Rob Smith set up the Manchester office for digital marketing group Incubeta in 2019.
In his role as Growth Director, Smith is responsible for driving client and business growth as the Manchester office becomes a key area of business for the company.
Prior to joining Incubeta in 2019, he was a consultant working with a variety of digital media agencies in the North West to support their programmatic offerings.
Starting out as a Managing Consultant then Head of Client Strategy, he was appointed as Growth Director this year.
He shared how a recent week in his life went.
As a dad of school-age children, it’s valuable that Incubeta allows me to split my time between working from home and in the office. On Monday morning it’s my turn to do the school run. It’s always a rush with a quick breakfast and us all running out the door by 7.30am. Once the kids are dropped off, I head to the gym to do an hour of rowing and weights, which sets me up for the day, and the week ahead.
I am at my home desk by 9am to crack on with the first meeting of the day with the growth team. As Growth Director, I am one of a team responsible for driving client and business growth through deeper partnerships with key accounts and our weekly meeting today is about everyone’s objectives for the week and areas requiring cross-team support. Lunch is a solo dash to a cafe in the village, followed by a walk home via the park accompanied by an audiobook or podcast.
I’ve recently been listening to Michael Lewis and understand more about how the world of finance works. In the afternoon, there are several meetings, including client governance and a one-to-one with James, who is the Chief Growth Officer at Incubeta. James has been a part of the Incubeta team for more than 10 years, and has provided clients with unparalleled service and insight. Over the last four years we have collaborated on various projects such as the technology partners project which has helped develop strategic approaches to tech partners selection, adding value to their client marketing stacks.
Monday is always about getting ahead of client actions for the week so it’s meeting-heavy but there’s enough time to balance the day with family commitments. At 5.30pm I log off to pick up the kids and check in with them about their days, help with homework and send them off to bed.
I travel to the Manchester office, which should take me 20 minutes but invariably ends up being an hour due to the now typical Manchester traffic! The Manchester premises acts as a regional talent hub, where we have a real mix of people across the business from the commercial team, growth team and global marketing, for example. The office opens us up to the really good talent pools that exist in Manchester, Leeds and the rest of the North of England.
It’s been really beneficial to be able to provide a base for people without asking them to work entirely hybrid or be relocated. A number of our clients are based in the North, which allows us to meet them from our hub. We recently moved to a WeWork site at St Peters Sq in the city centre, which has enabled us to create a strong sense of community, not just within the Incubeta team but with other fellow agencies and other businesses housed there.
Today is focused on client work, particularly a brand planning project – working across Incubeta delivery teams to identify customer insights, map the customer journey and deliver the right media strategy to deliver their growth objectives for next year. They’re a great client to work with and this is an exciting project to be a part of. I’m always excited for Tuesday evening as it’s my night to unwind and play football. It’s my favourite night of the week as I get to run around and bond with a great group of guys. Often followed by pizza, a beer and an ice pack for the knees at home!
Today is another working from home day. It starts with dropping off the kids and back at my desk to focus on growth team development. We have an open door session every Wednesday morning, which allows anyone from any team, from search to creative, to ask questions and it’s our job in growth to provide guidance on the clients.
The open door session is really beneficial to support the business by allowing them to access insights from some of the most experienced practitioners in the business, from a range of media and marketing backgrounds, in an open forum. Incubeta has a broad range of clients, across digital media, ad tech and performance. This means I am often working on a variety of different projects such as account and internal management, taking a brief and building brand activation or working on audience segmentation for a data project.
I really enjoy the variety and it means I am constantly kept on my toes. I grab a quick, homemade chicken salad for lunch and later that afternoon I chair a call to work through an audience segmentation data project for a large retail client. I wrap up the day finalising preparations for a client workshop that’s scheduled for Friday.
Thursday is the “anchor” day in the Manchester office, where all of the regional employees come together to collaborate across their specialisms, galvanise projects and simply spend some time in person with colleagues. The morning kicks off with a team standup meeting at 10am. We welcome a couple of new starters. It’s exciting to have new team members on board to join the Ad Tech & Analytics (AT&A) team – a team of consultants who not only support our delivery teams but work directly with a separate client set who have in-house media and marketing operations.
The AT&A team are focussed primarily on Google Marketing Platform support and consultancy, and Ed Auden, the AT&A Head of Commercial is based in Manchester alongside me. It’s time for a team lunch so we head out to the Vietnamese street food cafe round the corner and bring lunch back to the office to enjoy together, whilst I cross my fingers in the hope that James will sign off the expenses! After the growth team midweek check-in, in the afternoon I hop on a train to London and arrive late at our Old Street office to finish off some work before an early night at a nearby hotel.
The day is structured around a strategy workshop with a fashion client, supporting their planning for peak period. The meeting goes well and the client is happy, especially once we wrap up and are able to head into Shoreditch for lunch. Building strong client relationships is critical to the success of agency businesses and there’s nothing like face to face interaction to develop that.
Then it’s the all company meeting at 4pm, a cultural touchpoint which gives the whole team a chance to celebrate the week. With plenty of beers and snacks to go around, we all share our key achievements. Each week, we hear updates from every team ; this week one of our Growth Strategists stands up to showcase how we have progressed client projects and supported new business wins.
I take a train back to Manchester and treat myself to another beer, whilst listening to some more Michael Lewis on Audible. It’s going to be a typically packed weekend focused on ferrying the children to gymnastics, swimming, football and rugby. I’m home in time for a late dinner and a glass of wine with my wife and an episode of Have I Got News for You before bed – it’s been another busy week!