Archive for the ‘Media Mini Moguls’ Category

Account Management that won’t suck – Delib, Bristol UK

Rowena Farr - June 15th, 2012

(This is an ad for a job at Delib, part of Team Rubber)

I need someone to talk to our government and public sector customers a lot, helping them get the most from our digital democracy apps, and helping them engage and consult citizens well.

The most important goal for Delib is to have happy customers who keep using our apps (which are typically used on an annual subscription basis); great account management is vital for this. It’s about retention retention retention, and if we get it right it’s an all round win: our customers are happy, we’re happy, and together we’re helping citizens connect better with decision making.

We work in Bristol and London (UK), and Canberra (Australia); this job is based in Bristol, working with customers around the world. The job doesn’t suck; well maybe it does sometimes (mostly because our customers are in different timezones which can sometimes mean early starts or working late, but not usually because we screwed up), but generally it’s pretty good.

The people here are smart, demanding and have each other’s backs. The products are awesome, and we do something worthwhile. We work with government at the highest levels, and we work with local neighbourhoods and niche communities that are just as important.

We share studio space with Viral Ad Network and Rubber Republic (I’m a co-founder of both), which makes the place varied and interesting, but this job is very firmly with Delib. The challenge is to build a world-wide community of customers who are delighted with our democracy apps, and I need someone who will thrive on that (and not just for the short-term; we make long-term hires and aim to keep people learning and rewarded).

The account management role is well defined. It’s a vital connection between the work of our sales team and the work of our production team who build, maintain and support our apps. It also involves working with our studio services and financials team.

The work, in bullet points

  • Be responsible for a specific set of our customers; and also assist other account managers (currently one-and-a-bit) as needed, to cover absence, holidays etc.
  • Work with sales team to pitch and win opportunities, then take those customers through our on-boarding process (meh, buzzwords), and then maintain the account relationship and ensure we retain the customer.
  • Communicate with customers by phone, email, and face to face as needed; (this is not a job for anyone who’s afraid of the phone or meeting people).
  • Identify and grow opportunities within existing accounts where additional products/services can be useful to the customer (you’ll need to be comfortable selling to people you have relationships with, but this role will never involve cold-selling, that’s a promise).
  • Manage feedback on product improvement and proactively identify possible new features.
  • Help resolve support and account admin issues.
  • Work with the production team to get customers’ needs met.
  • Help keep the studio running smoothly by keeping paperwork and admin moving, and being involved in managing scheduling, planning etc.
  • Seek references, recommendations & case study opportunities from customers.
  • Share news and thinking with our customers and the wider digital democracy / gov community (mostly via Twitter, sometimes blog posts).

Requirements / experience

  • A will to win. Winning is best.
  • Strong writing skills; this job involves a lot of writing and it needs to be done well.
  • Happy talking to people on the phone, and in meetings / presenting.
  • Initiative: the cliche is ‘self-starting’. You’ll drown in our environment if you can’t just turn up and work well without prompting or constant prodding. We work flexible hours, and we don’t have time to arse around chasing people who are AWOL or shirking.
  • To have an understanding of business, professional and account management fundamentals. This role is not suitable for people starting their career – genuinely sorry about that, we do hire a lot of fresh graduates at Team Rubber, but I don’t have the time to house-train someone for this role.
  • To thrive on building and maintain relationships with our customers, and also to be able to maintain strong productive relationships with the rest of the team. The role is demanding in this respect as you have to move frequently between different sets of problems, reconcile multiple points of view, and sometimes you’ll have to tell people things that they don’t want to hear; you have to do that well and come out with a win.
  • You’ll need to be able to soak up technical knowledge; you’ll need this to deal with admin tasks that have technical aspects (such as getting domain names set up correctly). You’ll also need it to communicate fluidly with our customers; to do this it’s essential to build an understanding of software engineering fundamentals (not how to program, but the production and operation of software – we can teach this if you have the interest and smarts for it). To help our clients directly, you’ll also need to learn some html and things like embedding rich media.
  • Knowledge about public policy isn’t essential, but you’ll need to cultivate an interest in this. You need to be able to understand the different levels of government and public bodies around the world, and their different functions and needs. You’ll also need to engage with things like data protection.
  • The job involves collaborating to write tenders and pitches. These can be a grind; I won’t pretend otherwise. The solution to this is to get them done well, and take pleasure in winning them.
  • The job is in Bristol, UK. Don’t live here? Relocate, Bristol is awesome.

