Sensis launches digital agency to be led by Peter Barrie

John Allan and Peter Barrie

John Allan and Peter Barrie

Former Mediacom Melbourne managing director Peter Barrie has emerged as the head of a new digital agency being launched by directories business Sensis.

The new unit, called Found, is being launched today by Sensis as a “complete end-to-end marketing solutions agency”, as the company looks to expand its business remit and harness data it has from its directories business.

Sensis launched a new brand positioning last month it claimed would highlight its “strong digital growth strategy” adding it aims to be “the number one marketing services company in Australia.” US based private equity firm Platinum Digital bought a 70 per cent stake in Sensis from Telstra in January.

Barrie made a surprise exit from Mediacom Melbourne in July after two-and-a-half years. His previous roles included stints as CEO of Carat Australia and Full Circle Digital, having started his career in print advertising in the UK, and in Australia with Fairfax. He will start next month.

He told Mumbrella the new agency, which has around 20 staff currently, would look to provide “bespoke packages” for around 50 of Sensis’ biggest small and medium enterprise clients to help tailor their experiences, providing SEO and SEM services initially, and potentially looking to expand into creative executions and display down the road.

“If you look at the data Sensis holds it’s vast,” he added. “At the moment these clients only have the option to bolt on packages, so there’s no personalisation and tailoring the service for them, which is a real opportunity.”

The operation will be based in Melbourne, but have a national footprint.

In a statement released this morning Sensis CEO John Allan said: “We are really excited about what Found will be able to deliver to our customers. Through a combination of innovative technologies and actionable data, they will be able to choreograph meaningful campaigns that drive real, measureable results for clients.”

The business will service “A range of leading Australian and international brands with a focus on providing strategic insights using the unique data assets from the various Sensis-owned properties”.

The move comes just days after Qantas unveiled a new digital marketing play Red Planet which would be opened up for clients harnessing the data from its own Frequent Flyer program, as businesses start to look to capitalise and commercialise vast quantities of customer data.

Alex Hayes


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