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The marketing sector can be a complicated place as new marketing tools and techniques are launched, almost on a weekly basis. Powered by The Drum Network, this regular column invites The Drum Network's members to demystify the marketing trade and offer expert insight and opinion on what is happening in the marketing industry today that can help your business tomorrow.

Code Computerlove: we've changed because the agency/client model is broken

Why does a successful 17-year old agency decide to reinvent its services and offering? Believe me, that’s a question that I’ve asked myself more than once in recent weeks but, fortunately, the same answer came back to me every time.

Over the past three years, there has been a significant change in the way businesses need to apply digital techniques and technologies within their organisations and, as a result, we believe the marketing industry needs a shake-up. Specifically, it needs to recognise the shift away from ‘brand communications’ towards ‘customer experience’. Accordingly, Code is changing its methodologies, capability and levels collaboration and co-creation with clients to capitalise on this movement.

For a while now the marketing sector has been shifting its focus from brand building communications to customer experience, but fundamental models for marketing procurement have hardly changed at all.

I believe that the traditional client/agency model is broken. We need new ways of working together that not only recognise the difference between comms and experience but also recognise the evolution in client capability and breakdown of traditional silos such as marketing, customer experience and IT within our clients businesses.

We’ve thrown out the rule book and created a new operating model for how we work, based on the understanding that ‘experience’ is less reliant on the ‘big bang’ campaign and more about continual iteration, testing and feedback loops.

We focus on creating a different level of collaboration and alignment in decision-making and co-creation with our clients than the traditional way of doing things has afforded. Using lean delivery methodologies underpinned by a different commercial model we are able to form a much more flexible and aligned partnership around our clients’ objectives.

The change in direction is being reflected with a new brand identity and a new website. The shift also coincides with our move to a stunning new 13,000 sq ft studio space, designed in conjunction with Spacemen Creative.

The new office is specifically designed to our needs and includes a UX Testing Lab, a Maker’s Space (featuring a 3-D printer, vinyl cutter and Lego set to name just a few items, a 100-person capacity Event Space, a war Room for planning and strategy meetingsm plus team zones, a games areas and a quiet space.

Code is also dropping its “digital agency” tag to re-label itself as a digital studio. We have adopted a product startup mindset with modern engineering principles, fast design prototyping and iterative, frequent releases. This approach is showcased in our own website that states:

“You're looking at the first page of the new Code Computerlove website. Next week we'll add more. And the week after even more and the week after that even more. Because that's how we work, constantly changing and updating based on what we learn - what we learn from you - our clients, future clients, friends and future Computerlovers.”

Our new studio environment is totally geared up to deliver our vision and proposition, methodologies and ways of working with clients. We’ve created a space that fosters a culture of empowerment and improvement. There is huge opportunity for growth and our new home will undoubtedly enable us to evolve as a business.

Tony Foggett is founder and chief executive of Code Computerlove.