getting rid of some brands and merging others, but then there are increasing numbers of independent startups at the other. And Big Red is established — and as I said, I think a proudly independent agency that kind of sits in between those polls. How do you see the landscape right now?

Dan:

Absolutely. And I think if you want to take a business school approach to analyse the dynamics of the advertising industry, and you applied, for example, Michael Porter’s five forces model which has recently been more or less represented in an IBISWorld report about the number of new entrants, so the barriers to entry are very low.

Obviously, you don’t need a huge amount of capital. Maybe in this day and age a computer and some software to start. But the competitive intensity amongst existing players is immense. And so, I agree with you, any other day, you log on to the industry publications and there’s another agency who’s done a relatively high-profile campaign for a very large brand that you’ve never heard of every day.

And so, that fragmentation I think is a result of the holding company consolidation, which is absolutely a trend where good people are leaving those businesses and taking with them relationships because it’s still very much a relationship-based business, trusted relationships that they then with very little capital investment can start servicing very well.

And the beauty, as you’re quite right to say we are proudly and fiercely independent which really helps us in this day and age of, it’s a highly complex landscape to navigate when developing solutions for clients. And the brilliance of being independent means that we can customise our partners, who we engage with for any given project on any given client, whether that’s a one-off project, which is increasingly the case. So, it is moving much more away from retainer-based relationships to project-based.

And I’ll come on to talk about how the management consultancies who are also entering the advertising and particularly the executional space, which hasn’t been the case in the past. So, the beauty of that is we can customise it by picking other partners who are like-minded, often independent, where we get to deal with the owners and founders who, they’re really good at what they do. And they have an incentive to do it brilliantly because at the end of the day, it’s their bottom line and they have to be awake at night worrying about how they’re going to pay their staff and the bank and so on.

So, that’s a really good thing for us; collaborating and being able to customise those service models for any given client or project really, really works for us very well. And I think that is an advantage of being independent versus a holding company who, whether it’s Publicis with Publicis One, WPP, as you say, consolidating their brands of which I’ve spent many years-

David:

Yeah, me too.

Dan:

So, they’re sort of “stuck” with their own stable of brands to collaborate with, which isn’t to say that they can’t form very good efforts as well. But I think really, we have ultimate flexibility, where some of the holding companies might not.

As far as new entrants, the likes of Deloitte, PWC etc — they’ve come in and built out marketing and a communications consultancy. Obviously, they have access to boardrooms, they have access to company wide data, and adding marketing, and then ultimately execution and advertising execution and production at the end of that is a gift with purchase or a value-added.… in many cases, a value-added service that is actually fed by a much bigger, higher level, be it strategic or beyond marketing board-level change management program or buzz wordy transformation program that they’re consulting on.

So, and they have the significant financial wherewithal to hire very good people and put together some very interesting customised teams as well. So, that’s increased the competitive intensity too. But the beauty of our independence means that we can also collaborate with those consultancies on a project-by-project basis as well. And that certainly is a new revenue stream and new business opportunity that we’re looking at and creating those relationships and alliances as we speak.

David:

It’s all the same on the consultancies a bit as you were talking about them. I mean, obviously, yes, they’ve built stuff out, they’ve also acquired. If you look at Accenture with The Monkeys and PwC dabbling around the edges with Thinkerbell. I mean, it’s quite interesting that those are also fiercely independent agencies.

Do you think that’s going to have an effect on those … I mean, well, that’s a silly question. It is going to have an effect. What kind of effect do you think that will have culturally on an agency like The Monkeys being sucked into Accenture?

Dan:

Well, I mean as an external observer, so far, I think cleverly, those new owners have been very understanding of the importance of culture in an agency. And in professional services, particularly creative-based ones, then culture’s really all you’ve got beyond a building and some computers, really.

So, if you lose that culture, then you’ve kind of lost the asset that you’ve bought and externally, I can’t see any reason to believe that that culture at The Monkeys that is so brilliantly strong has been negatively impacted by their acquisition in any way. They still have an enviable list of clients and the work that they produce is first class.

David:

I’d agree with that. I mean, I deal directly with both of those agencies I’ve just mentioned, and they have managed to retain their culture quite well. And it still remains a different culture from the whole cos. And the proliferation of independent startups, I mean, the classic is a lot of those people, those individuals coming from whole cos and deciding to set up their own shop.

