Spotlight on Croud

We caught up with Croud this month - one of The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For 2019

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What makes Croud unique? 

Croud is a global, full service, digital marketing partner to some of the world’s leading brands, including IWG, Vans, AXA, and The North Face. We build deep partnerships with our clients thanks to our unique model, using our custom-built ‘Croud Control’ platform to harness a global network of 2,400 digital experts, delivering holding company scale with the precision of a specialist.

How do you go about learning an unfamiliar industry that a newly won client may sit in, so you can produce the best possible work?

Croud prides itself on being able to work with agility and efficiency. With our unique Croudie network of 2,400 global digital experts, we are able to gain industry insights, market research and strong analysis for the specific needs of our clients more quickly than most. 

Plus our network has a rigorous vetting process. Croudies have to go through detailed assessments, vetting calls and continuous checks to be on the network. Paired with the wealth of experience and expertise that we have in-house across our four hubs, we’re able to provide our clients with enhanced support, at speed and at scale.

When’s your busiest time of year?

Usually, our busiest time of the year would be just before the summer holidays (i.e. June/July). However, with the current pandemic affecting the vast majority of industries, at Croud (as with most businesses across the globe), we have had to adapt our approaches and streamline our objectives in order to successfully support our clients. 

Does Croud have a favourite time of year when it comes to campaigns? 

With a large retail and ecommerce client base, a lot of our clients traditionally drive the vast majority of sales in December, so preparing for seasonal campaigns around Black Friday, Christmas and beyond is always an exciting and busy time for the team! However, with a diverse client base, covering everything from B2B to financial services and entertainment, there’s rarely a quiet moment in our clients’ campaign calendars - from Super Bowl campaigns for our US client TickPick, through to Remembrance Day campaigns for The Royal British Legion.

Are there any areas across your client relationships that, upon improvement, would change the way you work for the better?

At Croud, we’re very proud of the strong relationships we build with clients, and pride ourselves on being a partner rather than a service provider. In our most recent client survey, we got our highest NPS score to date, at 59 - which is particularly impressive in the midst of a pandemic! Really getting to know our clients - both as individuals and in terms of their commercial objectives and drivers - is what builds the foundations for these successful partnerships, and remains a key focus for the Croud team.

What area would you like more contribution from when it comes to clients?

Gaining an in-depth understanding of our clients’ businesses and what makes the individuals within them tick is vital to building a successful partnership. So we really value anything that helps our teams get to know our clients’ businesses better - whether that’s spending a day at a client’s call centre to really understand customer frustrations and queries, or visiting their manufacturing centre to see products actually being produced.

Do you have any funny stories you can share with us in the life of Croud?

There are many memorable moments in the life of Croud, particularly from our renowned Summer and Winter All Hands, our big bi-annual cross-company celebrations. From falling asleep on the train and ending up in Birmingham, or missing the coach back altogether, there’s no party like a Croud party that’s for sure!

With the increase of in-house marketing, can you see agency models evolving?

Definitely. With more and more brands looking to in-house at least some elements of their digital marketing, it’s vital for agencies to be flexible in their offering, and agency models will inevitably need to evolve. Our subsidiary brand, Serpico by Croud, is designed to empower in-house teams to deliver cutting edge global marketing operations - whether they simply need help with auditing their current marketing activity, or are embarking on a full in-housing journey.

What ‘local’ can we expect to find staff from Croud in?

There is one local that is particularly infamous at Croud, and that is The Windmill. On a regular Friday afternoon, you can expect to see most of Croud’s SEO team having a drink there after work. It’s a well-loved local to say the least, so much so that not even the pandemic could keep some of our staff away!

If you could offer one piece of advice to new clients, what would it be?

The onboarding process is often underestimated by clients; however, as an agency, this process is key for ensuring that business and campaign objectives are fully understood and seamlessly met from the get go. So trusting the process and understanding the value of it is key.

What can you tell us about Croud’s company culture?

Passion, imagination and integrity are the three values that form the DNA of Croud’s company culture and are imprinted within all areas of the business. By championing these values and encouraging transparency and open communication, we have been able to create a culture that goes beyond free beers and team socials, and actually tackles the things that people look for in their place of work - which is particularly important now with the current pandemic.

Check out Croud's profile here on our platform. 

And if you haven't already tuned in, don't forget you can catch up with our Virtual Coffee Morning with a focus on in-housing vs out-sourcing that featured Croud's very own Commercial Director, Andy Cooney; and Alex Naylor, Managing Director of Barclays Marketing Communications. Watch it here


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