Makeshift desks to construction marketing agency of the year
Posted by David Ing
Wow, what a year 2021 has been. I started the year working from a makeshift desk in the spare room and have finished the year with Fabrick winning Agency of the Year at the 2021 Construction Marketing Awards.
I have the best team and fantastic clients. When you operate at 200mph, (like I’m frequently told I do, although I would add that I love the fast-paced agency life!), you can forget to stop and appreciate what you have and to check if you have your priorities right! However, the pandemic has helped me, and many others I’m sure, to stop and realise how lucky I am to work with such great people and be grateful for what we have.
When your product is you and your team, you need to have people around you that you can trust to do a good job – your reputation depends on it. You need to be able to connect and be on the same page. At Fabrick we have some truly talented team members who have shown true loyalty and gone above and beyond what was asked of them and for this I’m truly grateful because without them we wouldn’t have achieved half of what we have this year for both the company and our clients.
Fabrick has always been good at recruiting the whole person and not the CV – attributes such as enthusiasm and personality don’t translate to a CV. We feel – it’s important to have a team of creative individuals who each bring something unique to the table and our team certainly do that.
Together our teams of Account Managers, copywriters, creatives, digital developers and digital content creators have planned and executed some amazing campaigns - from the creative for a TV, outdoor and radio campaign for MEDITE SMARTPLY (add hyperlink) to the videos we have created for Brett Martin, Sika, Keystone Group and IMA, to the multiple webinars and online CPD sessions, to the numerous blogs, technical features and case studies.
There’s always another way
The various lockdowns have meant that we’ve been unable to deliver some of our original plans for clients, but we’ve taken these situations as an opportunity to get creative! For example, Optima had planned a face-to-face launch of a new product, but Covid put a stop to this. Instead, we helped them create a series of in-depth videos hosted by well-known TV personality, Ortis Deley. They were a great success and brought our clients name firmly into the spotlight! Learn more here.
Success comes in all shapes and sizes
When you’ve been running a business as long as I have, you tend to associate success more with the big wins, e.g., a successful ad campaign leading to a significant increase in sales. But having experienced – and some would say survived – a 3-month lockdown with two children your view of success can change! When my twin sons would wake up with a smile on their faces or mocked me having beaten me at Fifa (again!), I knew that day had been a success and that my wife and I were doing a good job of keeping them in a positive and happy mindset.
There have been many positive moments for me throughout 2021, more than I thought there would at the start of the year, and if I was asked what my biggest success has been for the business, I would say keeping all my fantastic team together. As an MD you always worry when the industry and economy experiences uncertainty, and let’s face it ‘uncertainty’ has been used many times during the pandemic.
At the start of all this I told the staff that I would do everything in my power to make sure they all had jobs and 100% wages and that both theirs and their family’s health came first. I’m pleased to say that everyone’s jobs are safe – in fact we employ more staff now than we did two years ago! Everyone has been paid and thankfully cases of Covid amongst staff and their families have been low. For all of that I am very grateful and being able to stay true to my word has definitely been my greatest success for 2021.
As a family man I certainly understand the need for some flexibility but having seen how well our team, clients and the industry have adopted and embraced flexible working it has certainly opened my eyes to greater flexibility within the workplace.
I think we have all enjoyed spending more time with those close to us, and as a working parent, I know my sons have benefitted from me being around a lot more than I was when there were no travel restrictions. Who knew doing the school run could be so enjoyable – I’m not sure my wife would agree with me on this one!
We miss face-to-face meetings
No one can argue that technology hasn’t ‘saved us’ over the past 2 years, but having recently attended some industry events and client meetings, it has reinforced the benefit and joy of face-to-face meetings. In my opinion you can’t achieve online what you can face-to-face, or at least not as well. Let’s face it not everyone is comfortable with Zoom/Team meetings and it can therefore give you an inaccurate impression of someone and how they might be interpreting something.
When we were filming our Fabrick Talks…. Video series, it was evident that the face-to-face video meetings were much more engaging and both the interviewer and interviewee were more comfortable, thus allowing their personalities to shine better.
Communication is key
When you experience the insane pace of work that I have over the past 12-18 months you quickly learn that communication is key. Failure to communicate can result in overall failure and with more reliance on video conferencing I think we are losing the ability to talk properly. We are all becoming too reliant on email and I keep urging my team to pick up the phone and talk to people as much as possible. Often it is so much more productive, and usually the person you are calling is glad to hear from you!
But it is also OK to slow down and take a breather every so often. As I’m writing this, we are fast approaching Christmas and I think we all deserve to down tools for two weeks, spend some time with the family, forget about work and recharge.
2021 is going to be a year I’ll never forget but for lots of different reasons. Relationships, both personally and professionally have always been important to me but never so much as they have been this year. When uncertainty looms and those close to you are threatened in a way out of your control, you do everything you can to protect them. I can honestly say I have never worked as hard as I have this year as I wanted to keep my team in a job. I wanted to provide them with some stability and continue to provide them with a positive working experience. I wanted my family to feel secure by having a roof over their heads and I wanted my clients to know that I was committed to helping them achieve success and that a pandemic wouldn’t stop us from accomplishing great things.
I’m proud to say I achieved all this.