Friday, 4 November 2016

Full Service???

Back in the day - clients would expect and want their agency to be "full service" - so any and all things related to recruitment marketing/adverts/research etc - came through one place/one account manager - that just doesn't exist anymore (I think for the better!)

We are, I guess, nominally full service (print, outdoor, design and build, social, mobile etc) as well as our core digital offering but in the last two weeks I have done the following co-operative work (Lord knows what else the team have been up to)

- Partnered with a great employer brand agency on a large tender
- been engaged to run a creative pitch process for a client
- Have supported a client's huge Future Talent project with a very cool Youth Marketing Agency
- outsourced a research project investigating the world of the quantum
- spoken at an event about talking to Millenials
- Inputted into the build of a CMS with a very clever tech organisation
- Co-organised a media day in USA with a partner agency based in Chicago

Don't worry - we still did a bunch of media planning and buying too - but what an agency does is now so different and I think the model of working is far, far superior

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

In Defence of Business

Very much a self interested post this one

it seems that business owners or company directors have become the hate figures of society - no drama is complete without a nasty (probably abusive or a crook) boss and news and comment stories are accompanied by photos of Philip Green on his yacht or Mike Ashley and his wad of £50 notes.

This is not the reality I encounter.

Most business owners who I know probably have a very similar story to my own and OME

we set up 10 years ago

Sean and I risked it all - we had mortgages and responsibilities and took zero remuneration in Year 1 and very little in Years 2 and 3 (compared to our previous earnings)

So as the business grows and our personal returns improve - I try not to feel too guilty about enjoying the fruits of our labour

We employ an increasingly large workforce (many have been with us 5 years+) and I believe we pay them well, offer them a great working environment and lots of training and development

We do this to a) employ a happy motivated team b) to retain them in the business c) because its the right thing to do - we want them to share the success of this business and be evangelists for OME

In my view its a combination of self interest (retain them - employ them to produce a return for OME) economic reality (best staff will leave if you underpay) and benevolence (its lovely to be seen to be a good employer)

and the fact is - most businesses and their owners think like this too (probably not Phil and Mike above!)

right, will go back to talking about digital recruitment....

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

First Half 2016 - Quick review

so off next week - and perfect time to quickly check back on what has happened for OME first part of 2016

- it was a very good business performance - we grew again last year (that's every year of our 10 year life) - each year we think is there anyway of outperforming the previous and so far we have done (obvs that I guess will stop at some point - but not next year I hope)
- new clients include - TUI, McDonalds, Virgin Media, TMF Group, Avis, Bidvest, Gaucho, National Autistic Society, Avenues and more. 1 or 2 clients moved on but we don't talk about them - do we?
- Job Boards still provide a huge revenue stream for the business but LinkedIn is by far and away our biggest supplier - and the channels that showed most growth were Programmatics, Aggregators and Social (inc sites like Glassdoor)
- New staff (seeking an account manager right now - please apply) included Alexsia, Olly, Anna and Rosie. Who are all rather wonderful (or we don't know their dark side yet!)
- Development - we have made concerted effort to build peoples roles and challenge them further. Chloe Lovick joined the Mgmt team as Head of Media and other promotions followed
- feel that Kork and Jamie are fully part of all of our major decision making process - cant think of many decisiosn that Sean and I would take apart from them (maybe apart from their ££££)
- God knows Brexit will bring - but things seem fine (ish) so lets just crack on and see what happens

And on a positive note - I don't think I have enjoyed my job as much as I have these last few months and not quite sure why - but will take that!

Tuesday, 12 July 2016


We have employed recently a placement student from May to October and I wanted to defend the work ethics of that generation (they are much maligned sometimes by me)
- amazing attitude to work
- always on time despite late nights
- helpful and positive to colleagues, clients and suppliers

now the kicker maybe is - we pay this person a proper decent salary not "unpaid intern" or "work experience" so maybe that mat affect things!

Monday, 27 June 2016

Brexit and OME

So much in common with vast majority of business community - I voted to Remain last Thursday and clearly don't feel great about the decision the country took but now need to focus on making the best of it.