And sometimes, that’s sort of labelled as detrimental to the holding company set up. But of course, we’ve had the last couple of years. We were just line talking about the great resignation; do you think the last couple of years has influenced even more people to take the leap, to do something different, to put a shingle above the door and do it themselves? And do you think that’s going to continue?

Dan:

Well, I think out of necessity, in many cases, people have been given a catalyst for change. It’s been a time to sit back and review the entirety of your life and how you want it to run. And that includes your career and the way you want to work.

In many cases, it’s been a complete revelation that you can run an agency or a client relationship a hundred per cent remotely so far for a period of time. And we can talk about whether or not that’s completely sustainable longer-term in being a hundred percent remote.

But that wholesale sort of reassessment of people’s lives is not only can they do it, which has given them a level of confidence that maybe they should do it on their own and see what they can achieve by themselves, living and working remotely running their own show. Absolutely, I think it’s given people the catalyst and the confidence to do that.

David:

The low cost of entry kind of worries me to a certain extent. You’re absolutely right. There is a low cost of entry, but it worries me that people who really shouldn’t be starting agencies who actually don’t know anything about agencies who just hang a shingle above the door because we’ve seen that happen to other industries.

So, I’m not sure how that’s going to go either, but I guess, there will be a lot of people attracted from outside of this industry, looking at, oh, let’s just set up an agency. I don’t know how much of a threat that is real, but I suspect there’s probably a few out there who maybe shouldn’t be, anyway.

Dan:

Well, I mean, there are lots of side hustles as a cliché that have been set up during the pandemic, definitely. But I haven’t heard of too many side hustle agencies because it is at the end of the day, an all-consuming pursuit. And that’s the one thing that hasn’t changed.

David:

The people who do know it. The people who do know the industry. Yeah, that’s true. The people who don’t know will be siphoned out by the fact that how intense it actually is.

Dan:

Correct. That’s an enduring truth, though it has not changed a single aorta, thanks to the pandemic.

David:

That’s absolutely true. Alright, well look, it’s good context on a really, really complicated landscape and some good context about let’s get back to you guys a bit and where you are going.

I do want to talk a bit about “retail.” I struggle a bit with the term retail category, given that at the end of the day, every piece of marketing and advertising comms ever written should really have the objective of selling something. But for the sake of clarity, I’m using that to describe pure-play retailers or the retail arms of significant organisations.

I also don’t want to pigeonhole you. It’s not that Big Red is a retail-only agency, I would say, but you do have a deep level of experience in the category. And just off the top of my head, Coles, Jetstar, Virgin Australia to name a few, past and present; from an agency perspective, what do you think makes strong retail communication and what do you think makes a strong retail client?

Dan:

Well, I think it’s a very… I also agree with you, that I struggle with the term “retailers” in the kind of church and state separation of brand and retailers if they’re two different things. And that’s something that is foreign to me, having grown up on Procter & Gamble as my first foundational client and who I’m very appreciative for the MBA, like marketing training experience that that gave me.

And at no point did I ever hear brand and retail separated, it was a brand who you had to define a proposition that was more compelling than the competition. And then that communication and that brand work had to work from the shelf out. And then the creation of TV ads that dramatised the benefit, the distinctive — and that was years ago. Not too long ago, David, I’m not that old.

It was years ago. And those principles have since played out now in the popular references of Ehrenberg Bass and distinctive assets and mental availability and all of their principles. It’s also in their fame driving … but I don’t know where the aberration happened, that somehow there was this church and state separation.

But the long and short of it, which is another sort of very popular and very good reference that the industry uses — also, by the way, it’s in the how that perhaps we have a different point of view than the industry in that somehow, or somewhere over time, it’s been understood that to achieve brand and retail, they had to be divided into the church.

And so, the only way you can achieve the brand fame part tended to be with long length film television, which we sort of don’t understand being a retail strong agency, even though we do lots of brand work that happens to have television assets as part of it. But unless you have those distinctive assets, and absolutely unashamed, consistent application of those assets through all of the communications; so brand the retail, retail the brand, and do it consistently.

Even if you, as the marketing or agency team get bored with it, I can pretty well assure you that no one out there is bored with it. In fact, by the time you get bored of it, they’re probably only just starting to create the associations that you’re trying to build in their mind.