We also do all the standard tech-company stuff: Mac laptop, second screen, good chair, nice office, nine kinds of tea, company events, and training as you need it. We hate to waste money, but we invest heavily in the things we value: good tools, supporting people and rewarding success.

Who are you? I don’t know. I’ve got no pre-conceptions, only the requirements above. It’s an extremely demanding job, but done well, it’s also enormously fun, challenging and rewarding. Money isn’t mentioned here, but I’ve got some figures in mind; they’re not excessive but you can live on it. Grow with us.

Send a covering letter to Alex, and yes, a CV, tiresome as they are. We don’t place too much faith in CVs but the bad ones help us choose who gets routed to the no pile (we don’t enjoy saying no by the way). The covering letter is really what we look at. If we like the look of yours we’ll get you in for a standard hiring interview. Fancy that? Drop us a line.

I can’t think of a snappy title. Honesty wins.

Andy Parkhouse - August 11th, 2010

I just went through my (too long) list of draft, never-published blog posts…found these links.

‘New’ is addictive. Here’s some stuff that’s not new. Don’t matter though, try em anyway.

I should just fricking put these links on Twitter where they belong instead of saving them up to try and add some useful insight. Whatever.

1. Faris Yakob and some other blokes talk about interesting stuff in 2008. Seems a long time ago now. Still, nobody knew anything then, nobody knows anything now. If anybody does know, send me a postcard, ta. And if you don’t know (and nobody does), give it some interesting chat instead.

2. BJ Fogg on Simplicity. If I say more, you won’t bother clicking. Then you’ll miss out. Go on, click. It’s worth it 😛

3. Five ways to ruin your industry reputation. Seems pretty retro and obvious, now right? Surely everyone knows Facebook is for baby pictures and debauchery; business networking is done with linkedin and twitter. Or do they? And who’s ‘everyone’ anyway. Get ‘everyone’ to send me a postcard, see how many I get.

4. John Kay. If you don’t like learning about business and economics at all, well, whatever. If you do like business and economics and you don’t like reading John Kay, you’re just wrong, and I’ll fight you. Unless you are (a) bigger than me, or (b) better at fighting than me or (c) nah.

5. “Viral marketing may also be limited by the virtue that most people are actually only talking to small groups of people online.” HP Labs research from 2008. So talk to lots of small groups, right? Or – get this – make sure you start a conversation with one person, repeat that n times. Don’t just arrogantly broadcast your views out at people…hmm. Irony fail. Kzzzpttt. [end]

Stop facebook from sharing so much data with websites

Tim Wintle - July 21st, 2010

I thought I’d double-check my privacy settings on facebook today, here’s what I’ve done:

First, go to the privacy page.

I’d already customised my “Sharing on facebook” settings – setting everything to “Friends Only”

It turns out that what facebook means by “Friends Only” isn’t exactly what I thought it meant though – it actually means “Your Friends”, “Any websites facebook trusts”, “Anyone applications your friends trust”, “Any websites your friends trust”, and “Any of your applications”.

To reduce the huge number of places facebook will share your personal data with a bit, click “Edit your settings” under “Applications, games and websites”, and change the settings for “Instant personalization” [sic]. Now turn off any extra applications you’ve got installed (several applications seemed to have mysteriously installed themselves on my account through using facebook connect twice, although I would never have said I was willing to install a facebook app from them).

Another privacy concern is that Facebook can track your movements over the entire internet due to people using Facebook Connect – If I want facebook to have data, I’ll enter it myself.

Most sites that collect information about you (like tracking codes) can be blocked if you’re so-inclined. What’s more, they normally just track you – they don’t tie it into personal information about you. Facebook on the other hand is trusted with personal data by enough people that it is able to know exactly who you are, and exactly what you’re doing right now.

Unfortunately it’s very tough to block facebook connect on other websites – they serve the “social plugins” from the same domain as Facebook – so you can’t just block it with an entry in your hosts file. You can install ad blockers to do it but, working in advertising, I really don’t like that option.

It would be a massive shame if Facebook ended up ruining the web for ad-funded publishers because they don’t give any other way to block their services.

I’m not leaving Facebook yet, but I’m coming perilously close. Perhaps the most worrying thing to me is if I do leave, I won’t be able to stop facebook from sharing any and all information my friends enter with everyone and his dog.

