Agency culture is huge right now. And when we say huge, we mean it. It’s got people from across the industry talking about the importance of creating the ‘perfect’ work environment.
We at Absolute Digital Media have several incentives, perks, and programmes under our belts to support the overall culture of the agency so we took some time out with Founder and CEO, Ben Austin, to find out what it’s all about.
Ben Austin, Founder and SEO
To kick things off, can you tell us a little bit more about the agency?
Absolute Digital Media was born in 2008 during the financial crisis. It wasn’t called Absolute Digital Media back then and was instead named SEO Positive as we primarily focused on Google search. As the agency expanded, so did our offering, hence why we rebranded to Absolute to encapsulate all the new digital marketing services. Since then, we have continued to grow our client book, taking the agency from strength to strength. We’re now primarily focusing on 4 key industries to drive our expansion. By the end of the year, we hope to have also grown the team from 32 members to 40+!
How does the agency go above and beyond to attract and retain talent across all the different areas of marketing?
Attracting and retaining talent, particularly within the digital marketing space, can be undoubtedly challenging. Within the agency world, a lot compete by client, so the big-name brands they get to work with, but that doesn’t mean that they are necessarily a stronger agency when it comes to supporting the team, maximising everyone’s strengths, and sustaining a fun culture.
We go above and beyond to a) create a culture we are proud of and b) to sustain that culture and inspire other marketing agencies to do the same. We are very clear about our values from the start. If you follow us on social, you’ll already know that we are not afraid to make sure our message is heard. We have a page dedicated to careers on our website, where any prospects can find our Values Fit Document which outlines what we stand for, what our expectations our, what employees can expect of us and the rewards you may receive. It also covers progression within the agency.
This gives people the opportunity to make sure they are a good match for us and vice versa. If they disagree with anything within our Values Fit Document, then unfortunately they aren’t right for us. It’s not there to turn talent away, but more so to ensure that those we do welcome to the team are here to stay for the long-term to support our business growth and culture development.
What does the future look like for the agency and team?
The future is looking very bright for the agency and its team. Despite Covid-19, we have continued to rise from strength to strength, supporting the overall growth of the business. We have recently been awarded the Great Place To Work certification, scoring an impressive 96% on our team survey. We also won Best Agency Culture and Most Impressive Agency Growth at the UK Agency Awards earlier this month and have since been nominated for 9 incredible awards at the European Agency Awards, of which the winners will be announced next month.
From a culture perspective, we’re continuously looking for new ways to raise the bar of the team. Over the last 18 months we’ve implemented several new incentives which include Sanctus to provide the team with a space outside of the work environment to discuss the challenges they are facing and to receive general health/wellbeing support. We’re now focusing on new ways to support the team as we progress within our remote-first approach.
The new starters…
Tom Scott, Paid Media Executive
Joanne O’Reilly, Senior Digital PR Executive
Bethany Peace, Content Account Manager
Can you tell us more about your role at the agency?
Yeah of course! So, I’m a Paid Media Executive here at Absolute, which means I’m normally buried away in ad copy, trying to create the most exciting, dynamic ads that are going to get people to carry out an action – whether it is a purchase or filling out a form. It’s great being able to explore and create different ways to appeal to audiences and try and understand why an advert I’ve created resonates with them.
My role is Senior Digital PR Executive, my job is to support the Digital PR Lead in planning, strategising and implementing digital PR campaigns for each client. A day in my life might look like monitoring the media to see which big news stories have broken which are relevant to our clients for newsjacking, researching new campaign ideas for clients, writing press releases, collecting, and analysing data for relevant campaigns and of course outreaching to the press.
My role at the agency is creating content for a whole range of different companies for a whole range of different subjects. I’ve only been here for about 2 months, but already I’ve written content all the way from sex toys and CBD to jeans – definitely not boring! At the moment, my day usually consists of writing on page content (for example product descriptions, category descriptions etc.) and guest posts for clients. I get given content for the month and it’s my job to schedule this into my calendar and manage my time to get everything done that’s required.
What attracted you to work at Absolute Digital Media in particular?
