After a fantastic festival this year we are extremely grateful to our gold sponsors, The Agency, who not only supported as a gold sponsor in the SPARKies but also as the sole sponsor of the Family Weekend in Queen’s Square.
The Agency is a Bath based advertising and communications business, servicing global brands in international markets. With more than 80% of revenue being driven from digital and technology based accounts, notable international clients include AA, BSM, Boots, BT, Del Monte, Tom Tom, Intercasino and QVC and most recently the James Caan Foundation. The Agency have also pioneered new targeting techniques using digital media channels and advertising platforms in partnership with The Times and Wall Street Journal. This has secured North American company Quintiles, the largest pharmaceuticals CRO and clinical trials company in the world, as a long term client.
Founded in 2008, The Agency is one of the UK’s fastest growing agencies. With a current team of 15-18, including two recent Bath graduates, they expect to expand to around 28 people by the end of the year. In 2012 the Agency were ranked 43 in the UK’s Top 100 Agencies (RAR) based on financial success, client reviews, as well as peer regard.
I spoke to Saman Mansourpour, co-founder and partner of the Agency, about running a highly successful international business from Bath and why they felt it was important to support Bath Digital Festival:
Which project are you most proud of?
I think it would be re-positioning BSM to the youth market. We helped to drive their business online and increase brand awareness of 17-24 year olds to 97%. We also got to work with celebrities such as Pixie Lott and JLS which was great. Helping to define and measure digital media will be the biggest part of the business going forward I’m sure because its all about what can brands do in that environment and how can you capture that activity and quantify it in a commercial way. This will help our clients know, first and foremost, what works and what doesn’t and secondly, how to proportion their budgets accordingly so they know what the online channels are really delivering for them commercially both short and long term. Therefore, for that reason, we’ve also invested this year quite heavily in a digital media team. We’ve got a new planning director, digital media manager and we’ve started to buy quite a lot of media and it’s helping to close that loop for us. So now we’re all the way through from coming up with the strategy, the campaign, the creative to actually getting it pushed out into the media, monitoring and measuring what happens,and taking the learnings and optimising that process. The integration means it’s across all of those digital media channels.
As a sponsor for our festival why do you think it’s important to support Bath’s digital community?
Well, we’re based here first and foremost [laughs]. It’s our home city, we should support it and be seen to support it. We do business here and we do business from here so that in itself is a good reason to support the city as a whole. From a selfish perspective, as Bath thrives and the digital scene in Bath thrives, then we thrive. But equally, for that to work it needs to be a virtuous circle, and we need to give back to the city as well. So for us it’s not just about sponsoring the Festival to help the events take place, it’s about being part of it and helping to promote it as well. The more notoriety Bath gets, the more people come here and thrive here, the more people we’ll hopefully get to work, engage with and learn from. If we can make this a technological hub of advancement then that can only be a good thing for everybody involved. We will benefit from that and in turn our clients benefit from that as well. As an agency we have to be mindful of that- we’re only ever as good as the last thing we’ve done for our clients. We’ve always got to be offering them and delivering them something new to keep their brands abreast of the market and that’s what we strive to do so the city will play a really big role in that . The university in particular will continue to play a part in that so as we grow we hope that the digital scene will grow as well and should be symbiotic.
Do you think there is anything Bath can do as a city to attract more digital companies?
I think that on a wishlist for the digital scene here to grow, the employment opportunities need to grow and by virtue of that it means we’re going to need more companies here doing business. So, as a city, we probably need to attract businesses, small, medium and large, not just start up operations. There’s a lot of start ups that come out of Bath, they’re important, they’re great, we need them and they can be the bedrock to a thriving culture. But, ultimately, it requires some level of scale and we need to have businesses that are bigger, businesses that have more money to invest in R&D and more money to invest in people and growth. I think Bristol does a very good job, it’s bigger, there’s more square footage, there’s more people, by definition it’s easier for them. However, I think Bath has a certain intelligence about the population and certainly the university helps to feed that and we have to make sure that we keep that here and we don’t just let it run off to London and come back when it fancies kicking it’s feet up and having an easier life because that’s not necessarily when people are at their best. The university provides some excellent digital students so we want those people all the way through, we want them to learn here, stay here, be here and hopefully retire here.
Thanks again to The Agency for their generous support. You can find further information about their services on their website www.theagencyonline.co.uk.