And I don’t want to misrepresent other commentators but I think that’s where some of the frustration comes in, is the principles we all agree with. You need long-term brand assets and you need short-term traffic and sales-driving activity, but they need to be in perfect sync because you do build brands through retail and product actions as much as you do through thematic advertising.

But most P&G brands and Unilever brands and all of those other generally accepted best practice marketers out there tend to build the brand through product level communications and propositions. Not so much this top-down, long length TV, and then, well, in some cases, we’re not even sure if it actually lands at the shelf or in the retail environment very well.

And so, I think you know, yes, we handle a lot of retailers, unashamed, consistent application of distinctive assets. It’s also about being willing to create and define different tactical — again, unashamed, tactical offers, be it percentage off or gift with purchase or buy one with get one, all of those familiar retail mechanics, and to use those in communications.

And the beauty of both retail as it’s always been in the cash register doesn’t lie. And the beauty of it is people act on it really quickly, generally speaking. So, if you put something back in the day, we would’ve said to air or live in the world, you can see the result of that within the hour or at least within the first 24 hours, that if you put some airfares out there, you can see whether people actually find them attractive and they’re booking them or not.

And then the beauty of data analytics these days means that you can actually get quite a forensic look at who, how, where, and when, and then optimise all of that. So, it takes the guesswork out of it, and the so-called judgment which is always something that advertising professionals have held dear is, their professional judgment is all-important.

Well, we sort of say in retail communication, let’s put our professional judgment in the initial creation, but then let’s put that to one side and let the data and the results speak for themselves. And that way, we know we’re dealing with fact and truth, not opinion. And that’s really what we’re protective of. Let’s take opinion out of it and let fact, truth, and commercial outcome drive what we do.

David:

I really like that analogy about church and state. And I’ve worked with a number of retailers myself across the years, both here and in the UK and other markets. And certainly, that blend of integration and pragmatism you’re talking about really, really rings true.

And I also add, I think it’s even more relevant now, given that we’re not just on TV, there are a thousand different channels, the proliferation of where we can communicate and how means that it’s even more important to have that thematic link and make sure the brand is retail and retail is brand, couldn’t agree more with that.

Do you find that you, as the agency are having to pull your clients on that journey or are you coming to where the clients want you to be already? And they’re sort of singing hallelujah, because of it?

Dan:

So, I’d say we have clients who are at different stages along that journey. If you take Optus for example, who we only do their sort of digital acquisition and retention communications, we don’t touch brand or above the line advertising for product messaging. But we do all of the retail and tactical work, which unsurprisingly is mostly digitally driven. They totally get it. In fact, to the point that in the low-fi world which is often here, you would say, unsexy; is you can actually test and learn hundreds of different parameters.

Creative; is it this image or is a copy-led answer better. Now, in the old days — oh, image it looks better. It looks sexy. Well, do you know what? No. The click-through rate is 50% better on the copy only execution.

So, we’ve done that with them. And to the point that they use that relatively low-fi inexpensive testing. And when I say inexpensive, obviously, you still have to spend money to get robust representative results, statistically speaking, but they used it.

For example, at one point there was a campaign to regional and rural Australia. They had two ambassadors in Mitchell Starc and Usain Bolt. And who do you think judgmentally would’ve been the most suitable ambassador for regional of rural Australia?

David:

Not Usain Bolt.

Dan:

Correct, because cricket, people in the current region of rural Australia love cricket, backyard, it’s got to be Mitchell Starc, correct.

And by the way, that decision was then going to turn into a major multimillion-dollar above the line campaign. So, instead of making that judgment call, a digital campaign was run with both ambassadors in the campaign. And then it was AB tested where it was found out that unsurprisingly, to some, or quite surprisingly to everyone, Usain Bolt as not just an Australian icon, but a global icon, well-respected for his athletic abilities was the more desirable ambassador. The data made in that instance the decision. And then Usain Bolt appeared in the above-the-line.

Now, that saved, first of all, signing up huge amounts of ambassador fees for Mitchell Starc. And it also avoided shooting on a very expensive production of the wrong ambassador. It would’ve had less of an impact.

So, right there is a great financial saving based on being enlightened about how you use your activity. So, it was still advertising that particular proposition in the market, but it was those results that informed the much more expensive.

