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  • Content marketing
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  • Strategic consulting

Mediablaze celebrates 10 years of digital, content and creativity

Emma Potter
15th December 2020

Though 2020 has been one for the history books for many reasons, both good and bad, it’s been an especially landmark year for Mediablaze, as we marked our 10th anniversary and celebrated with a complete rebrand.

  • We’re a digital experience agency specialising in strategic consulting, content marketing and product design & build

  • Being part of the Hearst family has enabled us to have a global footprint

  • Right from the outset at Mediablaze we’ve forged relationships with trusted brands in Europe and the US.

As we launch into our next decade with a brand new look and feel, we’re taking a look back at the evolution of Mediablaze from the first spark to the steady flame.

“The last 10 years has been hugely valuable. Along the way we’ve made some mistakes but have also learnt some brilliant lessons about working with global clients, how to attract the right people into the business, when to say ‘no’, which is equally as important as knowing when to say ‘yes’ to an opportunity. Stronger than ever, we have a desire for our clients to align to our business values and we’re now truly in a place where we’ve created a strong foundation and platform to work with brands that want to create deeper connections.

“In the next 10 years we’re going to see the agency expanding and I’m excited for a new chapter to begin.”

Roger Barr, Chief Digital Officer and co-founder

Here are Roger and fellow co-founder and Mediablaze CEO Paul Button’s top 10 highlights and entrepreneurial lessons learned along the way.

1 - Just do it and get started

Taking the first step and making the decision to actually do it is the hardest part. There are huge changes to take into consideration like not having a guaranteed salary. There’s trepidation about whether it will work out, but when you have a clear vision of what you want to create and where you want to be - that keeps you focused.

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2 - Embrace the buzz and agility of agency life

“Working in an environment where you get the opportunity to use your own agility to stay ahead, to employ ambitious people, and to try new things is incredibly inspiring to be part of, " says Paul. "It’s often the buzz of agency life, and the innovative nature of the projects we get to work on, that lures people out of the corporate environment where opportunities to truly innovate can be few and far between, or they are there but there’s so much red tape to navigate they often don’t materialise. When you build an agency, you have the ability to say ‘yes’ to your customers, and to move quickly with an ambitious and capable team behind you.”

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3 - All it takes is one - winning our first key client

Our first client was Medion and ultimately it bankrolled us for the first year. We developed and launched a platform called ‘Life of Android’ to engage and entertain consumers about how they can get the most out of android devices. Consumers were able to find out more about the best apps for Android smartphones and tablets in the market.

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4 - Nothing beats seeing your name above the door

Our first office was a Workspace in Kennington Park. This was a really significant milestone for us as we transitioned from our home offices. It was a proud moment seeing our name above the door. Being located in central London has always given us access to a huge pool of talent and potential clients. We would go on to spend eight years with Workspace and as we grew we moved into bigger and bigger premises. Of course now during the pandemic, it’s come full circle as we’re all working out of our homes again for now...

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5 - It’s all about the people

Building a business that people want to work for and with has always been a key goal for us. It may be a cliche to say it’s all about the people, but really it is. We wanted to create a collaborative environment where talent can thrive, where ideas are shared openly, and a space where people feel good about the work they’re doing and the team they’re working with. And we pride ourselves on the long-lasting relationships we’ve built.

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6 - Be confident

From very early on, we quickly grew an international client base across the USA and Europe. Meeting brands such as Merrell and Timberland and winning those huge projects gave us tremendous confidence. There’s a real buzz about jumping on a plane to pitch to new clients and delivering our strategic consultancy services to some of the world’s most innovative global brands, such as Google.

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7 - Awards are just the icing on the cake

We don’t do it for the glory. Our greatest pleasure is creating content that connects with audiences and drives our clients’ business growth, but it’s always nice to get a little pat on the back every once in a while. Since launching in 2010, we’ve won various industry awards; most notably winning Best Global Content Strategy for our work with Merrell at the Content Marketing Agency (CMA) awards; and winning the UK Active Digital Transformation Award for our work with Everyone Active.

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8 - Don’t rush M&A

Over the years we’ve been approached by several agency groups looking to bolster their content and product offerings through acquisition. Whilst these conversations are very flattering it’s important to remember why you started the business in the first place - and ask yourself, will a potential acquirer allow you to continue with this vision? We started Mediablaze with the objective to ‘help brands become publishers’. So, in 2016 when Hearst took a minority stake in our agency it felt right - publishing was very much our spiritual home and we knew the power of combining audience insight across some of the world’s most influential media brands with our content strategy and marketing services, providing clients with something they couldn’t find elsewhere.

9 - All entrepreneurs know, you’ve got to choose the right people to ride the rollercoaster with

It can be extremely hard at times and until you own your own business you don’t experience the reality of what keeps you up at night. Taking on this journey with people who you trust and get support from is critical. The ‘highs and lows’ swing left to right and go up and down - there’s a lot of learning and growth in those extremes, but one thing’s for sure, it’s really important to have the right people around you.

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10 - Know when it’s time to reinvent yourself

During a year of tremendous change and a big shift in human and consumer behaviour, we felt it was time to take a fresh look at what Mediablaze stands for, the work we have a passion for and how we are able to better serve our clients. With a strong heritage in product design and build and content marketing, we’ve launched some innovative new products, ranging from workshops to day-long sessions to 4-week sprints to help brands solve their challenges no matter which stage of the journey they are on.

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Talk to the digital experience and content marketing specialists

Wherever you are in your growth journey with your business, if you’re looking to take your business to the next level, do get in touch. There are many ways to engage with Mediablaze but if you have a specific question, do feel free to get in touch - hello@mediablaze.com

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