Meet John Kirk, Chief Strategy Officer at Team ITG

john kirk

What’s the mentality behind the success of Team ITG?

Our founder, Simon Ward, spotted a gap in the market for a technology-led marketing agency, and that’s always been at the centre of what Team ITG is about. We operate in a really dynamic industry that’s constantly changing at pace, which means we are always looking forward, seeking out opportunities to innovate and expand in new technological directions, which is something we’ve done really well over the past decade and onwards.

Collaboration’s central to everything we do, and we build meaningful, lasting relationships with our clients and partners. We’re there to make life easier for them by introducing new, more efficient systems and ways of working. It sounds obvious but it’s actually something that many agencies traditionally avoided – if they went into a client relationship and fixed all of their problems, then they wouldn’t be able to keep charging them. We get straight to the root of any issues, but we’re also continually innovating and moving the productivity frontier forward, meaning there are always some elements to improve on.

Working as one team is super-important to what we do, and we see our clients’ teams very much as an extension of our own. Again, it comes back to that sense of collaboration, and I think when you all feel like you’re working together towards a shared goal, that’s when you get real inspiration and amazing results.


How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?

Alongside our world-class services and people-centric approach, our state-of-the-art technology is a huge part of what we offer, and it’s benefited from significant investment and development over the last few years. Our martech ecosystem, CanopyCloud, is now at the level we had envisioned when the company began, and that’s reflected in some of the globally renowned brands that are currently using it, such as GSK, Sky, Heineken and many more.

One area in particular that’s advanced quickly, especially in the last year or so, is creative automation – the ability to amend and localise thousands of assets from a single dynamic template. You can imagine how revolutionary that is in the hands of a marketer, cutting out the time spent going back and forth with tedious manual adaptations, and instead getting content that’s ready to go to market in just a few clicks.

Whether it’s stills or videos, our CanopyCreate tech is so simple to use and has come on leaps and bounds in the past 18 months, solving a massive problem for brands in terms of the sheer volume of content that’s required in modern marketing, and rapidly and efficiently optimising that content. There’s been a real explosion of new channels over the last 10-15 years and a lot of businesses are still playing catch-up, so you’ll definitely start to see creative automation become the norm in the near future. If brands are slow to adapt, they’re going to be left behind.

What can we hope to see from you in the future?

As I’ve said, creative automation is the future of the industry, and we’re lucky enough to be at the cutting-edge of this revolution, changing the way global brands do marketing.

We’ve had some really cool developments in 2022 that have allowed us to press ahead with the growth of the business on a global level. The acquisition of New Zealand-based tech reseller, Brand Machine, gives us a real presence in the APAC region and deeper access to a whole new market. They’ll be using their local links and knowledge to take our services and (mainly) technology to brands out there – bringing new clients on board and working with their current roster which includes the likes of Hyundai, Kiwi Bank and the USTA.

In a world with more brands and media channels than ever before, it’s harder than ever for businesses to stand out, especially when their technology just isn’t coherent. So many are still using multiple service providers for different functionalities (workflows, CRM etc.), whereas CanopyCloud is easy to implement, covers everything they need and can even be integrated with existing systems. That’s the difference with our tech – it’s everything required for effective, efficient marketing from a single platform.

You can see the power of our tech proposition now in the fact that it’s recently won the ‘Excellence in MarComm Technology’ prize at this year’s Gartner Awards, alongside our friends at GSK. That’s a real milestone in CanopyCloud’s development that puts it firmly amongst the leading names in the industry, and we’re now looking to make it the go-to marketing technology stack for forward-thinking global brands. Alongside our services, it’s a truly unique offering that’s going to move the goalposts for the whole industry.


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