Why Ogilvy Is Helping Clients Like Brand USA Transform in the Digital Era

Partners kick off ColorComm conference this year

How Ogilvy is finding new ways to help its clients. Brand USA, Ogilvy
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The presence of a CMO who is also ultra tech savvy—a CMTO—is becoming more commonplace in brands and agencies as both sides think about changing the customer experience.

This week Ogilvy is presenting its insights alongside client Brand USA, the tourism arm of the U.S., at the annual ColorComm conference. Adweek got a brief look into the discussion ahead of time and here’s what you need to know.

Clients’ needs are changing ever day, according to Ogilvy worldwide chief communications officer Jen Risi. The agency’s focus on the CMTO role for its clients came after a shift in thinking about digital as it kicked off its “next chapter” restructuring plan, under CEO John Seifert.

One of those clients is Brand USA and its chief strategy and communications officer Anne Madison.

“There’s more convergence. We’ve had more integrated pitches than we’ve ever had to do, more integrated assignments for our clients than ever. The CMO, they have to know more and they have to know how to do more with less. They have to know different parts of the business they may not have had to know before, like technology,” Risi said.

For that reason, both Ogilvy and Brand USA are working together to ensure that the brand is prepared to take on these challenges. For Madison and Brand USA, a major challenge is navigating the constantly changing world and finding the right messages to fit in the right markets.

Brand USA has a budget of roughly $160 million, but covers close to 40 markets with that spend.

“When you are looking at 40 different markets, those economies shift and change rather quickly. The diversity of those markets and the different cultures and different ways people buy from a consumer standpoint is very much of a challenge,” Madison said. For that reason having a diverse team to work with in terms of gender and ethnic diversity, as well as diversity of thought and experience is key.

Staying on top of developing trends and technology is also key.

Added Risi: “We have to come to clients looking at what is their problem, what is their objective and how do we bring all the right experts together to solve those challenges. We can’t be a one-trick pony, so to speak. We have to be able to bring the full depth of expertise to bear for our clients.”

@ktjrichards katie.richards@adweek.com Katie Richards is a staff writer for Adweek.