It's not a stretch to say that the internet has totally changed the way we work. More people are choosing to work remotely and companies that don't let them quickly lose them.
One smart marketing agency was quick to use this shift to their advantage. UP, the world's first full-service cloud-based agency, uses technology to connect a team of global top talent. The agency delivers fully-integrated brand, marketing and digital services to international clients while its ‘members' get all the benefits of ‘e-ployment'.
“UP's model attracts people who want to work anywhere, anytime – all you need is a laptop and an internet connection,” says Digital Strategist, Fredrik Holmboe.
Holmboe joined the UP community as Head of Inbound and Content Marketing a little over a year ago having spent over a decade working in the pharmaceutical industry. He's based in Stockholm, one of many cities worldwide including Uppsala, Hamburg, Amsterdam, London and New York where UP has creative spaces.
Members can decide for themselves whether they work out of the creative spaces or remotely. True to UP's business model, teams are built based on competences and not on their physical location.
“It gives us a competitive edge when it comes to having the right specialists in the right teams at the right time,” Holmboe told The Local. “When a client that we're helping with digital communication strategies suddenly asks if we can produce high-quality podcasts, shoot high-end fashion photos, or conduct an in-depth market research, I have the utmost confidence to arrange a meeting with the specialists in our community.”
But can a remote team work as effectively and efficiently as a traditional team? Having delivered campaigns like Polaroid: Making a massive impact at CES, Nobel Peace Prize Concert and Microsoft: Marketing 365, UP proves it is indeed possible to pull off killer campaigns with a distributed workforce.
The agency has even developed their own bespoke software platform to manage their finance and administration through the cloud.
As for the day-to-day schedule, Fredrik says the time zones within the community are a real advantage when it comes to meeting a tight deadline.
“We don't have a predefined schedule, it all boils down to the few hours in the Swedish afternoon when the US's West and East coasts are awake. If a client calls us late in the afternoon with an emergency, for example an 8 page mini-brochure for the next day or, a HTML e-mail blast starting from scratch with a deadline in two days, we can begin the work in Europe and then call upon our US members to continue. It's proven to be a real strength.”
The professional advantages are clear but there are obvious personal pluses too.
“If you can reduce your commuting time and instead use virtual online possibilities to meet colleagues or clients, you have a better chance of finding the balance of professional and private life,” says Fredrik.
Reinventing the concept of a marketing agency
“With our unique business model our constant aim is to do more, achieve more and deliver more than any other agency – anywhere on the planet,” says Julian Stubbs, Founder and CEO at UP.
Photo: Julian Stubbs, Founder and CEO at UP
UP also follows its own project management process for structuring client work called BASE-UP®, which was developed by Stubbs. The trademarked process stands for Brief, Audit, Strategy, Execution, & Follow-UP and not only improves transparency, but also helps systematically guide clients through each phase of the project.
Lawrence Masle, COO and Head of Membership at UP, has his work cut out for him recruiting and managing more than 200 UP members around the world. Originally from the USA and now residing in Amsterdam, he has been with the agency since it was founded in 2011. He explains that most UP members are seasoned professionals with around twenty years of work experience. For lifestyle reasons, they want to improve their work-life balance and technology can help them to do this.
Photo: UP's creative space in London
“We thrive on flexible working and some members even work in another part of the world for half of the year,” he says. “Our model brings together a collective of very talented people. Usually, in a traditional agency, you only have the resources available to you in the location in which the office is based. In UP's model, locally-based account directors pull the strings and create a team based on the best expertise to meet the client's needs.”
UP prides itself on creating value-adding teams that provide its clients with more. Click here to find out what the full-service cloud-based agency can offer you.
This article was produced by The Local Creative Studio and sponsored by UP.