September 11, 2012 - Comments Off on Bloom and the journey of Digital Discovery

Bloom and the journey of Digital Discovery

Earlier this year we launched our brand proposition ‘Digital Discovery’. As CEO at Bloom, I thought it was about time I took the opportunity to explain a little about how we developed this and what it has meant to the agency.

What we were thinking

We started with a conversation, well lots of conversations really – chats about how the old agency silos are breaking down, how the role of the digital agency was growing, how we wished our digital ideas got better through-the-line support and the threat posed by the increasing digitisation of ‘traditional’ agencies.

We talked about what digital meant, about the challenges of big data, what the ‘internet of things’ means to our clients, how technology changes our lives.

We talked about the risk we perceive in positioning as a social, or mobile or whatever technology comes next agency. We talked about how we build a brand around an ever-changing technology landscape. We talked about how the only constant is change.

We looked around and we found weren’t alone.

What we did about it

We spent a great deal of time on us and our proposition. And the one thing that we definitely knew we had – and we knew that made us special – was our people.

Our proposition became ‘Powered by People’.

We then looked really closely at what our clients needed. Today, more than ever, our clients need a digitally focused, integrated approach. There were skillsets that were missing. We needed people with different way of thinking, different approaches and different skills to what Bloom currently had. We needed to go out and add more talent to our team.  A team full of people that were having the same conversations, seeing the same challenges and opportunities.

We looked for people that added something new to the agency. We made some critical hires (and in one case an acquisition) to bring the people we wanted on board. These were:

Neil Lockwood – joined as Client Services Director. Neil came from a ‘traditional’ advertising/marketing background including BDD, MD of PWLC and Charles Walls.

Glen Cartwright – joined as Creative Director. Glen has (amongst other positions) been Group Head at BDH/TBWA and founder and creative director of Seven Associates. He also founded Home – one of the largest advertising agencies in Leeds.

Stu Arundel – joined as Creative Director, Stu cut his teeth at Lowes London before moving north to work in some of the region’s most creative agencies. He has been a creative director for 12 years and helped grow an agency from 3 to 43!

Si Wilson – joined as Creative Services Director. Si founded the digital team at Brahm Digital and has done stints at Fuse 8 and Twenty Six.

Darren Navier- joined as Creative Director. Darren helped to found the first digital team at Saatchi’s, helped to set up Agency.com and was the Global CD for British Airways for a time.

Pete Laflin – Joined as Head of Data Insight. Previously at Infoserve, Pete has worked in data and marketing insight for some ten years.

Nathan Lane – joined as Head of PR. Nathan joined from his position as MD of Ptarmigan Bell Pottinger in Leeds and was previously MD at Golley Slater Birmingham.

This brought a much greater range of skills and experience into the agency and gave us the ability to look at briefs and brands from an integrated perspective. The impact was immediate, having ‘non-digital’ heads looking at digital briefs made us better at everything we do. We started growing rapidly and the conversation continued…

…oh and then something really exciting happened. We formed a relationship with the University of Reading and started developing algorithms and tools that gave us completely unique insight when it came to social media and other data. More on this coming very soon!

And finally…

We’re stepping out on a journey of discovery. We believe that the ‘agency of the future’ needs to be able to move during this time of constant change.  The value we give our clients is finding their ‘sweet spot’,  that blend of media and ideas that suits the technology landscape of their customers, whatever channel or media that may be.

Bloom’s future lies in working with clients whose future relies on digitally focused, integrated thinking. Clients that recognise their consumer is changing and that agencies can help them to turn that change into an opportunity.

Our people are here to take our clients on a journey of discovery. It’s a journey that we go on together where we test and we learn, where we identify what is right now for their brand and what is next.