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News Plus 7 Sep 2021 - 3 min read

Commbank's ASB win triggers Accenture Interactive-Monkeys to hunt NZ boom: 100 staff, 20% of regional revenues by 2023 says Mark Green

By Josh McDonnell - Senior Writer
Mark Green

Fresh off of its first local client win in New Zealand, CommBank-owned ASB, Accenture Interactive is geared up for rapid expansion, hoping to have 100 staff working for the business by the end of the year. Australian and NZ boss Mark Green believes the appeal of the company's model, alongside the country's "modern and ambitious" approach to marketing and digital transformation could see it generate 20 per cent of the region's revenue in a matter of years. But first it needs to find those staff.

What you need to know:

  • Accenture Interactive is expanding its operation in New Zealand after securing its first local client, CommBank-owned ASB.
  • Mark Green said the business expects to reach 100 staff by the end of the year, with more than a dozen already working with the business.
  • Accenture expects that NZ could contribute close to 20 per cent of the ANZ region's revenue over the next 18-24 months.

Brands [in NZ] aren't just focused on e-commerce, they want to bring it together with creative, digital and experience – making a crucial part of the marketing function.

Mark Green, Accenture Interactive

Chasing Kiwis

Accenture Interactive is expecting a boom in the New Zealand market as it chases a headcount of 100 employees by the end of the year.

The decision to ramp up operations in the country was solidified by the recent win of ASB Bank, which is owned by Commonwealth Bank, with The Monkeys taking on creative duties.

Speaking to Mi3, Accenture Interactive ANZ boss Mark Green said the business is expecting to see New Zealand make up 20 per cent of the region's revenue over the next 18-24 months.

Green said the country was one of the "more ambitious and modern" in its approach to marketing and digital transformation, an area in which Accenture Interactive continues to invest heavily.

Justin Mowday and Damon Stapleton, who open the doors of The Monkeys' NZ office in May will continue to lead the creative agency, while plans are in motion to grow design business Fjord.

While the two agencies will play a major part in the overall business, Green said there is broad interest in the digital transformation and wider services that Accenture Interactive sells its clients.

"It's a market known for having a really modern take on a lot of marketing strategy and we're seeing that reflected in the conversations we are having – a lot of focus on the digital, brand strategy and evolving CX side of things," Green said.

"Given its size, there is a lot more progression and less red tape, so they can be really nimble and brave in their decision-making and approach to creative, design and execution, which is a really exciting proposition."

Last year, ASB revealed its plans for a digital overhaul, closing several physical branches and hiring 150 new online support roles. The Monkeys will support the business in its strategy through creative, strategy, digital experience and innovation.

Green said there has also been a similar focus on e-commerce in NZ when comparing the market to Australia, but given the shorter lockdowns some NZ brands have used the opportunity to test and progress their strategies beyond initial investment and upgrades.

"You've got a lot of similarities in the space. The level of investment into e-commerce mirrors what we saw here in Australia but there has been more opportunity to evolve due to a different lockdown landscape," Green said.

"Brands there aren't just focused on e-commerce, they want to bring it together with creative, digital and experience – making a crucial part of the marketing function."

Talking talent

With "opportunity everywhere" and Accenture involved in multiple pitches in NZ, Green is in a hurry to find the right talent that can deliver its accelerated growth plans.

He said the talent wars that are being discussed in Australia are mirrored across the ditch, with poaching rife as the shortages bite. But where needed, the business has been able to utilise global capabilities to make up shortfalls.

"There is definitely a lot of similar battles being fought on the talent front here and in NZ, you can really see it playing out quite clearly in the way and rate people are moving about," Green said.

"But there are those that are looking for a change, not just a promotion and that's been an area where we can offer something  different to the environments of the bigger advertising networks," he suggested.

Mi3 Special Report: Australia's looming $1bn retailer media market

  • Australia's retailers are gearing up to become major media channels.
  • US retailers are already displacing 'legacy' publishers.
  • All retailers are eyeing media, not just supermarkets and FMCG.
  • Mi3 supported by Resolution Digital have produced a 28-page report with cross-industry views on what you need to know.

Expert analysis & market impacts for brands, publishers and agencies.

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