Perspectives - Mikey Taylor at Lionize - The little things made a big difference

By AdNews | 15 December 2021
Mikey Taylor.

AdNews is following the WFH Diaries with a series of Perspectives, asking two questions: What did you learn in 2021 and what are you looking forward to in 2022? We've also encouraged the industry to glam, dress for the best, and face next year with optimism.

Mikey Taylor, co-founder and CEO of Lionize, an independent full-service creative and media agency. 

As a pom living a long way from home, I try and do at least one thing each day that makes me appreciate how lucky I am to live in Australia. This small act of appreciation allowed me to see that while 2021 was certainly challenging for our business, there were plenty of things I observed that give us reasons to look forward to 2022 with optimism:

- Breaking the 4 walls of the office was a liberating step forward – Lionize accelerated flexible working and found a new rhythm between working from home, the office or even better to ‘working from anywhere’

- I found that my best thinking doesn’t have to be round a whiteboard, or involve post-it notes. Long walks around Church Point gave me a clarity that allowed me to envision various aspects of Lionize in valuable new ways. My team certainly became accustomed to the sound of my bulldog panting in the background as my Air Pods went in and we talked through various briefs and overcame challenges

- The context allowed us to make several key Rockstar hires across our client service and digital teams. The primary focus was on finding self-starters who were able to fire themselves up and control their own agendas – this increased initiative, autonomy and brought the kind of fierce energy we needed

- We invested a lot of time in culture… losing the agency spirit and banter was a big concern for me at first. However, we maintained team culture and built client relationships by running a series of lunch and learn sessions with clients – with Nestle Professional we had their Exec Chef teach us how to make Korean Sliders; Pet Circle’s vets explained why our pets behave badly; while Young Henrys taught us the difference between a ‘Newtowner’ and a ‘Stayer’ and what inspires their approach to brewing beer

- Similarly, we found new ways of thinking. We created a new piece of agency IP with a ‘Flywheel or growth’ approach. The simplicity of this model made its implementation rapid, and the client update equally pronounced – this brought real-time optimisation to the fore

Looking forward to 2022 with optimism

- Based on ACA (Advertising Council of Australia) findings Aussies have saved a lot in lockdown – circa $114Bn which is about 10% of GDP. Plus, out of 500 senior marketers on a call with the ACA, 55% said they anticipated a marketing budget increase. So, this really is a time to consider if your share of voice is competitively geared to make the most of this unique crossroads of growth looking forward into 2022. There’s plenty of growth potential for clients that are bold and agencies that can help clients commit to their appropriate share of voice

- Based on returning consumer optimism, audiences will be looking to treat themselves and families based on what they missed out on in 2021

- Inspired by this quote the late, great Anthony Bourdain, I find reasons to for optimism in 2022 – everyday luxuries and greater balance with family life will remain key for people


The quality of attention and home / work balance has transformed, let’s help maintain that as we progress from the crossroads of growth we find ourselves at, at the end of 2021. By continuing to appreciate the little things that will make a real, human difference, we have lots to look forward to in 2022.




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