Matthew Miller
Dec 6, 2012

DTDigital restructures and rebrands as DT, eyes APAC expansion

MELBOURNE - Positioning itself as a "creative technology agency that helps brands thrive in the digital economy", DTDigital is dropping the "Digital" from its name, launching a new service model and planning an expansion in the region.

L-R: Jackie Bowker, Tim Matheson, David Pountney, Brian Vella, David Trewern
L-R: Jackie Bowker, Tim Matheson, David Pountney, Brian Vella, David Trewern

"The motivation for us is ensuring that we're keeping up with our clients, as well as the macro shifts that are occurring," Brian Vella, DT's managing director, told Campaign Asia-Pacific.

Because leading brands are in constant contact with customers across multiple devices, DT is establishing 15 practice areas, each headed by an "industry leader", to "optimise every aspect of these ‘digital ecosystems’". The practice areas are: strategy, design, advertising creative, engineering, user experience, social media, ecommerce, mobile, search, content, data & analytics, interaction, innovation, hosting, and brand strategy & design.

"As a key creative, technology and innovation partner to our clients, we must continue to blaze new trails," said David Trewern, DT's founder and chairman. "Constant change has been the key to our success, helping us grow five-fold over the past five years. Our clients’ digital needs are constantly evolving, and so are we."

The practices will all remain connected by virtue of their physical location on the same floor, leadership meetings and a strong culture of collaboration, according to Vella.

"We're making a statement that CMOs, moving forward, are going to need more than an art-and-copy model," Vella said. "We’re saying you need that, but you also need a lot more." The strategy is designed not only to lead clients who haven't yet fully grasped digital realities, but also to make sure the agency stays on top of the needs of the savviest clients, while also capitalising on future changes in consumer behaviour.

The company noted that it has recently appointed new practice leaders in ecommerce and data & analytics, promoted David Pountney to general manager in Melbourne and promoted Jackie Bowker to business growth director. Other members of the leadership team are Phil Whitehouse, general manager in Sydney, and Tim Matheson, business operations director.

Vella claimed that no other agency in Asia-Pacific offers the same depth and breadth of expertise. While some agencies have great technical abilities, but are weaker on strategy, others offer strong strategic skills, but are not good at actually building things, he said.

If other agencies in the region would beg to differ, they may soon have the chance to compete head-to-head, as DT is looking to expand, first to Singapore, according to Vella. The move may be an acquisition or an organic addition, he added.

Driving the expansion plan, Vella said, is DT's relationship with Ogilvy; WPP's Ogilvy & Mather Asia acquired 33 per cent of DT early this year. DT's digital strengths complement Ogilvy's capabilities, Vella said, adding that DT will both serve Ogilvy clients and build its own client base in Asia.

DT, part of the STW Group, has about 150 people in offices in Melbourne and Sydney. Key clients include Honda Australia, National Australia Bank, Myer, Australia Post and Coles Supermarkets.

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