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Ogilvy Influencers

John Seifert On The Challenges That Come With Transformation

Suffice it to say that John Seifert has seen Ogilvy grow.

Starting as an intern nearly four decades ago, Seifert has watched in real time as Ogilvy extended its reach across the globe. With that growth came incredible success. But every action has a reaction, and when Seifert became Worldwide CEO in January of 2016, he wanted to address some of the complexity that had naturally come with the company’s growth. In what he called the company’s “Next Chapter” strategy, Seifert hoped to re-found the agency and transform its operating structure to better meet the needs of today’s clients.

“The paradox was that our clients had more tools, information, capability than they’ve ever had for what we call modern marketing, but there was also tons of confusion around how to connect the dots to make it all work,” Seifert said in a recent chat with Jeff Beer of Fast Company. “And I felt that too much of our day to day client reality was around that general uncertainty, confusion, frustration of how to make it all work.”

Ogilvy USA is acting as a pilot for the strategy, as the New York, Chicago, and Atlanta offices have joined together not just under one name, but in their interaction when solving client problems. This seamless integration is how the company will soon function across the world.

“We took all the capabilities in the three city offices–New York, Chicago, and Atlanta–which are now one integrated business, and restructured it around nine client groups, and we’ve defined these five distinct domains of experts and expertise–Enterprise Branding, Digital and Innovation, Customer Engagement and Commerce, Influence and PR, and Media and Distribution– to work in a more collaborative way, through a single financial framework,” says Seifert.

For John’s thoughts on some of the challenges inherent in a re-founding of this scale, as well as when he hopes the transformation will be fully implemented, check out the full piece on Fast Company.

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