Careers at Essence
Essence Digital’s mission is to make advertising more valuable to the world.
Matt Isaacs, Andy Bonsall, and Andrew Shebbeare were employees at Accucard, a credit card firm based in London. The men established an in-house digital marketing operation at the company. In 2005 they decided to strike out on their own, founding the Essence Digital agency. The new venture differed from other marketing agencies in that it focused strictly on digital over traditional media.
Essence Digital got its first big break when it landed Carphone Warehouse as a client. Carphone had been struggling with its website, which had a poor layout and a low sales conversion rate; it thought fixing its problems would take two years, but the team promised three months at most. The effort was successful, and afterwards Essence Digital garnered enough business to make it profitable.
2008 was a positive turning point. Social media and smartphones were taking off, increasing the demand for digital marketing. Furthermore, the financial crisis led brands to cut costs, making them more receptive to digital because of its lower expenses and greater accountability. Essence Digital also thrived by offering programmatic advertising, an automated way of buying ad space.
The next few years saw some major milestones. In 2011 the company launched operations in the U.S., soon winning Google as a client. Within 18 months it went from a largely UK agency to an international one, with 75% of its business global. The firm also expanded by acquiring Point Reach, increasing its U.S. mobile capabilities. Essence Digital is part of GroupM, which is owned by WPP.
Benefits at Essence
Business model of Essence
Essence Digital has a mass market business model, with no significant differentiation between customer segments. The company targets its offerings at firms of all industries and sizes.
Essence Digital offers four primary value propositions: accessibility, risk reduction, performance, and brand/status.
The company creates accessibility by offering a wide variety of options. It offers a comprehensive digital marketing solution, with services including search marketing, social media advertising, website and app development, eCommerce, data analytics, and automated ad-buying. Its media team can create connections regardless of media type – earned, paid, owned, and borrowed.
The company reduces risk by providing clients with beginning-to-end visibility on costs, agency fees, commitment, and performance.
The company demonstrates strong performance through tangible results. High-profile examples of positive outcomes for specific clients include the following:
- Pret A Manger used Essence Digital’s services to develop a new mobile website, resulting in 235,000 page views and 52,000 visitors within the first month despite no formal advertising
- Method used Essence Digital’s services to design a new cross-channel advertising strategy, resulting in a 142% lift in unaided awareness and a 5-7 point increase in purchase intent goals
- Google used Essence Digital’s services to increase awareness of its Google Store, resulting in over nine million views and increases of 38% in awareness and 50% in purchase consideration
- The Financial Times used Essence Digital’s services to attract younger subscribers and increase efficiencies, resulting in a 110% growth in marketing-driven subscriptions year-over-year and a 24% reduction in cost per subscriber.
The company has established a strong brand due to its success. It has over 540 employees, with its staff speaking more than 30 different languages. It manages more than $850 million a year in digital ad spending, and implements campaigns in 71 markets across the world. Its prominent clients include Google, eBay, YouTube, Expedia, HP, Tesco Mobile, and the Financial Times. It oversees promotion for five of the top 50 apps worldwide. Lastly, it has won many honors, including AdWeek’s Project Isaac Award for Media Planning Invention (2016) and two MMA Smarties Awards (2016).
Essence Digital’s main channels are its direct sales team and its website. The company promotes its offering through its social media pages and participation in conferences.
Essence Digital’s customer relationship is primarily of a dedicated personal assistance nature. The company works closely with client staff to develop digital marketing strategies.
Essence Digital’s business model entails designing and developing its services for clients.
Essence Digital does not maintain any formal partnership programs.
Essence Digital’s main resources are its human employees, who include the analytics teams that use data science to solve problems and the media teams that offer creative services.
Essence Digital has a value-driven structure, aiming to provide a premium proposition through significant personal service.
Its biggest cost driver is likely cost of services, a variable expense. Other major drivers are in the areas of sales/marketing and customer support/operations, both fixed expenses.
Essence Digital has one revenue stream: revenues it generates from the fees it charges to clients for access to its services. Company staff must be contacted directly for specific pricing information.
info: Christian Juhl earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of California, San Diego. He previously served as President of U.S. West Region at Razorfish, where he spent 12 years and as Director of Business Development at marchFIRST.
info: Matt Isaacs earned a Master of Arts in Natural Sciences at University of Cambridge. He previously served as Global CEO of Essence Digital, as Chief Marketing Officer of Create Services & Goldfish Bank, and as a consultant at MMG.
info: Andy Bonsall earned a Master’s degree in Manufacturing Engineering at University of Cambridge. He previously served as a Senior Business Manager and Head of Customer Management at Create and as a Business Analyst at Capital One.
info: Andrew Shebbeare earned a B.Sc. in Governemnt and Economics at the London School of Economics. He previously served as the Head of Acquisition at Lloyds TSB, as a Strategy team member at Accucard, and as a Business Analyst at Capital One.
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