Traversing the New Media Maze: Dave Smith Sheds Light on Life at a UK Full-Service Agency

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As ADOTAS continues its sojourn across the pond to gain some firsthand perspective on overseas online/interactive advertising culture, we arrive in London, where we have an engaging chat with Dave Smith, Managing Director of New Media Maze.

Formed in 2000 and based in the heart of England’s capital, New Media Maze is a full-service agency that not only emphasizes creative and strategy, but maintaining healthy, enduring client relationships in the process. The proof is in the pudding, as the firm has built a growing, premium roster of entertainment/lifestyle brands including 20th Century Fox, FHM, Ubisoft, and NBC Universal.

Low-key and laid-back, yet knowledgeable and forthright with his industry views, Smith sheds light on his company’s fluid culture, the challenges of converting clients to the interactive space, and the differences in marketing and technological trends in the UK versus the US.

Hi Dave, so what’s the general strategy and culture of New Media Maze?

About 6 years ago, we fell into the entertainment industry, and so we’ve been working with Universal Pictures, but also a whole host of other entertainment clients and helping them to achieve their online marketing objectives. We take a full-service approach to online with our clients, so the idea when we set out was to act like a client’s outsourced online department or online marketing department. When they come to us, we would help them with all the different elements of the online marketing mix.

We’re based in central London and we’ve split the company into four key departments and the first of those departments is the strategy team. We have a dedicated strategy team who work with all of our clients to develop the direct online marketing strategy for different objectives. We then have a client management team who works with all of our clients to keep them happy. We then have an online marketing team who are more operational than strategic to actually undertake the work.

And then we also have a rapidly growing production team who builds our websites, creates online advertising units or develop the viral marketing elements. Then, we built onto that a team in India who do our hardcore technology work. So if we have something that’s really, really techie to do, or that we don’t necessarily have the skills, we would outsource to them. That’s brilliant, and we’ve been working with them for about five years now.

Where in India?

In Pune. They’re great. And then on top of that, we take the dynamic network approach to business which is that we don’t claim to do everything and are quite open with clients about that. We have something quite open with clients. So if there’s something that comes through that’s very technical like a really complex 3D game or something that the client requires, we’re quite happy to go and work with other agencies on that. We have this dynamic network of agencies that we also work with and outsource to when necessary.

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