Born: Aberdeen, Scotland (U.K.)
Worked in: London and Sydney
Name an innovative idea or business solution for which you are most proud. Without question, it is the development of OMD’s Fuse sponsorship and content strategy division. We advise clients how to use non-traditional forms of communication-- ranging from branded content to product placement and events-- within the communications mix to better connect with consumers and more meaningfully build brands and business.
Why do people see you as an innovator? When I put together marketing solutions I always ask 'Will people care about this?' 'Will it matter to them?' The persistent search for genuinely interesting campaigns that bring brands to life in ways that actually matter surprises people — especially when you pull it off!
What role does innovation play in your marketing strategy today? Innovation plays a huge role in our offer to clients. With ever more ways to skin the marketing communications cat, how you even approach the task requires constant innovation. Fragmentation and a wealth of new kinds of channels means you constantly need to interrogate the relevance of your recommendations and the principles behind them.
What is the biggest challenge you face in applying innovative thinking to international projects? Expertise. Finding the right kind of people in the right places so that you can plan and deliver campaigns with consistent quality of thinking and execution is a top priority. You always have to be in recruitment mode!
Dictionary definitions aside, how would you characterize innovation in the work you do? Our work constantly challenges the workings of a very well oiled advertising and media industry machine. Until now our innovation has been guerrilla style. It will grow to become more war like — at least with those who can't see the writing on the wall.
Other Internationalist Background: My most fun international project posting was in Rio de Janeiro working on the BT global challenge round-the-world yacht race.