My last comment on the issue (not that fond of the echo chamber of social media where you find lots of people who agree with you and are encouraged to sign meaningless petitions) is that Brexit for increased sovereignty and political separation from EU was a subtle and even justifiable choice - however - they could not win on that basis so a bunch of rich white men sold the lie to the poorly paid, poorly educated and old people that Brexit meant an end to immigration and their lives would improve subsequently and a huge amount of money would now be diverted to NHS - this unravelled within 24 hours of victory.

There is an argument for Britain outside of EU but the above isn't it.

Ideally from here - we end up with free trade (and it seems compulsorily free movement of labour) which will mean business will be OK - but the anger of the people who wont "get their country back" could poison the well of political life/society for many years to come.

So - work harder - be smarter - deliver great service and value and.......hope for the best!

Monday, 16 May 2016

OME at 10 Years Old

So we launched in May 2016 - I am not sure we officially have a birthday - but in my head its May 6th so last week was our 10th birthday and I am reeling from how the time went by - but lets be grateful - we prospered, we grew, we made money, and I think we offered a great service to an expanding client base over the years (that should have been the first point maybe......)

I look around my desk now and I like the OME team (most of the time) - I look at the client list and I like them a lot (most of the time)- and I really enjoy working here and am so bloody proud of what we built.

and that's feels pretty good

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Time Out - Time to Think

So recently took my longest ever break from the business (family holiday in Florida) which is a tad sad being as we have been going nearly 10 years now and I was only away for 2 weeks! but some reflections after this time out

1. Activity levels are high. we measure postings, proposals and funnily enough invoices and ££ - by all these measures - the market is healthy and demand for staff is high (or we are doing amazingly!)

2. The enquiries are much broader and multi-layered - and we have altered our approach in last 12 months which means every proposal requires more research (and generally a more in depth brief) in order to ensure the clients get the right proposal for the market in 2016 and their needs now.

3. I look round me - and suddenly half the people here have been working for us under 2 years (I try and ban talk about "the old days" and " do you remember when?" - so its a lovely mix of OME old timers and this fresh blood - who challenge on how we do things and why we do it (I ask then to do this and generally regret it when they actually take my request seriously)

4. Use tech on holiday as a liberator not a stressful interruption to leisure time. Maybe I am lucky to be wired in a way that I can email from pool side without mentally being in uber work mode and even do the odd call. I found this a 1000 times less stressful than shutting myself off from work and not knowing if the building has burnt down.....

5. After months of navel gazing - having a sort of restructure of the business - this generally involves recognising excellence and given those individuals more responsibility (and accountability) so that they remain motivated and hopefully happy.

most importantly.......they didn't appear to miss me.....feeling insecure.....surely this business cant survive for 5 minutes without me.....

yes it can

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Feb 2016 - What keeps me awake at night

so business is good, clients seem happy, staff are not revolting (cue gag) - so what keeps me awake (in purely OME terms not like real life stuff)

1. We are not new, we are not small - so how do we keep our position mid-long term as a dynamic, nimble, innovative business (not the place to share the solution - but we have a plan that we have been rolling out over last 12 months)

2. Staff and client retention still excellent - so how do we prevent the people and the relationships going a tiny bit stale. Its connected to point 1 clearly. We are trying to shake things up for people with their career development and responsibilities while seamlessly changing our offering to clients so that hopefully they get the continuity they appear to value while challenging them to look at new solutions and different approaches. This sounds great as a sentence above - it is harder to actually do.....

3. Tectonic plates of candidate attraction are shifting again - Programmatic is growing very very fast for us - which is probably good but how does that impact on job boards, PPC, LinkedIn. I feel pretty warm and comfortable about this as we have always been media and platform neutral - but we have to be the EXPERTS (clue is in the original name of the business)

4. China economy going down the pan, Energy/Oil prices at rock bottom levels, stock markets plummeting - next recession/depression imminent......happily we can do absolute zip about this so lets just ignore and concentrate on controlling the controllables!

time for a nap......

Monday, 11 January 2016

OME Strategy 2016

1. Retain Clients by looking after them brilliantly
2. Win New Clients by ensuring as many people as possible know about our quality, innovation, expertise, value and service
3. Significantly expand product base and service offering but in organic and sensible way
4. Look after the lovely OME people
5. Enjoy ourselves along the way

and errr.....that's it