Industry Profile: The Holla Agency CEO, Alex Allwood

Rachael Micallef
By Rachael Micallef | 25 May 2016

Our Industry Insights Profile takes a weekly look at some of the professionals working across the advertising, ad tech, marketing and media sector in Australia. It aims to shed light on the varying roles and companies across the buzzing industry.

This week we head to Sydney to speak with Alex Allwood, CEO at The Holla Agency.

Duration in current role/time at the company:

Four years, but I founded the company close to 20 years ago.

In one sentence, how would you describe what the company does?

As a customer experience company, we help brands grow by developing customer-centric competitive advantage, designing emotional experiences and improving customer value.

In one sentence, what does your role involve?

My three areas of focus are purpose, culture and customer.

Within the last six months/year, what stands out as the company’s major milestones? 

My new book, Customer Experience is the Brand, in market; we’re live and online with our show, Customer Experience Live Conversations and our CSat score trending is up.

Best thing about the industry you work in:

Driving organisational change from product focus to customer first.

Previous industry related (ad land/ad tech) companies you have worked at:

Several non-industry related organisations, but otherwise News Ltd and Austereo.

Career-wise, where do you see yourself in three years time?

A 2nd Customer Experience book is on my agenda. 

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?

My father was a racing car driver.

Top networking tip:

Perfect your social pitch.

My favourite restaurant for a business lunch is:

Spanish restaurant Mo Vida - a great place to share food and conversation.

My favourite advert is: 

This is what Joe Pine, author of The Experience Economy tweeted about our ad for LJ Hooker: “Love this focus on the dreams (experiences) and aspirations (transformations) of customers.”

My must-have gadget is:

Bose sound cancelling buds

My favourite media is:

The printed book.

My favourite TV show is:

Special Forces – Ultimate Hell Week (ABC2)

The last book I read:

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

My mantra / philosophy is:

Always treat people how you’d like to be treated.

I got into advertising because:

A friend said it was the best job she’d ever had.

If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be:

I can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing.

In five years' time I'll be:

Taking time out to learn a language.

Define your job in one word:


What's your poison:

I’m in the middle of a 12 week sabbatical from drinking alcohol – so it’s currently exercise. 

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