It's our great privilege to begin introducing the speakers to Gippslandia's first-ever event, Creating Future Success.
First up is a fine gent, Brian Vella. Brian's originally from Churchill and is now based in Melbourne where he is a Managing Partner for AKQA, a brand experience agency. AKQA provides digital leadership to many leading brands including, but not limited to, Bunnings, Tourism Australia, Officeworks, NAB and Optus.
Morning Brian, could you please describe your current role at AKQA?
I’m one of nine Managing Partners globally with the responsibility of leading AKQA, a design and innovation agency that has a team of 2100 people worldwide. I represent the Asia Pacific region with studios in Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland, Shanghai and Tokyo. My goal is to ensure our agency is creating the most value possible for our clients and maintaining a competitive advantage for them and our team.
AKQA prides itself on merging pillars of art/creativity and data/science. Why are these concepts important? How does focusing on them both benefit a campaign or business?
In today’s connected world it’s impossible to create a truly great brand or customer experience without great design and the smart use of data and technology. People today are device and channel-agnostic and expect brands to interface seamlessly across all. Great experiences are personalised and meaningful, and the bar is increasingly being raised. People are very good at tuning out and/or disengaging if there is a simpler or more accessible alternative. We believe creating these experiences are always a blend of art and science.
Why is important that Gippsland's small businesses develop creative marketing campaigns?
I think it’s less about campaigns, which by definition are short-term. Gippslanders will benefit from ensuring the principles of a great customer experience are present in place first. Without that, any money spent on campaigns or creating awareness will be inefficient. In reality, it’s a two-speed activity, as marketing yourself can’t be ignored either. Though my advice is to prioritise designing the interface you have with customers. Once you’ve done that, data-driven campaigns can create great value.
Why are you looking forward to coming to speak in Gippsland?
It will always ‘feel like home’, so I have a duty, particularly to the next generation. I’m proudly from Gippsland and would like to see it get the credit it deserves.
AKQA Managing Director APAC Brian Vella & AKQA CEO Ajaz Ahmed.
Photo // The Drum