Independent media strategy and management agency MBM, which was started in 2010 by Sean McCready and Matt Bale, has been quietly—and fairly successfully—going about its business for the past few years. But it's got something to shout about now, with ex Sparkie Alysha Delany signing on to become managing partner and shareholder.
"We've been purposefully pretty quiet because we wanted to establish our position," says McCready. "But we're looking to keep heading down the digital road. And that's why we've brought Alysha here. She's about making us into one of New Zealand's top digital agencies."
Delany has been at the forefront of digital marketing in New Zealand since 2007 when she set up SparkPHD’s digital media division PHDiQ and led a team of 25 digital specialists. As a previous member of the CAANZ Digital Leadership Group and an agency member of IAB NZ, she is a regular contributor to digital marketing leadership and best practice.
"Alysha brings strong leadership, vast experience and deep digital knowledge to the team," says McCready. "We’re really excited to apply those skills to our growing client base. We strongly embrace the view that digital, mobile and social communications will continue to exponentially grow in importance within the marketing mix. And Alysha's appointment is part of a commitment to ensure its clients have the benefit of some of New Zealand’s leading digital minds."
McCready says the business started off with the two partners and one additional staff member and it's now grown to 12. It's also growing financially, and works with a number of big brands, such as Z, Hyundai, TSB, Charlie's, Griffin's, Whittaker's and Nike.
MBM works closely with Assignment Group, but McCready says it isn't an exclusive relationship and it also works alongside a number of other creative agencies, many of them independents.
"Essentially, we join up with clients and agencies that want to do something a bit different," he says. And because both founding partners come from integrated agency backgrounds, he says they're well-accustomed to working closely with creatives.
McCready says the lines between creative and media are blurring, particularly in the social media and digital space.
"We're involved in a lot of strategy work, community management and creation of page content and that's where it crosses into creative territory and it's pushing the boundaries of everyone's roles," he says. "The thing with social media in particular and to a certain degree digital is that there are a lot of moving parts."
MBM has offices in both Auckland and Wellington and Delany will be based out of the Auckland office. She starts in May.
Spark used her departure as a chance to knock down a few silos and promoted head of strategy Jane Stanley to the position of general manager PHDiQ and strategy.