Why do you do what you do?

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By Stephen Firth - Managing Director

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It’s a great question, right?

How many of you find it easy to answer?

Given time to think it becomes clearer however, do we give ourselves enough time to consider our purpose?

As the founder of an agency in its tenth year I’ve finally given myself that head space and I can confidently testify that my purpose is driven from the fact that I’ve not done the best work of my career yet and that I still get physical goose bumps when I see a neck tingling piece of work.

However, when you look to answer this for your agency with a talented team of individuals it’s becomes much harder to ascertain. We therefore went through an exercise with our Senior Management Team who were each asked that same question. The answers varied however there was a consistent theme which reassuringly came down to doing your job and producing great work with spades of integrity.

Over the next few weeks we distilled this down and were able to articulate our agencies reason for being. Our ‘why?’ we exist. Our north star.

Simply, to ‘RID THE INTERNET OF SH*T’

In the world of advertising and marketing there are too many charlatans, there’s far too much mediocre work and there are too many people who just don’t care enough. This all contributes to the masses of sh*t created by our industry on the internet every day.

We’ve been striving to create ‘great work that works’ for over 10 years however our new proposition sharpens our focus and provides a shared purpose. It means we will focus everything on producing work that people care about and is additive to people’s lives and hopefully the world at large.

‘Is it easier said than done, HOW do you do it?’

Obviously, however, by working hard to maintain a high level of ‘CULTURAL FLUENCY’ we are able to understand what is important to consumers, audiences or how we like to refer to them, people.

It’s why we decided on a trip to VidCon in Anaheim, California (the largest influencer conference on the planet) rather than the glitz and glamour of Cannes last year.

It’s why our creative teams aspire to be on the front page of Reddit not in Campaign or picking up often meaningless awards.

It’s why we put more of an emphasis on connecting to the wider and lateral world we live in rather than using just a gut instinct and the universe of one approach.

It’s why we recruit talent who elicit a deeper connection with culture – t-shaped, curious, entrepreneurial and diverse.

‘WHAT exactly do you do?’

It’s tougher to answer than you think because we are a super smart creative business who levitated whisky with sound, drove cars with positive thought and created mind reading topper hats.

However, if you want to put a label on us call us a ‘full service social agency’. From strategy to content creation to community management to paid media to real time analytics. We are experts in delivering end to end social campaigns – fracture free. No passing content between the agencies to create assets and no passing assets between the agencies to buy media.

That however is only part of the story.

We believe that all insight and creativity need to start where people live their lives: social. Therefore, we take a social-first approach to every brief – a social up rather than advertising down approach if you like. We have a deep and nuanced understanding of social channels (our weekly digital digest will keep you up to speed with the often-daily changes) and consumer behaviours.

Our work often manifests itself in social content such as; the Facebook mini-series we created for Allianz; or the car launch for Hyundai focussed on the issue of trolling; or the Hendricks campaign that turned Twitter travel complaints into gin chat.

However, the ideas we create live and breath elsewhere including experiential, CRM, cinema and even on TV screens.

So, rather than say we can do anything, everything or are integrated, we tell people that we are a ‘SOCIAL-FIRST COMMUNICATIONS’ agency.

‘Why is this so important?’

Two main reasons;

Firstly, I hope that it gives everyone within the agency a sense of meaning. It provides them with a reason for getting up every morning and working their socks off. More than the pay cheque, more than the perks and benefits, more than just the other great people they work with.

Secondly, I believe that it helps everyone else to understand you better and decide whether they want to work with you. Not only can you articulate who you are better, you gain confidence in yourself as an agency and in the fact that not everyone is going to fancy working with you (and vice versa).

‘Why are you telling me this now?’

Firstly, it’s clearly a bit of gratuitous promotion. I’m very proud of the agency and the talented team within it and felt the need to share our why, how and what with the wider world whether they are interested or not.

However, more importantly I wanted to share a bit of the process and framework that we’ve been through and created. Most agencies either don’t bother to think about this or are seeking a point of difference that may not exist for them. I urge every agency leader to go through a similar process and look deeper into the agency to find their reason for being and work to articulate this more effectively.

I sincerely hope that someone has found some value in the musings of a proud agency dad and I’ll look to keep those who are interested posted on the progress we make over the coming 12 months.

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