EXCLUSIVE: DTDigital has repositioned itself as a “creative technology agency that exists to help brands thrive in the digital economy”, a task David Trewern believes many traditional agencies have “failed” to achieve.
The repositioning has instigated a raft of changes at the STW Group agency including a rebrand to DT, a new structure and a number of promotions.
David Trewern (pictured far right), founder of DT and chief digital officer at STW, told B&T the “re-incarnation” is the agency’s 5th new stance in 16 years.
“Constant change has been key to our success, helping us grow five-fold over the past five years,” Trewern said.
“Our clients’ digital needs are constantly evolving and so are we.”
The restructure has seen DT set up 15 specific practice areas – consisting of five to 10 specialists directed by an industry leader.
The practice areas are: advertising creative, strategy, design, engineering, user experience, social media, eCommerce, innovation, brand strategy and design, mobile, search, content, data and analytics, interaction and hosting.
“In a sentence it’s about having the breadth and depth of specialists collaborating together to help clients connect at every digital touch point.”
Trewern said the agency has worked hard to instill a sense of advertising and creative culture into the business and has invested in “big idea” people for the advertising creative team.
“What they do is no different to what creative teams within BadjarOgivly do,” Trewern said of the ad team, but he believes traditional creative agencies have failed to do the opposite and invest significantly in digital.
“Technology has become a really key part of what marketers have to think about so they are out there looking for help, advice and expertise in these really specialized areas and they are not getting that expertise in traditional agencies,” he said.
“A lot of traditional agencies have really failed to adapt.
“There is a lot of talk about the agency of the future and what they are doing and so forth but, really, when you think about it, a lot of them are still full of print production departments.”
Trewern feels many ad agencies view technology as a production discipline something he believes is “totally wrong”. “Technology people are as creative as anybody.”
“A lot of agencies have built this culture which is really anti-technology and they say ‘we are all about the idea’. Well that’s great but if the idea never gets executed than it’s not much help.
“Having one creative technologist in an agency of 50 people doesn’t really cut it – everyone needs to be a creative technologist.”
In Melbourne, Trewern said the Ogilvy group is “50% digital people and digital revenue”; a feat he feels positions Ogilvy strongly for the digital economy.
DT has experienced double-digit growth for 16 consecutive years and in 2012 experienced year-on-year revenue growth of 40%.
The growth is driving an expansion into South East Asia with an office in Singapore expected to be established around the third quarter of 2013.
Brian Vella (pictured right), managing director of DT, has been charged with leading the agency’s Asian expansion.
Meanwhile, DT’s former data and analytics director, David Pountney (pictured middle) has been promoted to general manager of the Melbourne office.
Client services director, Jackie Bowker (pictured far left), has also been promoted and is now business growth director.
Kent Sands takes over the data and analytics team from Pountney and Cameron Pegg is DT’s new eCommerce lead.
Trewern said the businesses’ local focus next year will be to grow DT’s Sydney office which currently consists of approximately 40 staff. DT Melbourne houses around 130.
The agency also has a new website and a new office for its Melbourne team.
Vella added: “the internet, social media and smartphones have led to unprecedented changes to consumer behavior. The challenge for many brands is to ‘catch-up’ to the connected consumer, to maintain relevance and engagement right across a brand’s digital ecosystem.”
“To meet these challenges, businesses need an agency partner who can conceive a holistic digital strategy, and then execute across all digital touch points.”