New creative agency launches unique digital marketing insight and strategy tool to help Kiwi brands grow

Studio7 is headed up by Josh Heares and Gianni Russo
CRUX produces a scorecard for each brand to better identify strengths and shortcomings.
A new creative communications agency has opened shop and will help New Zealand brands grow in the digital space with the launch of an innovative digital marketing insight and strategy tool.


Studio7 has hatched out of Britomart’s Movers & Shakers and is spearheading a strategic approach with its own tried-and-tested tool CRUX, aiming to solve a problem many Kiwi businesses face – not knowing where to best spend their digital marketing budget.

Motivated to help brands grow, the Studio7 team use CRUX to gather detailed insights into a brand’s online marketing efforts by analysing a customer’s lifecycle journey. CRUX produces a visual scorecard and detailed brand report to more clearly guide strategy and advise a business on how it stacks up against its competitors.

CRUX has been designed by Studio7 Creative Director Gianni Russo and the agency’s Client Service Director Josh Heares, who operate on the basis that a brand strategy derived from robust insights results in more effective creative communication. This approach enables brands to better connect with people.

“Kiwi businesses are making a real effort in content creation, but the distribution of content is often weak and not visible” says Heares. “You only have to see the lack of reach or engagement on a well-crafted social media post to realise this.”

Studio7 signals a fresh direction for these two industry leaders, sharing a wealth of knowledge in creative strategy, advertising, branding, digital, and one common goal – to help brands grow.

With a portfolio of global clients including Nestle and Purina and local clients such as organic food brand Ceres Organics, supplement business Vitally and Artificial Intelligence start-up IMAGR, Studio7 brings expertise to companies of all shapes and sizes.

Russo, previously Creative Director/Director at Riot Riot, where Heares was his 2IC, says lack of cohesion in branding across digital touchpoints is a challenge Kiwi businesses face.

“Strategies that are most effective focus on consistent execution to build and sustain brand trust, appeal and favourability,” explains Russo. “The key to success is to build an engaged following and deliver seamless digital experiences.”

The Studio7 team recognise that 70 percent of people trust a personal product endorsement on social media, whereas only 15 percent of people trust a direct message from a brand (Forrester 2015). Additionally, 80 percent of advertising is wasted as it doesn’t cut through the noise of daily messages (marketing academic, Byron Sharp).

“It’s estimated that each day consumers are exposed to up to 10,000 brand messages, so it’s only natural that people are less attentive than previously,” says Heares.

“Authenticity is key, and brands are looking for other ways of building rapport, a loyal following and reaching new customers – this includes aligning with micro-influencers, attracting online product reviews and testimonials.”

With CRUX, Studio7 can alleviate the detrimental place many brands find themselves in – ‘shouting’ at consumers and pushing messages that don't resonate.

“By applying CRUX technology we’re able to pinpoint a business’ shortcomings and more precisely develop a tailored action plan for greater digital results,” adds Russo. “We’re really excited to move forward with this invaluable offering to help local brands do better when it comes to digital marketing.”