From humble beginnings in a Surrey barn 20 years ago, Space & Time has always set out to create a rewarding client experience, and our approach is borne from a genuine passion to exceed expectations and go above and beyonddelivering results no matter what the challenges may be.  

The media landscape has changed immeasurably over the last two decades. In 2019 the demands of clients are shaped by a need to see evidence of a clear return on investment in media and brand marketing.  

The skills required by media planning and buying agencies have also evolved over this periodToday planning goes far beyond the targeting of wider demographic groups, instead focusing on the minute detail of personal media consumption, individual circumstances and behaviours. The ability to track a multitude of media touchpoints has become the foundation of tech-enabled media planning.  

At Space & Time we have moved with the times in terms of tracking, reporting and analysis and our focus on delivering real value and data-driven results has helped us achieve enviable client retention statistics. In launching our refreshed brand for Space & Time, we celebrate our client-focussed offering. We call it media and beyond.  

Over the next few weeks we’ll be interviewing our Managing Partners to see what this new brand positioning means to them, our company and our clients.  

This week we spoke to Steve Harrington to find out his thoughts on our new positioning. 

What does media & beyond mean to you?

For me it’s about expecting more from your agency. Creating deeper partnering between the agency and client. It’s not just about delivering great omni-channel media buying services across a variety of channels. It’s about the added extra, the ‘beyond’. The fact we truly care not just about the success of our client’s business, but the individuals we deal with day-to-day, at all levels. It’s this care and attention and genuine interest in people that set us apart. Some of our biggest pillar clients have been with us some 20 years. That’s no mean feat given the changes in the media landscape over this time. We’ve always gone above and beyond, so they’ve had no desire to look elsewhere for their media partner. We’ve grown and adapted to the changing media landscape together. 

What does media & beyond mean to Space & Time? 

It’s what we do. Media is our core offering, but ‘beyond’ is the extra you get as a client from working with us. It’s the time we take to understand the client, their goals, what success looks like for them, what makes them tick. Taking the time to build several quality linking points in the relationship that enables bending without breaking. This tensility between the agency and the client gives a much greater sense of partnering. It builds trust, and longevity in the agency: client relationship. On the buying side it’s about looking beyond the standard channels to fit the brief. It’s not about just ticking the box, doing the basics, delivering the same old. It’s about discovering other opportunities to stretch the capabilities and deliver greater media performance to individuals at scale. 

How do we take your clients beyond the expected in media? 

We ask questions, lots of questions! Then we ask better questions… and we ask our clients to do the same to us! We challenge the brief, we dig deeper. We take the time to truly understand the client’s objectives, and we work tirelessly and passionately to achieve these, as our client’s success is our success. All this takes time – something that in the fast-paced agency environment isn’t always easily available! But taking this time out to go beyond the normal is key to delivering innovative media solutions that resonate with a client’s audience and exceed a client’s expectations. 

Why is it important to performance marketing in 2020 that Media agencies behave more like business consultants? 

This comes back to the partnering element. To gain maximum performance, the agency and the client need to work hand-in-hand to solve problems. If that’s what ‘consultancy’ is then fine. I see it more as partnering than consultancy. 

Partnering is more personable. We won’t just advise a client; we’ll actively take ownership of their business challenges. We’ll go the extra yard to solve their issues – even if financially this doesn’t benefit us! In some cases, we’ll advise and implement change that is detrimental to us in terms of fees, but ultimately provides efficiencies to their business. It’s this that creates deeprooted trust that lasts… in some cases for 20 years plus! 

What does the Digital-first / future proof Media agency look like in 2020? 

Future proof agencies are strategically agile. Able to adapt and pivot quickly and easily to solve challenges and react and take advantage of the newest technology and opportunity. Being an independent agency, we are not tied down to any media buying obligations.  

We are at a size where we can still offer a tailored level of service but have the scale to manage brands nationally and internationally. We hone our agility and skill set to allow us to partner clients in a way that best suits them. Whatever it takes, whether as a technology partner, a consultant or training provider.  

We know that data and personalisation will continue to grow in importance. An agency that understands that today’s marketing is targeted to the individual – not a bucket of ‘similar’ individuals will succeed. We take our relationship with our technology and supplier partners just as seriously. These relationships allow us to implement the very latest technology – a lot of the time before other agencies – to help us succeed in delivering a personalised brand experience to our clients’ audience at an individual level. 

What does Space & Time look like in its third decade? 

Underpinned by unrivalled client service, talented, passionate and dedicated staff – nothing, and everything, has changed! Whilst technology and media strategies evolve the core principles of business still resonate. In fact, as machine learning and automated technology grows, focus shifts back to client service and strategic direction.  

It’s an exciting time for the agency. We continue to grow across our five regional offices. We’re investing in our people through our Drum Agency award nominated Space Academy programme. The days of siloed teams are long-gone. All our staff have access to learn specialisms, as well as soft skills, that help them grow individually and ultimately provide better results for our clients. 

Our agility as a business, combined with our scale, gives us a unique position to offer a better agency experience for clients. Clients deserve more from their agencies. They should push, and be pushed, to exceed expectations. They need media & beyond. 

Lesley Hickmott, Marketing & Communications Director and Steve Harrington, Managing Partner.