New Chapter for C&M*: Going Above and BeyondAugust 24, 2012
Big day for us here at C&M. I’m really excited to say that we’ve been acquired by Beyond – the digital agency arm of Next15 Communications Group. With immediate effect we’ve become Beyond’s worldwide Acquisition and Engagement team.
A bit of background…
Beyond was formed in August 2010 and has grown extremely quickly to a $10 million (fees, per annum) agency off the back of its amazing analytics and digital creative capabilities. (In this time they’ve worked with four of the world’s top brands.) With us in the fold, it has 100 people in offices in San Francisco, New York, London, Mumbai and now Lewes… delivering award-winning work for four out of the world’s top five brands (including people such as Facebook, Google and YouTube.)
I’ve been close to the Beyond management team for some time now. I first met Nick Rappolt, UK MD back in 2009, when he was part of Bite Communications. Ditto David Hargreaves, CEO …and, over the past few months, Matt Illife, Creative Director. We share lots of common histories and interests – careers, clients (old and new) and a love of beer, cricket and football.
We’re joining forces because we have a common world view. Traditional, big, shiny creative approaches to Social and digital are based on an imperfect understanding of how the Social web works. We want to help brands to stop buying unecessary shiny stuff and start buying wins. And we know we can do this because we have all the right ingredients: a (very) sophisticated analytics team – allied to brilliant, agile creative and a really strong Social engagement capability to see the plan through.
(We’re calling what we do ‘Moneyball‘ for Social brands – because we know that a healthy core of analytics is what will buy the wins with more precision. You can read more about the approach here.)
Next stop for my team is New York – we’re already hiring to build out the C&M service offering there – and a bunch of work to integrate what we do so well as part of a broader services mix.
In the meantime, it’s business as usual. Day to day my team and their focus doesn’t really change. We’ll continue to do amazing Social engagement work with TomTom, Majestic Wine, Hackett, the RSPCA and all of our other clients. The same goes for our work with our partners within European Social Media Agency network, The Box. My hope is that we can now do it bigger, smarter and better …given the additional talent that now sits alongside us as Beyond.
As part of the change, I also get to do a new job. I’m now global director of Aquisition and Engagement for Beyond. I’ll also be handling all of our brand and marketing activity. This is great for me – not least because in the near term our budgeting, HR and ops are likely to improve ten fold (because someone else will now take care of them). From a personal perspective, this is the right thing for me and the team. I’m immensely proud of the work we’ve done in the past three years, but it’s time for us all to kick on and start to focus on the things that we really excel at – on a larger scale.
So, fast forward to the next chapter – we’re going to be sharper, more focused and more ambitious, working alongside some of the best people in the business. Watch this space. I’ll post more about the new combined strategy on the Beyond blog in the next week or so.
Huge thanks to the team here and all of our clients, past and present, for everything we’ve done together thus far. The best is yet to come. Buckle up, we’re just getting going…