Where the traditional way was on judgment, choose the ambassador, create the above line campaign, plummet down into all of the digital, with key visuals here and there and job done. Well, no, it was better to do it the other way.

So, Optus is very enlightened on how to do it and very advanced. And we’ve got many other clients who are coming on that journey and finding it particularly attractive.

David:

See, it’s interesting the way you are describing “retail” honestly. We’ve both expressed that’s a bit of a difficult term. But one of the reasons, the other reasons that I’m using it is that I think retail has a stigma attached to it. I think the kind of clients we’re talking about have a stigma attached to them.

They’re often perceived as agency-by-agency people, particularly younger agencies. It’s “not the sexiest” and hard to work with. But I want to do a bit of myth-busting here, to debunk that a bit because I thoroughly enjoyed working with retailers.

I really like their pragmatism, I really like the speed. I really liked a lot of what you’ve just been saying about the way things have evolved and the work that you are doing with them. And obviously, you’ve got a lot of people in your agency who clearly, wouldn’t be here if you didn’t make them tick.

So, what is it in your experience about retail marketing that makes agency people get out of bed in the morning and what do you think retail clients really are like to work with in comparison with some other sectors and in all categories?

Dan:

Well, I think as you pointed out at the top of the conversation, retail partly is to do with how you want to define it, but ultimately, everyone needs to drive a commercial outcome. And so, interestingly, we’ve just done the million-dollar vax campaign, which didn’t necessarily have commercial sales.

David:

I signed up, did I win?

Dan:

We got a sale. You didn’t win. I’m amazed that you didn’t know that because the PR earned media effort has been phenomenal.

David:

It was facetious … I know I haven’t won. I was just hoping for a bit of favour from the person who organised the campaign, anyway, yes.

Dan:

So, look, I think historically, retail has been considered unsexy because it’s the unashamed application and of templatised offer-based material, whether it’s the Harvey Normans or the JB hi-fis, and therefore, there’s a degree of creative snobbery that’s not considered a clever idea, even though I think everyone would agree that it’s highly commercially effective.

Having said that, there’s no reason why retailers can’t come with very sexy creative. And I’ll quote other people’s work in KFC, which I just think is one of the most outstanding from brand top to bottom, left to right — it’s so well joined up, the level of insight is fabulous. The level of creative execution and dramatisation, the retail platform of shut up and take my money, insert any offer, whether it’s $2 large chips or freezing; anything, it can carry anything. But it’s consistent, it’s engaging, and it’s enduring and it can go on for a very long time.

Similarly, Aldi. And unsurprisingly, those two examples top Effie’s list. So, we’re not particularly great believers in pure creative awards because we think it distracts us from focusing on our client’s business. But if there was an award that we take interest in, it’s definitely Effie’s.

And therefore, I don’t find it surprising whatsoever that those two brands who are pure retailers come at the top of those Effie’s lists. And so, therefore, I think people do have an incorrect perception that retail has to be boring and repetitive; not at all.

But I think what our people get most out of, is what I said before is there’s so much variety in dealing with the Coles, because not only do you have to understand how a supermarket works and all of the categories from fresh to grocery, you also have to understand to  a certain degree, what Unilever is, what’s their strategy and how are they selling the shampoo category versus P&G.

So, if you’ve got a curiosity in understanding how a supermarket works and these are huge businesses that impact your daily life. I mean, I don’t know how often you go to the supermarket. Obviously, people order a lot more through e-commerce having seen both Woolies and Coles having e-commerce growth of more than 50% year on year, pretty phenomenal.

But these are huge businesses that you participate in very regularly. And I think our people really get a buzz out of working on something that impacts their daily lives and they can see the result of what they do as I said, by the hour, day in, day out.

David:

And that’s a nice segue because regular touchpoints with a business but of course, in very irregular times over the past couple of years. Let’s talk a bit about COVID because I’m really interested in COVID in relation to your client base, actually.

I guess, you just mentioned Coles, and I guess that your clients and therefore, your agency have experienced a really mixed bag. I mean, if I think about the airline industry being on its knees to stock flying off the supermarket shelves. I mean, it’s really a tale of two cities. What’s been your experience internally and working with your clients through this time?

