Agency tech staff facing “an impossible task” in keeping skills up-to-date says Cohaesus technical director

In-house agency technical staff are facing “an impossible task” in being asked to keep abreast of the latest technological developments without being given the necessary time and space to do so, according to Cohaesus technical director Stewart Birch.

Stewart Birch is technical director of Cohaesus.

Speaking to The Drum, he said: “The proliferation of digital platforms and tools and their increasing importance to marketers mean that in-house agency technologists are struggling to keep up. Given that many will be resourced up to 100 per cent of the time, finding the room to refresh their skills can seem like an impossible task.”

The consequences of failing to provide adequate breathing space for technical staff to update their knowledge can be massive, says Birch, forcing companies to risk the perils of the freelance market for skills vital to particular clients or projects.

Birch said: “I know from personal experience the challenges facing agencies trying to bring the right technology expertise onboard at the right time. I also know that accessing technical expertise via the freelance market can be like the wild west for the uninitiated. Get it wrong and you end up paying way-over-the-odds for in-vogue tech expertise, which can then often be left twiddling its expensive thumbs during project downtime.”

Cohaesus acts as a tech development partner for UK marketing and advertising agencies, employing a team of experts in a range of in-demand specialisms on a full-time basis, who can be engaged by agencies for as long as they need them.

Birch, who joined Cohaesus from agency Tribal Worldwide in September, said: “We employ seasoned professionals with proven consultancy expertise and allow them the time and space they need within their schedules to keep their skills bang up-to-date. Each of our consultants has their own training and development program which is assessed and updated on an ongoing basis.

“The fact that I joined a technology-focused company from an agency environment is a clear sign of how the marketing industry is changing. One of the main reasons I joined the company is because I believe that the Cohaesus approach is exactly the right one to tackling the growing problem of technical resourcing within agencies. I think my breadth of experience will be very useful in helping to tear down the communication barriers that can sometimes exist between creatives and techies and deliver better results in the process.”

London-based Cohaesus has also recently announced the creation of a second office in Edinburgh to support the company’s growth.

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