Hi everyone! Welcome to Day 1 Session 1 of Mash Media’s annual strategy retreat!
For the next 20 minutes or so, I am going to cover off how 2017 has played out and then we’re going to look at the awesome things we’re planning for 2018.
First, the obvious stuff: we’ve seen some big changes. We’ve grown. We’ve learnt. And here we are: stronger, more experienced and a little bit wiser. And with a lot more goals.
Who we are at Mash
I started this company because I wanted a digital marketing agency that does things differently… better!
I think most of us here are like me: we’ve worked for big companies and done things the big company way.
For Camille, that was in agencies in London; Michael worked with me at Yellow Pages; Martin came out of a company that publishes something like 500 different magazines; Bec got her start working on “the world’s worst website”, and Ben worked with the biggest outdoor media company in the country.
Each of us decided we wanted to work in a more agile, flexible and empowered way.
If 2017 is anything to go by, it’s working! And that’s because of you, the Mash team. Thank you.
And in 2018, we’re going to be working even closer together and with our friends and contacts personally.
We’re gearing up to do more of that. We’re gearing up to bring on many more affiliates too. And this is where our own marketing comes in.
Marketing Mash Media Marketing Itself
Showing what we do and marketing ourselves is another focus for 2018. Our all-new website is coming along nicely. The existing site suits our previous corporate strategy: the new one will reflect our new direction and really showcase what Mash is about.
This coming year, we’re going to stake our claim as digital marketing experts more strongly. We’re going to make some noise and clearly establish our points of difference.
We’re going to spend more time on our own networks. We have a lot of contacts and friends and there’s no one better to work with than people you have strong connections with.
We’re going to be improving our databases to be able to reach out to clients more effectively. Our content calendar is going to be further developed and new channels will be coming on board.
And we’re going to be doing a lot more training, research and development.
Guiding our evolution
There were a lot of balls in the air through 2017. I am so proud of everyone stepping up to new duties. For me, I am learning a lot more about growth – not just across-the-board management.
For me, it’s all about finding ways to take us to the next level. I’ve learnt some amazing things but it is still a case of trial and error sometimes.
What works for other agencies works for them. But we aren’t them and we need to find our own unique Mashie way of doing things. For example, Mash will never have a burn and churn model, even if it is the well-trodden path to fast growth.
However, we can look at people and companies which are successful in what they do and learn from them – what are they are doing and how can we use that information to make ourselves better.
Getting the work done
When you have business growth and a stable team, it means people get busier. It’s why I like keeping Mash’s core as a small agile team. We all chip in and help each other out.
Finding more efficient ways to do things is already working too. In particular, Ben in IT and Camille and Rebecca in SEO have reorganised the workflow between departments and now they’re getting more done with less stress. Great job!
Other teams, however, can’t reorganise workflows like that and are closer to capacity. Foremost, the Search Engine Marketing department looks like the next one to need a new team member.
Michael will lead that team and it is logical for us to put that new person on in Perth.
I want to help you and and support all of you through these new phases, because we can only grow organically if our communications lines are open.
Looking online and looking overseas
You might not know much about this yet, but Mash’s expansion into servicing clients further afield is coming along nicely through contacts and friends overseas.
Another thing you might not know is that Australia is a world leader in digital marketing. This, in turn, means we are oversupplied with digital marketers. Meanwhile, in the UK and the American markets, growth in digital marketing is as big as their local digital marketing skills shortages.
So, this means we’re opening offices in Chicago and London! Exciting stuff!
Another place where there is an opportunity is LinkedIn. We will be optimising opportunities there to grow our networks. Our strategy to be really effective there is nearly complete.
Being LinkedIn aces will also help us help our strategic partners and nurture our relationships with creative agencies and consultants, and at a later stage allow us to offer this expertise to our clients.
Where Mash is going
As I said at the start of this address, from now until the end of 2018, Mash Media is going to do three things:
Consolidate everything we are doing after the growth and growing pains of 2017.
Strengthen our relationships – Mash made a lot of good friends this year and we all want to work together. I’m going to support each of you to strengthen your business friends, contacts and partnerships too.
Match Mash’s brand with its reputation. Our clients love us and we have a 100% success rate, but we’ve been keeping it to ourselves! There are so many people out there we could be helping.
So, what I am really saying is, that in 2018 we’re going to be the agency that reorganises itself around 2017’s growth, we’re going to strengthen our friendships and we’re going to welcome new contacts, clients and customers into the Mash family.
And it’s going to be fun!