More and more businesses want a digital approach at the basis of their communication strategy to stay in tune with the digitised, socialised and mobile world today. Keeping that need in mind Ogilvy did a complete business strategy turnaround, and made the the whole agency digital whilst ensuring deep discipline and specialist strengths. Today this agency network has a breadth of digital capabilities, which are now 100% integrated within all of Ogilvy’s businesses, and ten newly created specialist digital practices.

Today the Ogilvy network (all disciplines) covers 19 countries, 29 cities, 124 offices and 7,200 people of whom about 2,000 belong to Digital@Ogilvy. About 30% of the total revenue across the region comes from digital. Now OgilvyOne has about 1500 consultants, digital specialists, creatives and production.

DMA caught up with Barney Loehnis, head of digital, Asia Pacific, OgilvyOne to share points on the agency’s activities in the region and plans for future growth:

A brief on OgilvyOne: its genesis, and its presence in the Asia Pacific market

OgilvyOne is one of Ogilvy’s four key offerings of Advertising, PR, Retail Activation and One-to-One marketing. It is an agency with digital, social CRM, transactional platforms and mobile at its core, with a DNA of CRM and one-to-one marketing. It’s therefore the perfect balance for clients with strong brands that want to develop on-going relationships with consumers, and develop communications, commerce and services addressing specific customer segments.  Our mission is to unlock customer value. It has offices in every market across the region with about 1500 digital experts.

Key service offerings in digital 

OgilvyOne has a broad range of Digital offerings. We have 200 consultants in Asia, who help develop strategies that range from long term strategy and organisational shift, to more specific, search and media, social CRM, mobile, performance marketing, customer segmentation, UI, UXD, eCommerce, website optimisation. We have dedicated Social, mobile, production, technology, UX and search and media specialists who focus on delivery and managing projects.

Trends in digital marketing space over the last five years

Clients are taking a longer term view of building the digital and social ecosystem; the budgets are getting bigger and the clarity on the role of communication and the needs of consumers is getting better and better.

Driving customer needs

Today customers are looking for few key things. In the short term social campaigns and marketing is still key for them. In the long term social CRM is fast becoming very relevant. Earlier it was all about acquisition of consumers but not many really thought about what to do with that community. They did not get any value from that community of users they built. Social CRM helps clients do that now. Social community is a meeting place where a company or a brand can develop a deeper kind of interaction with its users. Social CRM helps in devising strategies on how to use pay media to draw people into a community and then maintain a dialogue with it.

Best locations for business

China’s growth is most dramatic because of its scale and energy. However other markets like India, Hong Kong, Singapore and Vietnam are showing great growth and increasing sophistication


Budgets: clients are slow to revise their budget structure to enable long term investment in building eCommerce, CRM and Social platforms. Budgets are set by quarter, by brand. This makes it hard to realise huge organisational benefit and improved performance by investing in platform that can service multiple brands across a portfolio, for several years. This has always been one of the challenges for digital – the same challenge for Search marketing, and investment in brand websites, or brand communities.

Insight, research and Data: Asia has always lacked quality data and research. If you compare the research companies offers for Asia they are shameful in comparison to the level of insight for the US or Europe. Everyone is culpable.

Cultural Risk Aversion: clients do not embrace taking big creative risks and find the risk of failure very hard to accept. They will only invest in solutions that are proven successes, which by definition means the follow someone else’s example, rather than create the paradigm.


 eCommerce: It will be one of the most exciting developments in Asia enabling all marketing to demonstrate its effectiveness even more transparently, as well as making life easier for consumers. The evolution of smartphones into the mainstream will help us focus on ambitions and exciting mobile solutions

Social infusion: Social marketing has been pretty tactical in most of Asia. Gradually it will become more strategic and interwoven within brand’s ongoing communications. From OgilyOne perspective this is exciting as we can begin to implement innovative segmentation and CRM techniques to ensure we optimise impact and value

Data and Measurement: It is the most exciting, but one of the toughest areas for us to crack is to bring the data together and present it.

Market experience

I’ve been in Asia now for 6 years and for most of these I have been help clients to drive change across their organisation. It’s reassuring that finally marketers are talking the same language, and focussed on the same goals. The core task become less about educating on the fundamentals (what is digital, what is social?), and more about responding to specific opportunities (how can I use mobile to drive longer term engagement for my services?). I am now focussing more on our regional and China clients. I am still fascinated by the development of digital in all markets across Asia. I love the way that it can impact each market differently and present fresh and inspiring opportunities for brands and consumers, whether you are in India, Indonesia or Korea.