#Tink25 “At Tink, we work on world-class projects”

January 27, 2021

André Gagnon joined Tink 17 years ago as creative director. I’ve been working here since 2003, he says, but on several occasions I’ve found myself right in the middle of client teams, almost a full-fledged member of their business.

He often describes his role as having three functions: The first is enabling all target audiences (clients, employees, etc.) to easily access the right information in the right place—that is, on the channel most relevant to them. The second is working with internal teams to optimize the way information is created and managed, especially the interoperability of different systems. And the third is bringing value by measuring and building on this information through interactions with clients and by establishing lasting relationships with them.

Before arriving at Tink, André already had quite a bit of experience working on innovative interfaces. I started my career in Asia, working primarily on mobile interface design. This was in the late ’90s, long before smartphones—the mobile industry was still in its infancy. When I moved back to Quebec, I joined a start-up and helped design the first mobile payment applications. I also developed National Bank’s websites and intranet. Later, I was part of the team that set up the SAQ’s website, which was the first major e-commerce site in Quebec. Ultimately, it was meeting with Michel Couture and discovering our shared vision of the industry that convinced me to join Tink.

An example of an omnichannel digital environment

Passionate about his work, André has since immersed himself in large-scale projects, adopting a client-focused approach and integrating the latest technologies and methodologies. One of the first mandates I worked on with Tink was divided into three distinct parts: first, we had to aggregate all the data in the digital infrastructure of a large international company and make this information available on several platforms, including mobile. Then we had to enable various target audiences to interface with all the relevant data and content. Finally, we had to distribute this content and data on the client’s website, social media, extranets, and intranet, and on all partner sites. At the time, it was a huge challenge to create a homogeneous one net, and André spent five years working on the project. This was a very big job, a mobile responsive project before its time.

More recently, André has been working in web 4.0, drawing upon his client-focused expertise and the professionalism and innovative spirit of Tink’s teams. For another project, by combining IoT technologies, data mining, and artificial intelligence, we were able to create communications that were proactive and, most importantly, prescriptive for our client’s customers. This enabled the company to optimize the use of their products and the quality of their after-sales service by anticipating customer needs. We’ve always aimed to provide the right information in the right place. Now, we’re able to provide it at the right time, and for the right reason, when the customer will be most receptive. What seemed like science fiction a few years ago has now become reality, with practical applications for every moment of consumers’ lives.

When asked what has fundamentally changed since his early days, André doesn’t hesitate: Finding a way to provide the right information at the right place and time is more complicated than ever. Today, the companies we work with want to give their customers a memorable and personalized experience. That means facing major technological challenges such as using machine learning, leveraging increasing amounts of customer data, navigating the proliferation of digital and non-digital communication channels, etc. Knowing that in recent years we’ve added an intelligence element to this complex mechanism, and that the goal is always to reduce costs, we have to draw upon increasingly varied and specialized expertise. I may have been able to design and build a website on my own when I first started, but that’s no longer possible, given the demands of today’s technologies.

Having to solve this type of problem—a combination of process, information distribution, and technology integration—is what has helped shape Tink’s service offering over the years. Personally, I’ve really enjoyed tackling these challenges, both because Tink isn’t afraid to confront them, but also because the client teams we work with are exceptionally skilled, and we’ve managed to create synergies at all levels. At Tink, we work on projects that are truly world-class. Here, I’ve found a state of mind and a relationship with new technologies that allow me to participate in increasingly advanced projects, and I get to work with clients who want to push their limits. It’s for all of these reasons that I’ve stayed with the company for so long.

Read our interview with Maude Laurin, director of digital production, support and evolution, who has been with Tink for more than 20 years.

Communication, Marketing and Social Media Counselor