Figaro Digital Marketing Conference 2017

Upfront is delighted to announce that it is an official partner of Figaro Digital’s Flagship Summer conference following our previous success as partners during last year’s conference. Taking place on the 20th July 2017 at The Royal College of Physicians, Regents Park, this is an event not to be missed!

The event sees 500 senior-level marketers coming together to explore, discuss and debate the sharpest insights shared from brands and agencies who are shaping the future of digital marketing. The impressive speaker line up includes more than 20 in-depth keynote presentations from brands, agencies and technology providers, such as Head of Global Digital Communications at GSK, Head of Digital and Partnership Innovation at Channel 4, Marketing Director of The Telegraph Group, Digital COO & Head of Experience from Lloyd’s Bank and many more!

The focus of the day will be innovation. Brands are committing more time, dedication and budget than ever before to innovation. This is due to the increasing customer expectations and the drive to adapt to a changing landscape. Digital innovation is at the forefront of most businesses strategies, and agencies will need to cut through the noise in order to connect with these brands.

We have keynote speaker slots available as well as the opportunity to share some fast learning with Figaro Digital 21s, where you will be speaking alongside the likes of BT, Pret and Mondelez on topics ranging from how to go about creating an internal agency culture to the importance of listening to your customers through social media and utilising feedback to create brand purpose.

As an Upfront partner you will:

  • Raise the profile of your agency alongside the Upfront team
  • Capitalise on new business opportunities through Upfront’s joined up approach
  • Receive dedicated post-event comms aimed at maixmising engagement and opportunities with potential leads
  • Speak alongside high-profile brands such as BT, Pret Mondelez and more!
  • Join us for a complimentary lunch and evening bar for networking opportunities

If you are interested and would like to find out more about the speaking packages available, please do get in touch.

We would love to welcome you on board, but spaces are filling up quickly, so don’t miss out!

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Straight Talking with Tonic and e3 – Event Takeaways

Yesterday Upfront welcomed a fantastic array of representatives from a diverse cross-section of agencies to hear two fantastic speakers discuss the importance of a joined-up approach to business development, marketing and communications.

In a packed room at The Zetter Townhouse, we were treated to talks from Tonic founder Kerry O’Connor and e3 Business Director Miranda Glover. The day’s presentations were moderated by our very own Guy Edwards, Director of New Business at Upfront.

Kerry’s presentation highlighted the consequences of not aligning an agency’s marketing and new business teams, and spoiler alert: it doesn’t end well! She then gave us insightful tips on the process, talent and resources required to implement a successful new business and marketing strategy.

Miranda followed with a wonderful, working example of how e3 is moving into a new business culture. Taking David Bowie as her inspiration, Miranda delivered a rousing demonstration of how e3 have developed a strategy, much like the one described in Kerry’s previous message.

One thing that really stood out as key, in both presentations, is the need to make new business part of the agency culture and having the right people, in the right roles, to maximise their potential and drive new business:

In Kerry’s words: “your team has to buy into the [new business] process for it to really work. Embed New Business in culture and encourage people to get involved.”

This was echoed in Miranda’s talk, as she encourages agencies to “look at the talents you have within your agency and exploit them! It’s good for your business culture, and good for your employee satisfaction.”

Both presentations were packed full of insight, and we will be posting a full breakdown of the top-tips from both, very soon.

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The Importance of Your Agency Brand to Attract New Business

Upfront recently hosted a packed breakfast seminar, looking at the importance of your agency brand. Together with guest speakers including Lena Robinson (Kiwi Gray), Tony Spong (AAR) and Ameet Chandarana (Digital Consultant), we explored best practice and discussed how agencies can develop their brand to help attract new business and give their business development activity purpose.

Here are some of the insights and recommendations shared during the morning:-

There are over 20,000 agencies in the UK, it’s tough to stand out and agencies are failing to differentiate themselves. It’s important to remember that clients do not spend much time looking for agencies. The key is to bring awareness, tell your story and message in a way that will stand out

The truth is that most agencies sound the same. From “we are an integrated agency specialising in…” or “award winning”, to the “we are a new breed of marketing agency…”

Often the question from the client is the same – “Tell me again, what is it that you actually do?”

The typical answer agencies give to this question is then to list all of the services they provide. Tony Spong provided a comparison with Chilli. It’s not about the list of ingredients, its about the one magic ingredient. It’s not just what you cook, but the way you cook it.

A well articulated brand helps you communicate something much larger than the sum of your ingredients.

Brand Purpose: Why do you exist? What do you excel at doing and how? Understand your “why”, have a framework, and everything will flow.

So how do you build a framework to develop your unique story? Your proposition statement (DNA) needs to include the Why (how you see the world), the How (the way you think) and What (your capabilities). How you flex these is how you compete.

