Creative technology agency, DT has launched an in-house R&D department with a mission to solve problems and broaden clients’ marketing solutions.
DT R&D explores new technologies with a human lens, believing it’s crucial in understanding their limitations and potential. The outcomes are usable prototypes, artefacts for reuse, documentation for sharing and ultimately world-class thought leadership in the mar-tech space.
DT’s CEO Australia, Brian Vella said research and development plays a pivotal role in the creative technology process, and DT’s R&D team is an investment in the agency’s skills and capabilities offering.
“We talk at DT about exploring the edges of what’s possible. This empowers us to do that every day. We’re walking the talk by committing to exploration in a mature and measured, not just playful way.
“While we live and breathe digital, we’re determined to push ourselves further ahead. The R&D team is the beachhead for the rest of the agency, pulling them in and along wherever possible. A key measure of success is the broadness of agency involvement, so that it never remains a department or someone else’s job.
“DT R&D looks at the bigger challenges of today’s world, such as tackling societal issues or looking at the macro problems that keep the industry awake, in order to elevate our output above just a response to a client’s brief.”
DT R&D comprises a multi-disciplinary applied research team, including: Tim Devine, Creative Director, Callan Rowe, Lead Designer and Tom Brophy, Lead Developer, supported by James Fitzjohn, Client Partner and Saul Flores, Chief Strategy Officer. The team operates together in consecutive three-week sprints researching core topics across three broad themes (and indicative territories):
- Tech Exploration: Machine Learning, AI, Gaming, VR/AR, Personal Devices, Data,
- Social Education: Diversity, Equality, Environment, Collaboration, Transparency.
- Industry: Client specific, Retail, Finance, Health, Government, Education, Entertainment.
DT R&D creative director, Tim Devine said: “This list remains a constant work in progress and serves as a road map to plan ahead. Obviously we can’t explore everything on a topic in a three week sprint so we keep the list small ensuring we can return to topics that are themselves evolving rapidly such as VR/AR, Data and AI.”
To-date DT R&D has already created case studies on Data, Personal Health, Deep Learning and VR for Retail and have been showcasing the sprint outputs to its client base across Melbourne, Sydney, Singapore and Auckland.
“The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Devine. “The assets and thinking delivered have been so well received. We’ve seen people absorb what are sometimes quite complex ideas in bite-sized pieces of content.
“Clients now see we’re able to explore and develop something incredibly fast. As documentation is baked into our process the output is shareable among stakeholders. So rather than investing in innovation internally or partnering with startups, clients can use DT R&D to explore and validate data, technology, problems or opportunities.”
“It felt like the right time to launch R&D for a number of reasons; 2016 has our strongest year for the agency and as we celebrate our 20th birthday, it is a genuinely exciting time for us,” said Vella. “In addition to great work for our clients, we’ll be creating and leading positive change. Watch this space.”