Next up in the launch of our refreshed brand positioning, media & beyond, we spoke with Chris Jones, Managing Partner, to find out what our new positioning means to him, our clients and our company.
Here’s what he had to say:
What does media & beyond mean to you?
When I think back to when I first started my own journey with Space & Time, there was an inherent ‘rightness’ to how it felt and how we did things. The people, the chemistry, the approach, the clients. The relentless desire to delight, be creative, be nice and make it fun was there in abundance. Even now, almost 10 years to the day since I started and 20 years since the business first opened its doors, I look around any one of our five offices and I still see and feel that same ‘rightness’ running through our veins. Media & beyond is something organic in the business that for me, just feels right.
How do we take your clients beyond the expected in media?
AI and machine learning are a reality now and we work with partners such as Google to ensure that we apply industry leading-algorithmic thinking to our approach both now and will continue to do so in the future.
Of course, data is vital: our award win at The Drum Awards this year for use of data affirms that notion. But just as important is its proper interpretation and application. We help clients go beyond by combining data with the ever-growing expertise, talent, enthusiasm and human intuition that exists throughout our business and provides vital rationale and interpretation that clients don’t just want but depend on.
What does media & beyond mean to Space & Time?
You can’t run a marathon on an empty stomach. In order to achieve our goals and sustain the levels of growth that we’ve had, we need to retain all the same attributes and characteristics that got us here in the first place. For me, we’ve been able to do that by creating deeper partnerships with the people we work with. Our amazing client loyalty isn’t a fluke. Our natural curiosity and our will to ask new and better questions each day helps to enrich both ours and our clients’ expertise beyond what a ‘normal’ agency/brand partnership would allow.
Why is it important to performance marketing in 2020 that Media agencies behave more like business consultants?
To an extent, media agencies have always been business consultants. It’s just that brands are now more reliant on the insight and context we provide across more aspects of their business, meaning that a media agency is no longer the one in the suit at the end of a creative meeting with a 30-second cameo, putting crosses in boxes before everyone breaks for lunch. We are consulting on more elements of our clients’ businesses than ever before, be it training, research, recruitment; I’m a strong believer that business empathy is what makes each of our client partnerships different yet entirely relevant at the same time.
What does the Digital-first / future proof Media agency look like in 2020?
Looking back to the business’s humble beginnings; three people based out of a barn in Surrey vs today with 120+ wonderful people across five amazing offices.
Could we have predicted the media landscape as it is today? No. Could we have considered ourselves ‘future proof’ 10, or even five years ago? Possibly, but we didn’t.
We’ve remained strategically agile and ensured that we go beyond client expectations without being conceited. With the establishment of media & beyond, that won’t be changing and why would it? ‘Future proof’ is an ever-moving target and a digital first media agency must be authentic, brave and straight talking with clients and ourselves. Business pragmatism beats our own profit when it comes to devising the best approach for our clients. Our full-service capability gives us a holistic view of the best solution and how to imbed integrated thinking to drive greater response and our own independent stature ensures that we keep ourselves honest and true to our values. We can’t forge deep partnerships without it and our own experience tells us this gives us our best chance of being ‘future proof’.
What does Space & Time look like in its third decade?
Part of the reason why time-based agency pricing models are out-growing outcome-based models is the value advertisers increasingly place on expertise and long-term business success vs short term ‘quick wins’ from their media agency partnership. I do not see this shifting and I believe Space & Time is perfectly positioned to embrace the need for a deeper partnership but also a partnership that is built on a firm base of expertise, technology and great people. I’m genuinely excited about scaling our proposition in 2020 and beyond.
Underpinning this though, and what creates a point of difference for Space & Time, is media & beyond. It’s our ambition and passion for what we do, our people that have been instrumental in getting the agency where it is today and that will stay as true in the next 10 years as it did in the first 10.
This is just the start.