My Media Week: Ben Wood

This week, Ben Wood, managing director of Aegis agency iProspect, is out with Facebook, feeds his Telegraph addiction and catches up with his new recruits.

Ben Wood: managing director of iProspect
Ben Wood: managing director of iProspect

Monday

There’s little need for an alarm call with two kids aged three years and three months. Extricate myself from the chaos of home for 30 minutes of calm with the Telegraph, on the Kingston-to-Waterloo 07.04 service.

Take a moment to appreciate our fantastic new building by Regents Park, before preparing for the 08.30 management meeting.

We've grown more than 100% this year in terms of revenue and people, so the meeting is dominated by client strategy and HR strategy – namely where to recruit and how to retain.

Spend 90 minutes with Louisa Wong (general manager of our trading desk for  Europe, Middle East and Africa) reviewing group progress around the launch of our digital trading desk. Impressed and excited, I'm back to the office at 2.30pm for a catch-up on the budget with my CEO, Robert Horler.

Today finishes with a couple of hours with my core Google team – Dominic Allon and Sarah Logan – reviewing progress of some key initiatives, and looking back at the success of our recent joint event for over 300 staff and clients.

Tuesday

A creature of habit, I'm back at my desk for 8am after my Telegraph break, for a coffee and catch-up with head of search, Mark Fagan. We talk technology, process, people and off-shoring.

Head spinning, I find a couple of hours to play email catch-up and review appointments with my PA.

Next hour is with my sales and marketing team. It's positive stuff – the new business pipeline is strong and we have some exciting client roundtable events planned between now and the end of the year.

The marketing team has grown by more than 400% this year, and we need to work extra hard to prioritise our ambitions, which I see as focusing on core new-business opportunities and thought-leadership events with our clients.

Head to Maddox Street, Mayfair, for a steak lunch with John Myers, Yahoo head of search. We talk progress on the Microsoft Search Alliance, which has been slightly delayed on this side of the Atlantic, but promises very exciting developments for the sector.

Back to meet with Ignition One and Marin – two key suppliers in the digital media technology space, to review our partnerships and their product road maps.

Traditional media agency folk spend a lot of time meeting media owners. But for me, it's crucial to nurture technology vendor relationships – the majority of the media we trade is done by leveraging technology, rather than by phone.

The day ends reviewing progress on two new business projects with Richard Morris, deputy MD, Carat. We work tightly with Carat and Vizeum to support them with all their new business, so they can deliver the benefits of a specialist search and performance agency to their clients, in a totally integrated fashion.

Wednesday

The superb Riding House Café in Great Titchfield Street is the venue for my fortnightly new-starter breakfasts. We’ve grown from 80 people last year to 160 this year, and I want to know each and every one of the team. It's refreshing to hear from the shop floor as to what is working and what more the agency could be doing for our people and clients.

A morning with clients, then I spend lunch at our monthly digital innovation showcase, delivered by the ever-on-the-button Dan Calladine (research director, Aegis Media Global – if you don’t follow him on Twitter, do).

Charlie McGee, head of digital, Carat, and I spend the afternoon reviewing plans to step-change our group social media approach and relationships.

I then make the most of an hour or two of precious desk time, before heading out to Zuma for a celebration dinner with a big new global client. It hasn’t been announced yet, but I can tell you I'm very excited about this new relationship.

Home by midnight…exhausted.

Thursday

Kick off today with a round of client status calls – the SEO and PPC teams are particularly busy with retail and travel clients at the moment, as we work towards their crucial trading periods.

Dash out of the office for a speculative meeting with an exciting new-tech business in the Facebook API space, then launch into an afternoon of conference calls with our pan-European Adidas team.

At 4.30pm, it’s over to Facebook HQ with Tracy de Groose (Carat MD) and Grant Millar (Vizeum MD) to review our partnership and catch up on the recent Facebook hackathon and F8 launch.

Facebook’s Stephen Haines (UK MD) and David Parfect (UK sales manager) treat us to dinner at Hakkasan in Mayfair, so it's another late night after yet another wonderful evening.

Friday

Breakfast is with Andy Mihalop, an old colleague who is now at Moneysupermarket.

Back at the office, I work to pull together a strategy to continue to grow our conversion and analytics team. With people like Carl Fernandez (team head and a recent 30 under 30 shortlister) already on board, we have a great base from which to grow.

Spend much of the rest of the day running in and out of meetings before escaping at 4pm to round off the week with a quick meeting with Jamie Queen at the AA, before heading home to enjoy some... erm…rest.

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