When I saw the job description, I could really gather the positive, exciting vibe of the agency, and I am delighted that I was absolutely right with my initial impression. It’s sometimes tough being fully remote, but even before I joined, a quick Google search showed me what a close team I’d be joining. It’s great coming into a team where you instantly feel welcomed and virtual events as well as our recent Absolute Fest are amazing opportunities to just let loose and have a great time.
The PR Team have been super welcoming and super supportive. I was a bit concerned about how I would get to know everyone and make a good impression when starting a role remotely, but everyone has made it as easy as possible. There have been lots of opportunities to get to know the team and take part in social activities, albeit virtually, but I can’t wait to meet everyone in person!
As soon as I saw the job description and read about the company, I instantly knew this is where I wanted to work! I loved that there was such a big focus on employee mental health as this was made very clear throughout the job description. It was also clear that there were lots of opportunities to grow and learn in the business and there would also be so much support to help you get where you wanted to be! Looking through the company website also made me excited due to the awards that Absolute had already won, the team that looked so friendly and the range of clients and services that was to offer.
What was the onboarding process like?
A lot of training and run throughs (as expected!) but, amazing and well-structured nonetheless! Instantly made to feel welcome with welcome-boxes and introductions to the individual teams. I felt like a valued member of the time within only a few days of being here!
If you’re looking for a remote role that doesn’t feel remote, where you have the same type of support and sense of camaraderie you would have in an office then Absolute could be the right fit for you. It’s also really exciting time to join, especially over in Digital PR where we have so many exciting plans for the future!
The on boarding process great, I had so much help getting started even with setting up my laptop and workspace! Then during my first week a lot of the documentation was sorted quickly, and I had so many chances to meet people in the business and be introduced to each team. It was a very friendly and welcoming process!
The long-term employees…
Jasmine McKenzie, Marketing Manager
James Wood, Head of Outreach
Lewis Esson, Senior SEO Account Manager
Alex Stott, Senior Content Account Manager
Can you tell us more about your role at the agency?
For sure! I’ve recently been promoted to Marketing Manager at the agency and was previously Social Media Manager. I primarily work on Absolute – so social media, email marketing, award entries and the agencies culture. It sounds cliché but every day really is so different to the next. We have things going on all the time, with new projects starting left, right and centre which is super exciting! It’s great to be a part of the agency’s growth and development in that respect, helping to turn an idea into a physical campaign or something we can share with the team.
My role within absolute is the head of outreach. What this entails is making sure everyone on my team is working to full capacity and has a total understanding of what they are doing. I deal with any questions and issues my team may have and provide training sessions to help better their knowledge. On a day-to-day basis we liaise with hundreds of different websites, building relationships with them and finding websites that will link to our clients. We work closely in the SEO team and have a full understanding on our clients’ requests to make sure we provide the best work for them.
I work as a Senior Account Manager at Absolute Digital Media. Within my role, I review clients’ campaigns and create marketing strategies to help increase their sites visibility and allow them to reach new customers interested in their products and services. I maintain regular contact with clients, keeping them up to date with their campaigns and industry news as well as supporting the business with new ideas and opportunities. I also work on the technical aspect of sites implementing changes outlined in the strategies. Staying up to date with the latest industry developments and news is also part of my role, allowing us to feedback to the team and spot new opportunities and changes to stay ahead of the curve and achieve the best results possible.
I’m Senior Content Manager at Absolute and I oversee our wonderful content team. This includes the day-to-day management of their workloads and ensuring our client deadlines are met on time. Part of my role also involves ongoing training for the team as well as producing content for client campaigns myself. I also liaise directly with clients on their campaign content and am actively involved in the ongoing recruitment for the team. I’m also the main point of contact for our Content Account Managers throughout the day and regularly hold catch-up meetings each week to check in with everyone. The role requires me to work alongside our Head of SEO and help the team thrive as much as possible for our client campaigns.
You’ve been at the agency for a number of years now. What has kept you at the business for so long?
