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Merger aims to make an Impact

By Phil Sim in Marcoms News on
As marketing leaders who have had a knack for picking emerging trends, Mark and Heather Jones have gone all-in on purpose-driven branding.
Filtered Media, the marketing agency founded by former AFR journalist Mark Jones and his wife and experienced PR practitioner Heather, has merged with Social Impact Institute, a social sector advisory firm.
The new 25-person organisation will come together under a new name, The ImpactInstitute and will aim to combine Filtered Media's strengths in storytelling, content marketing and public relations with Social Impact Institute's specialist capabilities in measuring and optimising social impact. 
Jones will lead the combined organisation as CEO, while Social Impact Institute CEO David Jack will become Executive Chair and Head of Advisory.
The ImpactInstitute describes its remit as "helping commercial and social sector organisations across Australia create measurable impact with stories that matter".
Jones sees the merger as something more than just an expansion of capability or client rosters. Rather, he sees the new organisation as having a clear point of differentiation in a business environment where organisations are increasingly wanting their purpose to be intrinsic to their brand narrative.
Boards and stakeholders are increasingly demanding that social responsibilities be a “fundamental core” of organisational purpose, Jones claimed.
"Then they are saying, ok, now that we have defined our purpose, what do we do with it and how is it being felt by our customers and by our staff," he said.
"Purpose should deliver something that is measurable, sustainable, and has a lasting impact."
That's where the social impact measurement frameworks developed by the Social Impact Institute provide a clear point of differentiation, Jones argued. Head of Research Michelle Jack holds a PhD in this space and when combined with Filtered Media's chops in storytelling, the merged organisation can carry a strategic branding project from concept to execution, through to measurement and thereafter into iterative development.
"It's just a really exciting, big, emerging space. Filtered Media has a history of being on the edge of where things are going, we were doing podcasts before they became mainstream, we were talking about brand storytelling before content marketing became part of the vernacular, and we see this Impact wave as being something we really have the opportunity to influence," he said.
As well as representing an expansion of the type of services that can be offered to Filtered Media's corporate customer base, the new entity is also better positioned to deliver more diverse marketing services to Social Impact Institute's clientele in the social sector.
"It really was one of those rare scenarios where you have two organisations of roughly the same size and values, seeing an opportunity to work with each other and create an entirely new organisation," Jones said.

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She has led the company’s client relations management arm in Sydney since 2016. Her experience in fintech-based marketing goes back over 25 years, working in Mastercard and Citibank’s credit cards division, plus the ASX. 

“I’m really excited to lead VISA’s brand strategy and marketing execution across Australia and New Zealand at a time when payments are rapidly evolving. Over the past year we’ve seen consumers embrace digital technology and change the way they pay, and I’m looking forward to helping VISA demonstrate how we connect the world through our innovative and secure digital payments network, because VISA is much more than a credit card company,” said Lockwood.

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A BA PR/Politics graduate of RMIT, Buchanan has been in the UK for the past six years, serving as UK managing director of One Green Bean and currently heading Ogilvy UK’s PR and influence department. His experience included running campaigns for a major international bank, an alcoholic drink brand, and a leading search engine.

He also represents Ogilvy on the PRCA industry bloc.

“As Ogilvy PR continues to transform under Julianna’s leadership, it’s the perfect time for me to take on a new challenge and help create the most innovative work, strongest client relationships and best-in-class creative communications across the globe. I’m so energised by the opportunity to drive our PR business forward globally and look forward to partnering with our teams to deliver great work that has true impact,” said Buchanan, referring to Ogilvy global CEO Julianna Richter.

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Victoria joined after over four years in the cruise marketing and hospitality industry. He was formerly marketing director for AAT Kings, marketing/sales GM for Captain’s Choice, and subsequently APAC marketing chief for travel cruise line Hurtigruten. 

“I’ve built a career client side, helping brands achieve their goals, working for one brand at a time. The opportunity to work with multiple brands across various industries was a big drawcard for this move to agency. I’m equally excited by the opportunity to work with the talented team at iD Collective and look forward to working on brand evolution strategies that leverage sound marketing disciplines, fuelled by creativity and a good dose of imagination,” said Victoria.

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Kernahan has been with Hotwire since September 2016. 

“We have ambitious plans to bring more value to our fast growth and global tech clients, who are looking for an alternative to the big multinational agencies. Barbara has led a culture, team and business that is sought after by the largest tech companies in the world and I’m honoured to now lead this organisation. With 20 years behind us, we feel that we’re just getting started,” said Kernahan. 
Follow Kernahan on LinkedIn.

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Albert has been on freelance data consulting for most of H1 2021, leaving Velocity Frequent Flyer last December as operations manager for Torque Data and data consult head. He previously worked for the Ogilvy organisation from 1993 to 1994 as data planning manager.

“There is a huge opportunity for us to continue accelerating the smart application of data and analytics, and I look forward to combining my extensive data analytics experience with Ogilvy Australia’s talented creative minds to deliver exceptional work,” said Albert.

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