Ad industry veteran Richard Bleasdale (pictured left) has joined Construct Digital as CEO as the agency moves forward with a new vision and focus. In a statement to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, Construct Digital founder and managing partner Charanjit Singh (pictured right) said the agency was built from the positioning of “The Transformation Agency”, and as such it has now created a new agency leadership role of chief executive officer, which is what Bleasdale will be taking up.
Bleasdale has spent the last fifteen years leading and guiding marketers across Asia Pacific on transforming their skills, reworking processes and partners. He has established and led the marketing consultancy, The Observatory, across multiple markets in Asia, he has also had real success in agency leadership roles with The Secret Little Agency, Iris Nation and DDB Worldwide.
As CEO, Bleasdale will take over Construct’s strategic and commercial leadership, reporting into the founders - with key responsibilities to chart the growth and development of the agency over the next three to five.
He will also be charged with helping to bring Construct’s transformation message and point-of-view to larger and more ambitious, regional and global brands. Most importantly, he will be focused on attracting and mentoring talents to play a part in the Construct story, and in building stronger and deeper long-term partnerships with its clients.
“There is a seismic shift in how we operate as a business, but it’s one we believe is essential to deliver on our ambition to become Southeast Asia’s leading independent transformation agency,” said Singh in an interview with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE. Singh added that Bleasdale has been a partner and mentor to Construct for more than a decade, and moving forward, as Construct eyes a bigger transformational vision, his leadership style and client engagement experience will be really valuable for its growth.
The agency, which was founded in 2010 as a pure-play digital agency, now works with notable brands such as National University of Singapore, Givaudan, SGX, Nespresso, Commscope, Merz Aesthetics, eBay, SAP and American Express. Its leadership group includes John Scott (creative/brand), Kunal Robert (client/business), Zulayha Sharin (strategy/insights), Edison Bong (operations/projects) and Davinder Singh (finance/HR).
Bleasdale added that as more countries now emerge from the pandemic, marketing organisations and brands are now transforming for growth. “Digital sits at the heart of the transformation marketers and what companies need to embark on. We believe our combined set of skills, experience and networks, will enable Construct to offer marketers in Singapore and further afield, a transformation partner with uniquely proven expertise and delivery across marketing, experience and business transformation,” said Bleasdale.
Currently Construct has offices across Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines and team members from Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Australia, New Zealand and Canada partnering with clients. Singh said:
Coming out of COVID, we’ve certainly got our eye on expansion, primarily focused on strengthening our capabilities in the markets where we already have a presence.
Plans for 2022
When asked how his duties will change with Bleasdale on board, Singh said, “Technology innovation, decisions and delivery are playing an increasingly crucial role in marketing organisation success, and in brand and business growth. This territory is my sweet spot and I really want to focus here more, to maintain Construct’s leading edge in digital product and service delivery.”
He added that his and Bleasdale’s roles are “highly complimentary”, and with very similar values and principles, Construct is doubling down on its people-first culture. “We’ve always believed in a people-first approach to business and the pandemic has reinforced our belief that we are a people first business - both in terms of clients and employees - and enhancing and sharpening that culture is critical to business success. We trust sticking with this core philosophy will enable us to grow the best transformational talent in SE Asia,” he added.
Singh added that 2022 has already become a whirlwind. In addition to rebranding the agency and overhauling its service offering, the agency also signed new retainer relationships with Duke-NUS Medical School and CommScope. It has also won and delivered large projects for Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and NUS Office of Student Affairs.
“Clients have long come to Construct to leverage our combined strengths in B2B marketing and deep digital domain knowledge. However, with the huge societal and technological changes sweeping the marketing landscape, we’ve expanded our approach to something much bigger. It’s no longer simply about B2B or B2C. We are now B2Human marketers,” said Singh, adding:
With the ability to provide highly personalised experiences at scale, we help our clients connect with their audiences as people, not prospects.
As such, a key focus for the agency moving forward will be to cement its reputation as the agency that brings together human insight and behaviour with the revolution of technology and data.