Media Buys are a Viral Insurance Policy for Creative and PR Agencies

Andy Parkhouse - May 17th, 2010

(Originally posted at the Viral Ad Network blog)

Everybody likes to think their viral creatives are going to go viral without any kind of push – but here’s the bottom line:

No Media Spend Media Spend
Asset Production -£20K -£20K
Media Spend -£0.00 -£7.5K
Total Cost -£20K -£27.5K
Organic Views(Worst case) 1000 1000
Organic Views(Best case) 500,000 500,000
Bought Views 0 50,000
Total Views (Best case) 500,000 550,000
Total Views (Worst case) 1000 51,000
Cost Per View (Best case) -£0.04 -£0.05
Cost Per View (Worst case) -£20 -£0.539


How much would you enjoy reporting to your client to tell them their average cost per view was £20? (even if you don’t phrase it like that, they will be calculating it).

Including a bought spend reduces their (and your) risk – in very worst case above you’d be entering that meeting reporting an average cost per view of around 1/40th of that price – that’s 40 times more ROI for them, and a more economically viable campaign.

What’s missing from the above?

Quite a bit – for a start, the more that your content is seen, the more likely it is to get organic views – so a bought media buy makes it far less likely that you’ll be hitting anywhere close to the worst case. For simplicity I’ve left this at the most basic calculation I could.

(Disclaimer: these numbers are estimated and may not necessarily reflect real-life results, which will depend on individual campaigns)

Profit…Smells Like Diesel

Andy Parkhouse - May 12th, 2010

Profit is a thing that some people are much too embarrassed about or scared to think about, and it’s also a thing that some other people make too much of. I drafted this post over a year ago, I sat on it for a long time for whatever reason…now I want to put profit in a clear context.

I’m a big fan of Ice Road truckers. This is a show about truckers moving supplies in the frozen far north of Canada, in temperatures as low as minus 34 centigrade.

One thing that truckers need is diesel. Not just for the simple reason of getting their trucks from A to B. The reason ice road truckers need diesel is to run the heater in their cab. If they run out of diesel, the heater goes off. If the heater goes off, they die. It’s minus thirty four. So no heat, they die.

Ice road truckers devote time and effort to ensuring they have enough diesel. It’s a major concern for them. Because if they run out, they die.

Profit for a business like ours is rather like diesel for ice road truckers. It’s not the aim of the game.

The aim of the game for an ice road trucker is to get the goods from A to B, safely and in good time. It’s customer service, solving the customer’s problem, meeting or exceeding expectations; businesses have the same goals the world over. Our aims are no different.

We need profit in the same way a trucker needs diesel. We don’t seek it for its own sake, but we have to have it, otherwise we die. That’s why we spend time and effort making sure we have enough. We’ve always had profit and we intend to keep it that way.

For truckers, the business of maintaining diesel levels requires five simple steps: get large tanks on the truck, fill them up before starting a job, check the levels often, be vigilant for leaks, and take measures to fix leaks immediately. Five simple steps. Then they get on with the job of solving the customer’s problem, getting from A to B and providing service.

And because no blog post is complete without some truck pictures…

Life at Team Rubber #49123

Andy Parkhouse - April 27th, 2010

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Leaders’ Debate Live Blog from Bristol

Andy Parkhouse - April 22nd, 2010

Politics is changing – and it’s happening right in our backyard. Follow us live blogging from the venue of today’s leadership debate, and on Twitter.

How to make a killer viral marketing video. 5 Top Tips

Andy Parkhouse - January 13th, 2010

We’ve put together a handy article for UTalkMarketing: How to make a killer viral marketing video. 5 Top Tips from Rubber Republic.

It’s a nice summary of what we’ve learned in the last ten or so years. Cheers – Andy

Tom Fishburne – “Corporate Twitter”

Andy Parkhouse - October 21st, 2009

You may have seen seen this before… tickled me even if I don’t believe Twitter (great tool by the way) will save the world (or even business).

 Tom Fishburne   Corporate Twitter

Twitter of course excels at short succinct messages. So do cartoons. Me, I’m hoping for the cartoon equivalent of Twitter. I would use it to Kill Birds. There’s a free web-app idea for someone. Let me know when it’s done…

At last! YouTube rolls out comment search

- October 19th, 2009

Here it is:

Now you can monitor all the LOLs and WTFs to your heart’s content…

Thanks to Mark Pack