Dan:

Well, it’s funny, I mean, as a pandemic that really brings into focus life and death, kind of was a perverse time for our business because as you say, it’s no secret that supermarket and grocery, their businesses have boomed as a result of the pandemic.

Similarly, we are very fortunate to have BHP as a client who as one of Australia’s biggest businesses saw it as their responsibility to create a vital resources fund of $50 million to support the communities that have supported them. So, we had to create campaigns to communicate that fund and support those communities. So, we were sort of busier than ever which we’re obviously, very happy and grateful for. And it was very rewarding to be able to participate in supporting it.

Similarly, we handle the Go Local First campaign, which is a federal government-funded campaign via COSBOA which is the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia. And that was very much to drive behaviour change and encourage people to shop local and to support the 3 million-plus small businesses who really are the fabric of local communities.

These are the businesses, butchers and bakers who sponsor the local footy clubs and who have small businesses without endless … either government subsidies or any other … these are people, families whose houses are on the line. They need the help.

We created that campaign again, which wouldn’t have existed without the pandemic. But it’s been very rewarding to see the very, very successful results that, and then, of course, as I mentioned, the million-dollar vax, which is right at the end now, encouraging people to get the vaccination faster than they might otherwise have, so that we can all get back to normality faster.

So, that’s from a client point of view. From a staff point of view like everyone, it was survival in year one, and pendulum’s quickly swung the other way to how do we make sure we get back to a vibrant culture, like we said, at the beginning of the call; agencies aren’t much more than their culture. How do we get back to defining a hybrid working model?

I think we’re all in agreement that hybrid is the way, but we also, as a service-based industry where it is about people collaborating with one another, absolutely, we want to get people back in the office. That doesn’t mean it’s full time and it doesn’t mean just doing their work, day in, day out.

But it does mean getting people together and incentivising them to want to come to the office. So, therefore, the onus is back on us to create a destination that’s really desirable on 1, 2, 3, 5 days a week, whatever people want to do, in many cases — balance it with sometimes we are going to need people in the office, be it new business pitches or other intense creative concepting, which I think will still absolutely benefit from in-person collaboration.

But that’s been a very rapid swing and getting staff re-engaged with our business by being back in the office is something that we need to do. And only yesterday, we were working on defining what that looks like.

David:

But I mean, I would guess … and I don’t run an agency, so you tell me. But it’s a relatively young average age in an agency. I would guess that a fair proportion is going to want the social interaction and the face to face as opposed to staying in their bedroom study. I mean, without being to sensitive about it, what’s the general feeling and sentiment of your people?

Dan:

So, to make sure that we weren’t just making it up and trying to guess even though we were very conscious throughout the whole period to have regular check-ins and at one point, in peak pandemic, particularly for our Victorian-based team members, we were having two check-ins a day.

One at the beginning of the day, which was a more formal what’s the work that needs to be done. And then a five o’clock casual check-in, how was everyone’s day? Any urgent work things addressed at that moment. But otherwise, it was what rubbish TV are we going to watch tonight, or who’s got the best Netflix recommendation.

But you’re right to say that we wanted to make sure it was fact-based. So, we did staff surveys, we wanted to understand … anonymous-based surveys — but unsurprisingly, it was younger people who might live in shared accommodation who don’t have a particularly comfortable desk or quiet place to work, who struggled a lot, as well as unsurprisingly those with young kids. And I was definitely one of those.

David:

Yeah, me too.

Dan:

Well, aren’t we? But obviously, closing of childcare. The other thing is that we have been a great supporter, I’d like to think as well, as we have benefited greatly by being a partner with RMIT and their Pitch Night. I think they have a fantastic course.

We’ve been very fortunate to hire some young graduates over the past four consecutive years. And we’re just in the process of hiring, I’d like to say numerous, but more than one grad out of this year’s class. And certainly, there’s an appetite amongst university students who have been… it should be a wonderful, vibrant social life as much as an academic one. And they’ve obviously, struggled through that. So, in talking to them, they can’t wait to start their office life.

David:

Yeah, of course. Oh, to be that young. I mean, it’s a lovely space there, you’re in a great spot in-

Dan:

But we’re moving.

David:

You’re moving? Where are you moving to?

Dan:

Yes, we’re moving. We’re moving back to a property that we were in previously that happens to be part of our founder’s portfolio. It’s a fabulous space in St. Edmonds … I’m going to get it wrong. St. Edmonds Terrace Place Street, in Prahran, just near Greville Street.

