Fast 10: Accenture Song’s Mark Green On Clients Getting “Addicted” To Winning Awards

Fast 10: Accenture Song’s Mark Green On Clients Getting “Addicted” To Winning Awards

Mark Green, owner and CEO of The Monkeys and President ANZ of Accenture Song (centre above), is, as you can imagine, a very busy man.

Fortunately, Greg ‘Sparrow’ Graham has one very fast interview series and was able to tie Green down for just long enough to get his view on award-winning ads, challenging the status quo and, perhaps most importantly, his new soccer team.

1. The Monkeys were born in 2006, how do you keep the momentum and the quality of the work so high?

We always want to see the best work of our careers in front of us and to never look backwards. That way we need to see evidence that the work that defines us is world-class and that we are never resting on our laurels. Last year will be tough to beat but we have some amazing work for Sydney Opera House, Telstra, MLA and ASB that looks like having a strong showing on the world stage. At the end of the day we love what we do and our whole mission is to make provocative ideas happen. We live by this and are motivated by creativity and its impact on business.

2. What’s your number one priority for the year ahead?

Proving the value of creativity, technology and innovation in driving sustainable customer growth for business in ANZ.

3. Congrats on Accenture Song’s outstanding re-appointment of NRMA Insurance, can you share why you won?

We put together a whole of customer, vision and strategy to drive sustainable growth for the NRMA business. The mission is to bring creativity, innovation and technology to the NRMA brand and ensure its relevance for the next 100 years. We will bring the best of Accenture Song globally to this opportunity including leading Australians including David Droga, Nick Law and Neil Heymann.

4. Some of your award-winning work taps into cultural moments — or in the case of MLC creates them. How do you keep topping this every year?

We look at the strategic opportunity for every brand through the lens of culture, category, competition and consumer. The way to get an exponential share of attention is to double down on the brand connection to culture and find new ways to harness the zeitgeist to create added impact. For every major opportunity, we work the connection between the brand and culture to find interesting ways to give our creative ideas the best hope of succeeding beyond the media investment. We have achieved this for many years across a whole range of different brands and it proves our mission to make provocative ideas happen.

5. I’m sure your Awards cabinet is full — how important are awards to clients?

Clients love seeing their work win on the world stage – both creative and effectiveness awards. Once they get a taste of success we often find that they demand it more and more and they get addicted to the thrill of seeing their work win and being discussed in both creative and business circles. I think in any environment aiming to be the best is only helpful in raising the bar and elevating the quality of the work you do.

6. Making provocative ideas happen needs a brave client and trust. How do you navigate both?

We try and take the risk out of the equation by setting up the strategic opportunity for every brief for every brand. When the work hits the strategic narrative then it becomes a judgment call on the work itself and I truly believe that if you have a track record in creating groundbreaking work, you have greater credibility to convince clients. Furthermore, clients are attracted to agencies with a track record. Both of these factors garner trust and they also take out the risk because it is coming from a more strategic foundation.

7. As a long-term industry leader, what’s the one thing you would like to change in our industry for the future?

I would love for our industry to reclaim the important role that creativity plays in driving growth and business outcomes. I would love for us to focus on creativity — not just advertising — and to be bolder in our influence with the C-Suite.

8. You have a great cross-section of clients across retail, travel, services and finance, etc. What is their perspective of the year ahead?

David Droga said in a recent interview quoting Ayrton Senna, “You cannot overtake fifteen cars when it’s sunny, but you can when it is raining”. The business environment is always challenging for one reason or another but that smells like opportunity to me and the brave clients recognise this as well.

9. Can you share with us something that’s not on your LinkedIn profile?

I just signed up for UNSW Football’s (Soccer to some) over-45 team.

10. Do your parents know what you actually do?

No idea, although they love(d) our lamb ads!

Check out the rest of the Fast 10 series here:

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