CvE launched in the European market last month with Paul’s appointment and is a new type of marketing services company which recognises that being an agency alone is no longer enough to serve marketers’ rapidly changing needs.
The marketing performance company brings together the best of a consultancy, media agency and tech company, with over 10% of its headcount in engineering. The expansion into the UK and Europe follows the successful Asian launch in February 2019 when CvE established itself in Singapore.
CvE stands for Control vs. Exposed and Paul Frampton, the agency’s European President, is also the former Chief Executive of Havas Media Group UK & Ireland CEO.
Here, Paul shares what a week in his new role is really like…
I start the week by dropping Jack, my two-year-old son, off at nursery and heading for a quick gym session before throwing myself into the craziness of startup life. CvE is a year old globally but only a couple of months in London.
Every morning and evening, I make time to check in on Twitter and LinkedIn as I find I learn there and engage with customers, talent and influencers. I’m a huge advocate of social leadership – there’s a book that has just been published by Damian Corbett and Bloomsbury Business called ‘The Social CEO’ which has a chapter from myself and other leaders on how to leverage social as the CEO of a tech business.
Currently, I’m enjoying the raging debate between whether success in marketing comes from using data smartly or out and out creativity. In my opinion, the two must co-exist and when used properly, data helps identify killer insights that lead to the best ideas.
I also read lots of posts around flexibility including the future of work/life balance and how many service businesses are getting this wrong – they promise it, but then force presenteeism and struggle to change their inflexible legacy culture. This makes me realise how blessed I am to work at CvE which is a business that really values flexibility and wellness. Everyone works remotely, allowing for a better work/life integration. Also, 70% of our staff are female and there are many working mums in senior positions.
Once I’m back at my home office, first on the agenda for the working week is to catch up with Justin who is my counterpart in Singapore. I was out there last week, so we connect via Zoom and discuss the workshop we ran for a large CPG brand as well as evaluating opportunities with several brands who are co-located in Singapore and London.
I finish the day with my weekly check-in with our PR team at Bluestripe Media. We discuss everything on the monthly plan from upcoming events, news-jacking opportunities to how best we should use our social channels.
The day is dominated by back to business development meetings dotted all across and outside of London.
Mid-afternoon, I make my way back to St Paul’s for a private room session with Dave Pickles, the co-founder and CTO of The Trade Desk, a close partner for CvE. The Trade Desk is now valued at a whopping $9bn and is the ad-tech darling of Wall Street, so hearing Dave’s view, who is one of the most informed architects of data-driven technology, on the future of targeting, is insightful. Trade Desk’s own new marketing campaign focuses on the power of the ‘open web’ beyond walled gardens which seems very pertinent given the recent issues reported about Facebook on fake video views.
I then shoot off to an event at QA who put over 5,000 apprentices through their technology and IT readiness programmes. I’m always happy to get involved in events like these as I’m also the Chair of Big Youth Group, an organisation which builds confidence, awareness and skills in young people and then connects them to the world of work. Jack Parsons, the inspirational young CEO of the organisation, and I share our insights to a room full of eager apprentices on routines, vulnerability, making mistakes and mental health.
First on the list for the day is to interview some impressive candidates for growing the CvE London business. We are looking for unicorns – the consultative types who can problem solve with senior marketers whilst having a good handle on the fast-changing data and technology landscape. I’ve already met some brilliant young talent who I have no doubt will go far.
I then have a call with the leadership team where we talk about how to free up time to allow our people to develop themselves as well as how our leaders need to be role models to ensure the team enacts the right behaviour. Operating a virtual company model to me feels like the future – we must work harder at creating culture, but we avoid much of the office politics, endless meeting culture and long commutes. As a result, our people tend to be more positively minded and are always action orientated rather than sitting in meetings in cruise control.
The rest of the afternoon is spent organising a trip to Amsterdam for next week. It’s early days but looks like Holland and the Nordics will be the best next territories to launch the CvE proposition in, once we are settled in London.
I check in with the marketing team in the US; we are in planning mode for a CMO event that is taking place in Dublin and the MadFest conference which I’m chairing in London on Nov 14th. We are also working on useful playbooks around data strategy and in-housing which are key themes for our current clients and prospects.
In the afternoon, I deliver a keynote at a marketing conference in Olympia about the changing marketing model as well as sit on a panel heralding the importance of using AI and machine learning in marketing. Marketing needs a bit of a re-brand itself to reassert the importance of it at the board table – anchored to growth, customer insight experience, storytelling and brand purpose.
And just like that, it’s the end of another busy week.
I check in with Brody and Jay who run the company in the US around the differences we are seeing in Europe. They are always all ears about how we need to adapt to a new market which is great for me. We recognise there are many things that are the same but also that business is done differently – some things are further developed in the US whilst others are in the UK. It’s a learning curve for all.
The afternoon is spent reading Jay’s newly launched book about ‘Proving That Advertising Works’ and sending out some copies to CMO’s and CEO’s that I know well as food for thought. Then before I check out for the week, I speak to Ade who runs Women in Marketing about its upcoming awards in November. The shortlist was revealed this week so looking forward to congratulating the winners in a couple of weeks.
I check in with my amazing EA, Ellouise, at 5pm to close out the week and then jump in the car to drive to pick up my three older kids and then the whole family, including my gorgeous wife and two younger kids, set off for an outdoors weekend in the New Forest.