David:

I mean, this is before your time, but I used to work with Big Red many, many years ago when I was on the media entity, so I’ve been in that building. I remember that.

Dan:

Yeah. It’s a fantastic building.

David:

In fact, I remember going in and having Ted lecture me about why I should be doing outdoor advertising in about 2008.

Dan:

That sounds about right. That sounds about right. But because it’s ours, it’s part of our agency’s history, it’s part of our culture, it’s part of our mythology; we can’t wait to get back there because it feels like it has both metaphorical and genuinely real roots.

It has a beautiful kitchen, so that has thrown up considerations as part of incentivising people to come back to the office, do we put on meals or subsidise meals and healthy options, and help people out, both out of convenience financially, with subsidised food — all of those things are up for grabs.

So, we are reconsidering all of those as part of … the onus being on us to encourage them back into the office. And that’s a great pallet to start with, that space. So, yes, this is very nice, but that one’s much, much better.

Dan:

It’s got more heart for sure.

David:

Correct.

David:

Well, other than the office move, what are your plans? I mean, where’s Big Red headed? How are you positioning yourself for more success? I mean, you’ve been incredibly successful over the number of years that you’ve been in business. How are you positioning yourself for even more of that and more growth into the future?

Dan:

Well, one of my favourite business books was a book written by Andy Grove who was the CEO of Intel and the title of his book was Only the Paranoid Survive. And so, part of it is not paralysing paranoia, that doesn’t help anyone. But paranoia insofar as because we’ve been successful, how do we remain so and not succumb to complacency?

And being someone who worked on Nokia for six years, who at the end of the day, had the answers to everything that Apple ever created well before Apple did, but were too protective of what they had, and then only realised that when it was way too late, that further drove my paranoia around the need for constant change or at least making sure that you’re comfortable and continuing on the way you’ve been in some parts of the business while you try to grow others.

And I have to acknowledge the fact that we did engage TrinityP3 and you David to do an objective assessment of our business. And we are very appreciative of the objective report, the forensic analysis, the home truths that were very uncomfortable to hear, but very, very important that unless we had done that objectively, we would never have heard and never have been in a position to address which we are now.

And I think as I said to you before we started, we had a management meeting yesterday where many of those uncomfortable home truths were tabled. And as much as we didn’t like to discuss them, we had to. And the best thing about it now is that we have a plan to address some of those things or all of those things that we might not have otherwise got to, if we didn’t go through that process with you and TrinityP3.

So, thank you. You’ve helped manage my paranoia in a healthy and sustainable way. But part of that is understanding what our positioning is, what product do we want to have. Yes, we have a strong retail DNA, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t want to go into new categories, we’re underrepresented in FMCG brands, which we’d like to play in. That means entertaining different types of creative ideas and that’s all now up for consideration, which is part of the diversification of our offering.

We’ve always been a bit camera and or publicity-shy because as we always say, we’d prefer to spend our time focused on our client’s business, not talking about it ourselves. However, at some point in time, we do need to share what we believe in because we’d like to share that with more willing and able client partners, and like to think that we can help them grow their businesses as well.

David:

Well, that sounds great. Thank you for the shout out. I promise everyone, it wasn’t in the script, a completely unplanned acknowledgement there. So, I appreciate that. I guess my final question; in view of what you just said about uncomfortable comments, is that if I turn up in Prahran at some point, is Ted going to throw a book at me or is he going to welcome me with open arms?

Dan:

Well, after that meeting yesterday, that is one of the most pertinent questions.

David:

I should add that I’ve got a huge amount of respect for Ted. I’ve been a bit flippant about it, but I can imagine him based on my limited interactions with him in the past, I can imagine him doing the throwing action rather than the open arms.

Dan:

Well, in any case, whatever it is, you do want to be careful because I know one thing for sure — if and when there is a book, it’ll be hardcover.

David:

Yes, indeed. Well, I think my personal injury is a good place to leave this. So, listen, thanks so much. That’s been a great conversation, really enjoyed talking to you, and all the best with those big plans for the future.

Dan:

Thank you.

Ideal for marketers, advertisers, media, and commercial communications professionals, Managing Marketing is a podcast hosted by Darren Woolley and special guests. Find all the episodes here