Digital agency Made to Engage investing in NI Talent as it moves into new offices

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  • Digital transformation agency Made to Engage has revealed plans to develop homegrown talent as it moves into custom-built offices in Belfast’s Adelaide Street.

    Speaking to Sync NI, Managing Director Steven Cassin said the company plans to create up to 40 new posts, boosting staff numbers to over 70 by 2020. 

    This comes off the back of the company’s track record over the past two years - and particularly over 2017 which saw client wins and 80% growth in year on year revenues.

    As we reported in 2016, Made to Engage was named ‘One to Watch’ in Econsultancy’s Top 100 Digital Agencies 2016 report. The team then went on to be recognised as Northern Ireland’s fastest growing agency in the Deloitte Fast 50 Awards 2017 – and Ireland’s 13th fastest growing tech company. 

    “2016 saw us take on even more technically advanced projects.  As this trend continued, we knew we had to grow our team, particularly investing in a solid leadership team that could underpin further growth,” says Steven.

    Now the objective is to “deliver global standard solutions from our base in Belfast”.

    “We don't need to be in London in order to work with the best brands in the world,” he says. “We believe we’ve built a centre of excellence here in Belfast that can serve the whole of the UK, Ireland and even the US - that's the longer term vision.” 

    In order to meet demand for talent, Made to Engage has created its own graduate academy programme to enable the company “to acquire and develop the best talent we possibly can”.

    Steven now expects to bring four further graduates onto the payroll later this year. 

    “We believe that we can offer the opportunity to work on the best projects in Ireland and beyond without having to jump on a plane to go to London or commute to Dublin every week,” he says. “We are building something really exciting in Belfast.”

    Last year, we concentrated on building in stability - implementing new structures and investing in the management team to support sustained growth. Now the focus is on sustainable growth, building on these achievements, whilst ensuring the business remains agile and efficient.

    Made to Engage was founded in 2012 and has worked with household names and market leaders such as Power NI, permanent tsb, PSNI, Currys / PC World, Easons and Henderson Foodservice. The firm’s mission is to achieve digital success for great organisations, and does so by offering digital marketing, eCommerce and automated marketing solutions.

    “Our business is to support digital transformation, for us what is important is the inherent opportunity in transformation to move a client's business forward,” says Steven. 

    “So we don't just go in and deliver a website – in fact you would rarely hear us discussing a “website”. We talk about delivering new products for customers, improving the experience and exploring how far we can move the customer forward over the next three to five years.”

    Steven is relaxed, confident and “very happy with where we are”. Made to Engage has a recently welcomed Tourism Northern Ireland, Bord Bia and Henderson Foodservice as key clients with exciting projects kicking off with strategic discovery as we speak.  

    At the time of the interview, Steven was excited following the conclusion of a recent project with Eason.

    “They’re seeing phenomenal success,” says Steven. ”We released the new ecommerce platform for Eason in November and we've seen great results across the Christmas period, culminating in an over 100% increase in year on year transactions in January - amounting to a 75% increase in revenue. We’ll continue to build on that with enhanced personalisation and targeting and a stronger focus on omni-channel experiences.”

    If there is a recipe, behind the success of Made to Engage it’s “our approach – combining our passion for digital with a strong commercial focus - we're finding opportunities for our clients and understanding how we can drive more value for them”.

    “We focus on user experience design, delivering the world’s leading technologies to drive customer experience, and digital marketing strategies,” says Steven. “We tie these together very well and we take a strategic view throughout the project as to how these can be leveraged. When we do that we create exciting solutions and a lot of value for our clients.”

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