The importance of the narrative: keeping this consistent to make it easier for the client to keep tuned into what you’re saying. A narrative makes it easier to understand what goes in, and what comes out. A narrative is your story – what you can do and no-one else can.

Surprisingly, most agencies do not have brand guidelines. By working on your brand proposition and following its guidelines, your agency’s communication will be consistent and you will stand out by having a distinctive personality.

Brand Essence: Build an authentic story. One that is true to you and no other agency.

Brand Promise: Always deliver what you say you will. This is why it’s important to focus on your core skills. Having one too many is likely to damage your brand promise.

Brand Reputation: Make sure your marketing and sales strategy are aligned.

No matter how small or large your agency is, it’s important to have a business development strategy. Make realistic goals such as the number of wins you want to have in a year. Involve all your team in writing content. Motivate them to write about their expertise, their opinions or insights. Remember to keep a consistent message on every medium and to plan for delivery.

If you would like to find out more about the speaker and would like help telling your agency story, then get in touch.

We also heard about some of the ‘dos and don’ts’ for agency approaches. Click here to hear what they are.

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Agencies Attracting New Business: The importance of acting like a brand

While agencies are helping thousands of brands across the globe engage with consumers by developing clear, meaningful, brand propositions, they’re often guilty of forgetting they too are a brand and that, in order to attract the best brands and talent, they should have a clear brand positioning and differentiating story.

With over 20,000 agencies competing in the UK to win business from some of the world’s leading brands, and with more agencies emerging daily, it’s vital that your agency has a clear proposition and story. Doing so makes it easier for marketing directors to understand why you exist, what you can do to help them and why you are different. Knowing who you are and how to communicate that story authentically will help you to retain your existing clients, cut through the noise your competitors are making, build long lasting relationships and ultimately win your dream clients.

We are hosting a seminar on the 20th October to bring together the latest thinking and further explore how agencies can develop their brand and agency proposition to really stand out. We will be sharing industry insight from all views (agency, client and intermediary), with a speaker line up that includes Lena Robinson and Adam Graham (Kiwi Gray)Tony Spong, Managing Partner at AAR and Ameet Chandarana, Digital Consultant.

Agency proposition experts, Kiwi Gray, will be explaining why developing your agency’s proposition is crucial to your business development strategy and why brands (even agency brands) with purpose tend to do better commercially and socially than those that don’t.

Alongside them we have Tony Spong from the AAR sharing insights and industry best practice, as to how agencies are effectively able to stand out from the rest. We will also hear from ex-digital agency Managing Director, Ameet Chandarana who now enjoys the view from the client side. Ameet will be sharing his experience and discussing what types of agency approaches can make an impact.

Join us for breakfast on Thursday 20th October at The Zetter Townhouse, Clerkenwell to hear more. Register here now.

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Figaro Digital Summer Conference

Upfront is delighted to announce that it is an official partner of Figaro Digital’s Flagship Summer conference. Taking place on the 14th July 2016 at The Royal College of Physicians, Regents Park, this is an event not to be missed!

The event sees 500 senior-level marketers coming together to explore, discuss and debate the sharpest insights shared from brands and agencies who are shaping the future of digital marketing. The impressive speaker line up includes more than 20 in-depth keynote presentations from brands, agencies and technology providers, such as the Community Editor of The Economist, Head of Product from The Trainline, Customer Insights, CRM and Loyalty Manager from Virgin Holidays, Head of Digital from Domino’s and many more!

Personalisation, automation, content and context will all be hot topics on the day. The two-track conference will focus on how you can apply this to build a more robust and long-term relationship with your customers.

The event is an opportunity to meet and connect with other leading industry thinkers and a chance to build a more innovative and efficient marketing toolkit. Recent delegates include the likes of Adidas, Pizza Express, Adobe, L’Oreal, Nokia, Ocado, Starcom MediaVest and Universal Music, to name a few.

If you think your brand or agency would benefit from a speaking slot, then please get in touch to discuss potential options to best suit you. It is an opportunity to position yourself as an industry expert and thought leader, allowing you to raise your profile through knowledge sharing to brands and agencies.

Early bird tickets are available now. Contact Leiley in our events team if you would like to attend, get involved, or just want to find out more.

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Join O2, Paddy Power and Channel 4 at the Figaro Digital Conference; 26th November 2015

The next Figaro Digital conference is set to take place on 26th November in London – and Upfront is once again delighted to be a partner. The line up is already looking impressive with  Telefonica O2, Channel 4, Standard Life, Paddy Power, Time Out, Rufus Leonard, Tempero & Branded3  all speaking on the day.

The full-day event brings together experts from a whole range of disciplines and industry sectors to provide the latest insights and issues shaping digital marketing.  View the full line-up of currently confirmed speakers here.

