Isobar looks beyond digital to commerce

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 18 May 2015
Konrad Spilva, CEO for Isobar Australia and New Zealand

Isobar's merger with Vivid Group in Perth is more than a regional office. It's part of a global move to shift its digital knowledge to move directly to impact sales.

Isobar is focusing on brand commerce globally, with the agency positioning itself to move up the sales funnel to work with brands on experiences that improve their transaction capabilities. In this process it is also hoping to boost its revenue possibilities.

“We’re in an age where brands, they’re either a startup or they’re a turnaround. It’s either disrupt or be disrupted,” Isobar Australia and New Zealand CEO, Konrad Spilva told AdNews.

Isobar Australia, which is part of the Dentsu Aegis stable, announced its merger with Perth-based technology specialist Vivid Group in Perth last week, which saw the agency not only create a Perth office, but also gain the capabilities to focus on its brand commerce goals.

Spilva explained Isobar’s definition of brand commerce means to create that compelling brand experience, adding an extra dimension of trying to get closer and add more value to the transaction process. He also signals that the agency now has some skin in the game with its clients.

“The next Airbnb for whatever industry is around the corner, and we can also help clients disrupt themselves a little bit and in a way we can take some of the risk from partnering with them and getting involved on an IP level,” he said.

“So instead of being remunerated in the traditional agency model, we can take some equity in the partnership and generate alternative revenue.”

Spilva's direction for Isobar Australia and New Zealand and the agencies direction globally compliments the latest Adobe APAC Digital Directions Report, in partnership with the CMO Council. The report looks at the strategies, mandates and challenges of the APAC market in the digital space, and top of the list is the realisation that digital must move beyond an advertising and communications channel, to shift the business focus towards digital as a business driver.

With 300 staff Australia-wide, Spilva explained the agency now has the skills sets it needs to redefine itself as an agency, and can champion this using digital to solve business problems.

“The digital agency game has changed so much in the 15 years I’ve been involved,” he said. “We’re competing with traditional digital agencies that have grown up in this era, we’re competing with traditional above the line agencies, consultancies, as well as the new wave of design thinkers, so we really have to be clear as our position as as agency. What are we going to stand for?

“So Isobar, rather than trying to be a full-service agency or rather than trying to be Deloitte, or competing day in day out with digital agencies, we really want to own this space around brand commerce, the future of commerce.”

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