Born: Bournemouth. It claims to be the sunshine state of the United Kingdom
Worked in: All over. Has spent extensive amounts of time in Europe, Asia and the U.S., and more recently, in Latin American markets. At the moment, calls New York City home.
What role does innovation play in your marketing strategy today? “Technology is the new third lover along with media and creative. Technology is changing the way that we as human beings access information, content and stories. It drives everything we at Profero do; without it, we’d be producing the same work as traditional agencies. Technology puts us at the frontier of the new marketing world. Whether it be developing the latest apps for clients such as Barclays or delivering award winning and consumer centric ecommerce platforms for some of the world’s biggest online retailers, such as ASOS Marketplace.”
Why do people see you as an innovator? “The team we’ve created, since Profero opened in 1998, is what makes this company different. We have built the only global network (comparing ourselves not just to our digital rivals but to offline competitors as well) over the past decade with no outside investment. We’ve been successful in markets such as the U.S., China and Japan, where many other businesses with unlimited resources have failed. We’ve done it because of our ability to understand both local and global market needs.”
What is the biggest challenge you face in applying innovative thinking to international projects? “Every market is at a different level of ‘e-readiness.’ By this I mean some markets are very advanced with, for instance, mobile technology, while others work on, lightning-fast broadband. No two markets are the same, so being a successful global network – serving global clients as we do – requires that we understand the platforms and tools that are effective every market. It is crucial and challenging.”
Name an innovative idea or business solution for which you are most proud. “Our work for MINI is proven year on year. What’s made us successful is the ability to consistently and continually adapt to the changing media environment. Each year, since winning the account in 2006, we’ve produced groundbreaking work, from the Cannes Gold Winner “White Rabbit” and cutting-edge, multi award-winning ‘MINI World Record Attempt’ a true phygital first-- (combination of physical and digital), to the most recent campaign ‘Psychic Roadster’ which gave fans a glimpse into their future.”
Dictionary definitions aside, how would you characterize innovation in the work you do? “Creating work that was not thought possible 12 months ago, let alone three years. Could anyone have crammed 6000-plus people into a MINI or have gotten over 10 million people to exchange nightlife traditions three years ago, let alone ten? I doubt it.”
Any other interesting aspects to your international background? I have been fortunate enough to run in some of the most extreme places on the planet – for instance, in 2003, I ran in the Marathon Des Sables, across the Sahara Desert! There weren’t many work opportunities out there but it was a lot of fun. (From the Profero Global Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/NrBiTL)
This past week for business travel I would have crossed the International Date Line three times. Clever or bad planning?