Ogilvy Optimizes Project Management With Smartsheet

As a company that builds some of the world's leading brands, Ogilvy teams work with a huge volume and variety of data and assets. Smartsheet vastly improved how projects are managed at the agency resulting in not only on-time high-quality deliverables to clients, but also greater transparency, clearer communications and trust for both clients and agency team members.

Avg. read time: 5 min


  • Professional Services

Organization Size

  • Enterprise (10,000+)


  • North America

Transforming the Client Experience for the Digital Age

Watch how Smartsheet makes Ogilvy’s project management more calm through visibility, process organization, and more.

"Everybody now has the same view of what we’re supposed to do; all the oars are in the water going the same way. Before, we never knew what was around the corner, so now we’re all planning for the same thing and we all have the same line of sight to it. Who wouldn’t want the ‘Smartsheet calm’ in their life?"

Mame McCutchin

Program Director

One of the oldest and largest marketing communications agencies in the world, Ogilvy creates innovative media campaigns for the world’s leading brands. The fundamental nature of advertising and media has evolved dramatically since the agency was founded in 1948, and the pace of change is only accelerating. It’s not easy for an established leader to shift gears and move quickly into a new media landscape—but Smartsheet is helping Ogilvy map that journey.

“There’s a lot of disruption in the industry; the whole model has changed in advertising, and as a large institution, it can be hard for us to keep up,” says Mame McCutchin, program director at Ogilvy. “Our larger brands are like us: They also don’t turn on a dime, but they expect us to lead them with technology and changes in the way we work. And across the board, Smartsheet has been a solution many times over.”

"Everything at Your Fingertips"

McCutchin’s team is evolving from the old advertising models of print and broadcast placement to a new digital media strategy that builds brand and message consistency across a wide variety of online channels. From video ads on streaming entertainment services to 6-second animated GIFs in social media, today’s campaigns require more visuals, more multi-channel elements, and more data-heavy resources than in the past. McCutchin and her team use Smartsheet to track the media assets that go into client projects, enabling them to see at a glance the status of every detail—and deliver on time.

“It really is everything at your fingertips,” McCutchin says. “You might say, well, a shared drive is at your fingertips; yeah, but you need a flashlight and a map to find anything. This is a much easier way to get around and access your own data. It’s just more efficient.”

Using Smartsheet, McCutchin can confirm that the correct versions of digital image files are ready to share with clients and track progress toward deadlines for each item. She can attach release forms confirming that models and actors have approved the use of their images and voices in campaign media. Dashboard views let her see the status of multiple items at once to make sure members of her team have what they need to solve problems, whether that’s changing light bulbs in a workspace, or cutting steps and lag time out of a production process. More important, her colleagues can track and update their own work and take action on any questions or problems, which is especially important when projects are being shared across global offices.

“One of the first things I did with my new team was to set up a schedule of what we need to start working on, when we need to start working on it, and when it needs to be out the door. Smartsheet is great for that,” McCutchin says. “People can use the filter to look at just their brands, and then I can see the whole thing. It helps us count things up, with the checkbox: Are we finished? Did it ship? Yes, it did. People can leave comments and attachments, and we use all of it. For the first time in this project we have complete line of sight until the end of the scope.”

The "Smartsheet Calm"

In addition to tracking campaign media, McCutchin uses Smartsheet to manage team financial details such as spending against client budgets and requests for non billable expenditures. She has also established a team onboarding hub, collecting documents and contacts in one place for new hires to review as they get started in their roles. The more details she collects and shares using Smartsheet, the more confidently her team can work, knowing that the answers to their most pressing questions are easy to find.

“There’s a level of calmness now that we didn’t have before this schedule was completed; that’s really important for this team,” McCutchin says. “Everybody now has the same view of what we’re supposed to do; all the oars are in the water going the same way. Before, we never knew what was around the corner, but now using Smartsheet we’re all planning for the same thing and we all have the same line of sight to it. Who wouldn’t want the ‘Smartsheet calm’ in their life?”

A calmer team is a more productive, motivated team, and McCutchin has seen the “Smartsheet calm” lead to on-time delivery of high-quality branded media to Ogilvy’s clients. She’s also seen it open up lines of communication within and across teams, enabling greater transparency as creators and strategists collaborate across time zones. When all members of the team have the data they need, there’s less miscommunication and a greater sense of project ownership for everyone involved.

McCutchin is working to develop a sheet that will offer similar transparency for clients, a dashboard view that will show project completion against scope—much like the ones utility companies offer to show customers how much energy they’re using compared with previous months or local averages. The industry is moving toward greater transparency, she notes; with Smartsheet, she can help Ogilvy lead the way and set a standard for clear communication and trust. That not only makes clients happy, it increases job satisfaction for everyone at the agency.

“When you’re chasing something and you’re just being reactive and trying to get it done, it’s not your best work, it’s not your best self,” McCutchin says. “If you’re here until midnight a lot, it’s no good for anybody. Every once in a while, a late night is exciting, but when it’s routine it just becomes a drag. But get a project optimized, when you get something done and you feel productive and your work is good, there’s no better feeling.”

For more information about this story, please see our case study.