Spotlight on MBA

This month we shine the spotlight on MBA

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Helping turn Interflora into a revitalised, modern and digitally-driven market leader; helping drive new letter business for the UK’s much loved Royal Mail; helping export the revered Cambridge University Examinations across the globe. These are just a few of MBA’s recent success stories for their clients. So, we decided to catch up with them to find out a little more about their winning formula.

Describe MBA in three words

The Acceleration Agents

What makes you unique? 

MBA exists where “digital and direct interconnect” to help our clients navigate today’s non-linear digital buying ecosystem and accelerate their value and growth. We do this by applying our 6 core principles of joined up data & infrastructure, a connected content framework, Brand ActionTM, creative technology, a culture of sharing, and an ROI focus.

Tell us something we don’t know about MBA

Two recent accolades of which we are very proud: 

Last year we were featured in Campaign as one of “The World’s Leading Independent Agencies”.

This year we were awarded IPA CPD Platinum for the 5th year in a row for the development and nurturing of our key asset - our talent

What work are you most proud of?

We love our “Physically Irresistible” e-book and social campaign for Royal Mail MarketReach which is just launching and we love our recent Rankin shot, diverse #ShareSomethingReal digital and social campaign for Interflora; but of course we are proud of all of our work because it works for our clients which is always the driver for us.

Royal Mail MarketReach “Physically Irresistible” social/ebook campaign

Interflora "#ShareSomethingReal" digital/social campaign 

What’s been your biggest challenge?

Navigating Covid there is no doubt but looking at it positively (if that is possible), it has accelerated so many good trends - more remote and flexible working which can only further improve the need for the much greater diversity and internationalisation of our industry, a greater drive to digital and tech, brands behaving with even more empathy and purpose and now a galvanising approach across client and agency teams to how we all market the recovery globally. 

What are you doing to transform the way you work with clients? 

We have always had fully flexible working at the agency and taken an agile approach to how we work and respond to our clients’ needs , for example sitting data scientists in our client offices or having Account Directors working from Spain close to one of our clients there , but now we must just be even more open minded in how we operate ( eg. video calling the norm if no face to face), how we flex our resource (eg. even more collaboration outside the agency) and how we pivot our services to reflect the increasingly changing needs of our clients in the post Covid age. 

If you could give clients one piece of advice what would it be?

Marketing does work during a recession! It is easy to say especially when we have been through times when so much has been challenged and challenging, when so much will never be the same again and we are about to enter another recession. But all the evidence from all the IPA Effectiveness Group work we have undertaken over the years through the formidable Field and Binet as well as all Mark Ritson’s brilliant analysis on the subject underlines the disproportionate impact that brands can have by marketing through a recession.

How are you future-proofing? 

Always looking to add to our MBA Academy, Advertising Unlocked and DMA Talent programmes to bring in even more gender, ethically and neuro diverse young talent which is vital to the continued success of our industry and our agency. 

Always looking out across the globe for learnings and opportunities through our presence at eg. SXSW, SHIAF and Cannes, our long-standing NetworkOne partnership and through our role as an UKAEG partner and government Export Advocate. 

Always keeping a close involvement in our wider industry and its thought leadership through active participation in and the chairing of key industry organisations such as The DMA, The Marketing Society and the IPA Effectiveness Board.

Marketing predictions for the next year?

Brands that behaved with the right level of empathy, real purpose, and true authenticity through Covid will win after Covid.

Agencies that have at their core client solutions that harness the potent triumvirate of outstanding creativity, actionable data insight and intuitive tech will win. 

Best kept secret for Friday drinks?

We have a great agency band - the trouble is we are all lead guitarists!

And finally, in these current, uncertain times, give us a top tip that’s circulated around MBA – it can be anything be that exercise related, virtual meeting related, keeping sane related....

We have always been big fans of Friday beers after work so we have not let a global pandemic stop us - we have created our very own “MBA Lockdown Arms” which opens on Zoom at 5pm every Friday complete with its own bar staff!

Elena Mata, Account Director, MBA on Covid-19:

“While this is undoubtedly one of most challenging times we will ever live through, there are some positives that have and can come from it.  It has not only brought us all closer and made us more empathetic in our personal lives but I feel it has also brought us even closer to our clients - helping to further strengthen our relationships as we do all we can to support their businesses in such tough times . I do believe this will last long after lockdown”

See more from MBA here on our platform. 


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