Figaro Digital conferences have become a key part of our contact strategy for a number of our clients. We’ve found it can provide a great opportunity for agencies to meet and engage with potential clients. Speaker opportunities provide a great way to demonstrate your expertise and experience – and we have already seen a number of big wins as a direct result of clients presenting at previous conferences.

Please get in contact if you’re interested in speaking or attending this.

See you there.

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Breakfast Seminar with JFDI – Key Insights

In conjunction with JFDI, Upfront recently hosted a breakfast seminar designed to help our clients get more out of new business meetings and improve their new business conversion.

Camilla Honey, founding partner of JFDI and all round new business expert, kicked off the morning with an interactive session to give us an overview of the current state of play in the new business market.

The findings put some real context around the reason we decided to hold the seminar and really pressed home the importance of taking every opportunity and making the most out of new business meetings.

It’s competitive. There are around 20,000 agencies in the UK and clients receive an average of 20-50 approaches per week

The average client/agency relationship lasts 2.5 years. That average is getting shorter, which is good news for new business and makes it even more critical you get this right.

A new appointment is often the catalyst for a review, with almost 40% of marketing directors reviewing their agency immediately upon taking up a new position with another 40% doing the same within the first 100 days.

Once a client decides to review, on average the incumbent has a 22% chance of retaining the business.

We keep track of this with our own movers and shakers feed and have noticed an increased number of job changes over the last 12 months. This trend looks set to continue as it was revealed that nearly half of Marketing Directors/Managers expect to move roles in 2016.

But don’t just look at marketing contacts…
Procurement teams are involved in around 80% of new business opportunities / pitches.

And finally, the Holy Grail, it does happen… 15% of agency moves happen without a pitch.

All of this really emphasises the importance of nurturing deep and lasting relationships with your prospects  and making sure you keep top of mind with them at all times. Don’t just assume your main contact will get in touch with you when the time is right, they may not even still be there! Invest time in understanding them and their business and you will be first in line when an opportunity does come around. You may even be the one helping them write the brief.


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Upfront clients well represented in Econsultancy top 100 list

Econsultancy has recently published it’s Top 100 Digital Agencies report, the definitive listing of the UK’s largest digital agencies. The report shows that marketing spend on digital in the UK continues to grow with total fee income across the top 100 digital agencies reaching £1.696 billion, this was up from £1.48 billion in 2014.

The Top 100 Digital Agencies Report lists the UK’s top 100 digital marketing, design and build, technical and creative agencies. These are ranked on their fee income from digital activities in the UK. Click here to see the full list.

Congratulations to Sapient Nitro who retain top spot with growth of over 15% last year. They were followed by IBM Interactive Experience and AKQA, with Tribal DDB a new entry at 4 and DigitasLBI slipping to 5th.

It was good to see breakthroughs by 4PS and True entering the top 100, both were highlighted as ones to watch back in 2014. And well done to Branded3 who enjoyed stand out growth of over 100%, jumping 39 places to 49th.

We were very pleased to see 10 Upfront clients in the top 1o0, with an average growth of 20% and very proud to have been a part of this.


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Using social to win new business

Do you currently use social media as part of your new business programme? Are you using it effectively? Most of us will use LinkedIn as a way of finding new contacts, but how are you using social to engage with target clients?

We are hosting a breakfast seminar on how agencies can use social to win new business on Wednesday 19th November. This will feature guest speaker Katy Howell, CEO of immediate future, who will be providing practical advice and tips for agencies on how to use social media as part of a joined up approach to new business.

Katy will explain the value in creating clear journey for developing relationships to keep you top of mind with decision makers at the brands you’d like to work with. And how this can compliment other new business activity to help drive through new business success.

The event is being hosted in the Games Room at the Zetter Townhouse, St Johns Square. Spaces are very limited and specifically for agencies.

If you’d like to attend please register via Eventbrite or get in touch.




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Figaro Digital moves to the Emirates!

Upfront is proud to be a partner of the upcoming Figaro Digital Marketing Conference. Digital transformation is the theme and this will be taking place on Thursday 27 November 2014. A great line up and crowd are expected with the event being held at the Emirates!

What does transformation mean? It means adapting to changes in technology and understanding consumer behaviour. It means adopting new working practices and managing constant change. Most of all it means living in a world where consumers engage with brands on their own terms, in their own time, for as long as those brands remain relevant.

Guest speakers on the day will include the likes of American Express, Fujitsu, Macmillan Cancer Support, Google, AKQA and Paddy Power. Each will be looking explore the nature, pace and impact of rapid digital change.

Click here for further info and the agenda for the day. And get in touch if you are interested in attending, or meeting up on the day.

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