Jumping ship to a new opportunity always carried both risk and reward, Ogury’s new managing director for South East Asia. Niall Hogan says, as he shares his lessons in leadership and knowing when a new opportunity is right with The Drum.
Hogan joined Ogury this year, after spending over six years at Integral Ad Science, originally as the managing director of the UK office and then later opening the business in SEA. His task at Ogury is to once again build out a SEA operation, starting from scratch to create a team.
Deciding to move after over six years is never a decision made lightly but Hogan says there are three factors he advises to take into account when taking on a new opportunity - a company that has proprietary technology, a business that has good people and a company that is future-facing.
“I wanted to find a company that uses proprietary technology to deliver real and effective results,” he explains.
He adds: “Secondly, I wanted to work with the right people. We spend a disproportionate amount of time with the people that we work with and it’s hugely important to work with a talented and driven team. Ogury’s culture is deeply rooted in a set of very strong corporate values. These values are far from being meaningless words; they are at the heart of all our initiatives, internal and external and are what makes the people at Ogury so great to work with.”
Finally is the requirement that a company is future-facing, which Hogan says Ogury fits because of its focus on consumer trust, a major trend topic in the digital marketing industry.
“Consumer trust and data regulation are and will continue to be, key topics of conversation. We know that brands need to be sure that the data they use is consented by consumers and that they are providing consumers with control over their digital marketing experiences. They need reassurances on the traceability and validity of the consented data they are using. Ogury is at the forefront of privacy and data protection concerns, placing user choice at the core of its business. It is this kind of future-facing approach, and the ability to bring it to the APAC region, that really attracted me to the role and the company,” he says.
According to Ogury, its name is taken from the ancient practice of ‘Augury’, a Roman word describing the practice of interpreting omens and predicting the future by observing the flight patterns of birds.
In terms of ambition, the focus on consent is the theme for Ogury’s business as it starts to extend its mission to reinvent digital marketing through trust across the world.
In order to take this ambition to APAC, Hogan has already started to build out his team in Singapore, firstly with a sales team. Having built up multiple offices from scratch, Hogan says a core lesson has been around starting up with the right people in place.
“I’ve learned that the most important thing is to hire and build a great team. A team that tackles challenges for local brands and publishers, and helps to deliver tangible results for our clients. We are in a great position, where we have been able to combine local expertise and knowledge, with long-term company experience, to build our APAC team," he says.
"We have hired some great salespeople so far, who really understand the local market, including Mel Tay, from IAS, and Hyder Oh, from Yahoo, who bring with them over 27 years worth of combined digital sales experience in Singapore. Our client service lead, Cassie Nguyen, comes from a local DSP Knorex too. But it is also important to involve those who have a deep understanding of the company and its values. Those with long-term experiences, such as Adam Rubach, vice president of new markets, and Camille Ratabouil, client services lead of new markets, have joined us from Ogury’s European offices to help us expand into APAC as quickly as possible."
The timing of the launch could be well received as, beyond the original regulatory shockwave around consent and data usage in GDPR, APAC markets are now also putting in place their own versions. This, Hogan believes, is where Ogury has an opportunity to aid brands and publishers as they navigate a complex set of regulations across varied regions.
“Brands and publishers in APAC are also facing these increasing concerns for privacy and data protection. More than ever users are aware that their data is coveted by organizations. These organizations have to be sure that the data they’re using is consented by the user, and they need reassurances on the traceability and validity of the consent. The updated Australian data privacy regulations, the Indonesian Personal Data Protection Bill, the Thai Personal Data Protection Act... All of these new or updated regulations prove that data protection is becoming a key concern in the region.
They also demonstrate two main issues: The patchwork of data protection laws across countries and territories makes privacy compliance in the region complex and the maturity of data privacy laws vary greatly across the region. As countries reform their existing laws or create new data privacy legislation, we’re seeing lawmakers and data protection authorities across APAC increasingly look to the GDPR for guidance. And working with tech companies that are GDPR compliant by design will be the most efficient way for brands and publishers in APAC to make sure they meet the highest level of data protection,” he explains.
Ogury’s success in the market is still to be realised but the topic of data privacy is set to become a core concern for businesses across Asia Pacific in 2019 and beyond.