'Step into my office', a new series of interviews powered by The Future Factory and The Drum Network, focuses on the challenges and the opportunities facing agencies this year. We will be taking a sneak peek into the lives of agencies, how they work, what their motivations are and what their thoughts are on the current state of the industry. Sean Singleton, the managing director at Your Favourite Story talks to us about the talent gap and digital transformation.
So, what does Your Favourite Story do?
We are a full service digital marketing agency fusing insights from analytics with creativity and innovation to help our clients grow through competitive advantage.
How long have you been around?
We recently celebrated our 10th birthday.
What makes you different from your peers?
We are a creative digital agency but are analytics-driven. In our experience, this is quite unusual but very effective. Our in-house R&D department has spent the past year creating some interesting digital tools and products that we’re currently rolling out, so watch this space. We also run our own conference each year called DAU and the theme this year is growth and expansion.
What have been the biggest challenges over the last year?
The biggest challenge has been around our people. The demand for top digital talent is getting more and more competitive. We take the recruitment, development and retention of our people very seriously. It’s a key senior management priority and essentially we try to solve this challenge by building a very strong culture.
What do you see as the biggest opportunities over the next year?
Digital has incredible potential to improve and transform the key marketing metrics (ROI, conversion rates, online revenue, etc) Attribution modelling is becoming more advanced - therefore we see the biggest opportunity is to use analytics and our understanding of human behaviour to grow our client’s businesses.
Over the last 12 months, we have done quite a lot of client work on in-store digital experiences. As the next frontier of digital marketing it is very exciting, providing all manner of new opportunities to be more engaging and effective.
What do you think the biggest challenges are facing digital over the next few years?
We expect the competition for good people to continue to increase. Also digital marketing is become more complex and changing at an incredible speed. This is both a challenge and an opportunity. Staying ahead of the game requires continued investment and an open mind – as an established business with long client relationships we’re lucky to have both.
Digital agencies need to be specialists across a wide range of areas to be truly effective. This is more of an opportunity than a challenge in our book.
Where are you based and why this location?
We are based in Shoreditch which is one of the few key digital hubs in the world and the digital centre of London.
How important is location for you?
To be the best digital agency we need the best people and being in a vibrant and inspiring location in the heart of London definitely helps. Also from here we find it easy to deliver work across Europe and even into Australia and New Zealand.
Do you feel the office needs to be quirky and irreverent or simply functional?
An office environment needs to reflect the company culture. Pure and simple. We try to make our office environment a great place to work. We have our 6 agency values on the walls to remind us all what we stand for. Our values are:
- Right first time
- Get shit done
- We are a team
- Always learn
- Deliver growth
- Take fun seriously
- Lead digital agency for Mercedes-Benz UK
- Massey Ferguson EMEA
- Telegraph Media Group
Name 3 projects you were most proud of in the last year?
- Massey Ferguson Antarctica 2 – shortlisted by DADI awards and CIM’s “Best Integrated Campaign of the Year”
- Creating “digital experiences” for Mercedes-Benz’s pop-up dealerships
- Last year’s DAU conference was fantastic and a big success
DEWALT and BT