European Business: What should businesses look out for when selecting an advisor?
Dave Wallace: When I started my business, there was not much competition. Now everyone, from small agencies to large auditing and consultancy firms, is competing with us. This forced us to think about why we are different. The fact is, we were born digital. It is in our DNA and we are not struggling to catch up like the others. I would urge businesses to really look at the competence and background of potential advisors.
European Business: So, what makes the Mirum Agency different?
Dave Wallace: I guess you first have to understand how the agency was created. I founded Heath Wallace, a UK digital agency and web design business, in 2001. We had huge success with some major clients, as a result of which we were acquired in 2008 by the WPP Network. We were aligned to WPP’s J. Walter Thompson advertising business, where I gained experience in marketing to add to my business and technological experience. WPP continued to acquire other digital businesses around the world and we, as leaders, got together regularly; we discovered that, within our entrepreneurial-driven businesses, we had similar ideas, and we decided to work more closely together. In 2016, we created the Mirum Agency, a global network of all the digital companies within the JWT group. So what differentiates us from the market? Firstly, as I said, we were digital from birth. As entrepreneurs, we have all created our own businesses and understand the challenges; nevertheless, we all share an optimistic outlook. Many websites and applications look similar and are driven from user experience technology, but they miss the creative aspects. We embrace creativity – that is another major difference. And also very important: We take a European and global view rather than a national one.
European Business: What can a client expect from you?
Dave Wallace: I would say we are a full service agency that creates and delivers digital experiences, based on gathering insights, developing strategies, and building from a digital perspective. This can be anything from a mobile experience or social media activity, to a digital marketing campaign involving idea and campaign development, data analysis and optimization. We are also increasingly involved in brand development. 99% of our work is digital. We work mainly for large blue chip companies with a global footprint. My business started in the financial services sector, which still makes up 25% of Mirum’s 40 million USD annual turnover within Europe, but today we also have clients in, among others, the energy, health care and telecom industries; we are fairly broad brush.
European Business: What do you see as today’s important industry trends?
Dave Wallace: It is incredibly interesting. Technology has caught up with daily life – we have decent broadband connections, we communicate in real time by video or text. There is a proliferation of devices and channels and the digital promise is there. However, companies are slightly behind. They used to worry about their website; now we advise them on strategies to cope with the complexity in the digital landscape and how to connect with customers. The biggest trend we are seeing is a fear of what to do, coupled with a genuine excitement about what is possible.
European Business: Looking ahead, will clients continue to need digital advisors?
Dave Wallace: We are the fastest growing part of the JWT group, which speaks volumes. The digital world will be very different in just three years’ time; it will be at the heart of everything we do, and there is a wide open field of possibilities. Digital channels enable new products, which I believe is the real opportunity. I want Mirum to be recognized as a business that generates incredible ideas that are truly game-changing for our clients.