Yes! The progression for me has been a huge highlight and definitely a reason why I’m still doing what I am today. I joined the agency over 4 years ago as a Digital Copywriter and have had 3 roles since: Content and Social Media Executive, Social Media Manager and now Marketing Manager. I had no idea what Absolute would offer me when I started, but I absolutely love what I do. The agencies culture is also a big thing for me – and not just because I’m lucky enough to have some input into what we do and the incentives we have. We really are a work family like no other.
I am nearing 5 years of working at Absolute Digital, starting off as a Junior SEO apprentice back in 2016. Since then, I worked my way up and now currently manage the outreach team. The reason for my longevity would be how amazing everyone I work with is. Since my first day, I have felt welcomed and reassured which has really increased my confidence. Starting as an apprentice I didn’t know much about SEO, however weekly and monthly training sessions provided by the company and opportunities to go to conferences such a Brighton SEO has helped me become experienced in my department.
I started at Absolute Digital as a apprentice in 2018. I felt supported and it’s always been a place I could continue to improve my knowledge with the team around me. I have also been given plenty of opportunity to progress within the business which is something that’s very important to me. The management team truly care about their staff’s wellbeing and happiness which motivates the team and allows us to continue working hard to achieve great results. The company is also very transparent with all employees which helps us understand the business goals and objectives as well as the route the business is going in. I feel the employees, management and openness of the business is what has kept me at Absolute since the start of my marketing career and continue to be proud to work for such a great agency.
One of the main reasons I’ve been at the agency for a few years is the team ethic; everyone shares the same vision towards company success and helping our clients with award-winning campaigns. I’ve been fortunate enough to work on many different client campaigns throughout my time at the agency, working with a varied portfolio of industries. Since my very first day, there has always been something new to learn and experience, such is the ever-changing digital landscape. As well as the strong team ethic, we also all get on socially, celebrating our successes and enjoying our time together when we can. My current role allows me to help continue this for our newest team members and help them be an integral part of our future successes.
What would you say to someone considering applying to work at Absolute Digital Media?
Ooh! I love this one. When applying to work at any agency, you don’t really know what you’re getting yourself into but Absolute is everything it says on the tin. Everything you read on our website, on social media or within articles and blogs about us really reflects us as a company and as a team. We are also super transparent about the type of people we want to work with and make that really clear from what’s on our site. If it sounds like your kind of work environment, then it’s most likely the right place for you!
If you are looking for a company that considers every aspect of their employees’ career and wellbeing, then absolute is for you. Even with remote working, you are still offered consistent training sessions with the team to further your knowledge. A Variety of benefits such as; Monthly mental health therapy sessions, weekly workouts, 3 extra wellness days, monthly events, surprise packages and many more. Every employee is approachable and ready to help you learn. It’s a great avenue for starting your career in SEO and if you show the dedication and drive that is needed, you will be rewarded here.
If you have the drive and passion to succeed and improve your skills, Absolute Digital is the place for you. With a team willing to help and take time to help you progress within your role, it’s a place to develop your skills and knowledge to help you progress within the industry. Theirs also plenty of opportunity to progress and be rewarded so is a fantastic place to start/continue your career. Alongside this, the social aspect of the business including the in real life and virtual events, helps bring the team together, wind down and have some fun. I would highly recommend applying to work at Absolute Digital as we continue to look for upcoming and established marketers to join the team.
If you enjoy working hard and on a varied client portfolio, whilst having fun along the way, we’re a great fit. You get out of it what you put in, so if you have ambitions within the industry you want to achieve in the next few years, we can help you get there and achieve them. The agency will get fully behind you in your career goals and help you achieve success in both the short and long term. It’s really up to you where you want to take your role, with plenty of opportunities for progression throughout the agency in many departments. It’s not all about work of course, and the company regularly helps everyone to unwind and enjoy the moment. Whether it’s another award win or the end of a successful week, we celebrate even the smallest success as part of our positive agency culture.
For more information about how Absolute Digital Media are leading the way to better agency culture, get in touch today on 0800 088 6000 or email [email protected].
Jasmine has been a member of Absolute Digital Media’s team for almost five years now, having started her journey at the agency as a Digital Copywriter and progressing onto become read more.