Ogilvy Group

OgilvyAction

Report by Rick Roth
Chief executive officer

We began 2008 with confidence and momentum, but as our clients were faced with enormous financial pressure during the second half of the year, many of them made significant cuts in marketing spend. However, it didn’t stop us from making progress against our near- and longer-term objectives.

We focused on building our credentials across the industry, extending our presence into critical new geographies, and solidifying our business with both global and local clients.

It’s rare to pick up a business publication today without reading about the growing importance of shopper marketing. Our promise, ‘To Turn Shoppers Into Buyers’, has struck a nerve with our clients and prospects. In each of our regions we added strong new talent to bolster our credentials in shopper marketing, trade marketing, digital retail activation, and Last Mile Analytics practices.

The biggest news for OgilvyAction in 2008 was the launch of our global shopper marketing study called Shopping Decisions Made In Store, or SDMIS. The front-page attention we received from the industry and the coverage we garnered in global business press, across the web and in retail blogs has been remarkable.

With SDMIS, we offer marketers a closer look at how shoppers buy and how we can influence their behavior. Our study was the first of its kind, and it has given us traction and momentum with many of the world’s most sophisticated marketers, putting our young company on the map in a very differentiated way.

We also made a number of key acquisitions, formed joint ventures and added several new offices in high opportunity and emerging markets in 2008. We landed several important new clients as a result of our Last Mile expertise and strong creative product. Much of our growth came from existing Ogilvy clients, but we have also been building important local business independently.

Analytics fuel our insight capability and help us to prove return on investment, but we get results for our clients and fame for our work by doing brilliantly creative brand activation programs. In 2008, we won awards for our work in every region.

2009 promises to be highly challenging. But we see more of it coming and are prepared to navigate the slow yet certain recovery. There isn’t a marketer on the planet who isn’t committed to winning with shoppers and trade customers. In this economy, that need takes on even greater importance, and the OgilvyAction value proposition becomes that much more imperative.