What Happens After Acquisition: My First Week At Jaywing

What Happens After Acquisition: My First Week At Jaywing
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Here, Frank Digital founder and MD Matt Barbelli (pictured) recounts his first week after the acquisition by data science-led marketing agency Jaywing was completed and the Frank Digital team move into Jaywing’s Australian headquarters.

Friday 16th March

Wake up with a bit of a hangover, having been out to celebrate the deal and two new client wins with my new boss, Jaywing plc CEO Rob Shaw, and Tom and Chris, the incumbent MDs of Jaywing in Australia. Glad we decided to move tomorrow…

Saturday 17th March

Moving day. In the office in Glebe nice and early to wait for the removalists – they’re due between 8.30am and 9.30am. Get a call at 9.00am to say two of their guys have called in sick and they can’t do the job. Blow a small gasket (okay, a big one). Embark upon finding new removalists. At short notice. On a Saturday.

My business partner Alex starts getting stuff over to North Sydney, and somewhat later than planned, eventually all of our stuff is over and in place. Everything fits and matches in brilliantly.

Drink beer.

Sunday 18th March

It’s Sunday. Wake up and head into the office to tidy up the last of the little bits. It’s 35 degrees and I quickly learn the air-con doesn’t go on in the building during weekends. I get out of there stat.

Monday 19th March

Arrive at the office to find the team has already started to settle into their desks and get to work with minimal interruption. The internet connection is coping with the extra people and their machines are all working, but no sign of the new printer.

Just after 9am, two people arrive from the UK. They are Neil, the planning director from Bloom, an agency Jaywing acquired in the UK in September 2016. He’s here to pitch with Tom and Chris and also recruit for account management roles for Collective Wellness Group, which includes Anytime Fitness, Massage Theory and Xtend Barre, following the successful renewal of their contract as sole agency. We go for coffee and one of the things he tells me about is the imminent rebrand of Bloom to Jaywing. It all strikes a chord given we’re at the beginning of a similar journey.

The other person is from our search agency in the UK, Epiphany, and she’s here to spend a week with the SEO and PR (or, as I’m learning, ‘off-page SEO’) team in our office Down Under.

Been here just over an hour and already I can see how collaboration works at Jaywing.

The rest of the day passes without incident. Leave the office late and discover just exactly when the car park closes. Car trapped, call an Uber. Find out that it opens at 6am.

Tuesday 20th March

At 6am, I turn up to get my car, ready for tennis at 7am. Car still trapped. Sit in it for an hour, wearing my tennis gear. Miss tennis.

Guy turns up to install the printer at 9am. Still no printer to install. Guy leaves.

12:00 – printer guy comes back.

13:58 – printer still hasn’t arrived (now four hours late). Allow the printer installation guy to leave.

14:00 – meet our new PR guy.

14:03 – printer arrives.

14:04 – frantic call to printer installation guy to get him back.

15:15 – we have a printer!

Wednesday 21st March

Hump day. Printer not working… Throw a wobbly then ‘delegate’ the printer installation task to someone else. Head into to the city to run a workshop with AMP Capital. It goes off without a hitch; lesson learnt – play to your strengths – IT is not my strong point.

Thursday 22nd March

Today is the official launch of Oodles by Jaywing in Australia, having launched in the UK yesterday.

Oodles is a rewards program for all Jaywingers, giving them access to discounts and offers from retailers, food outlets and the like, as well as bespoke offers with local independent businesses. It’s also where we host information about our social events, benefits, initiatives, and employee recognition.

It’s beautifully branded and fantastic to be part of a bigger company that can offer such benefits to us.

Friday 23rd March

End of week one. And what an end it was too as it’s Jaywing’s 1st birthday in Australia, so naturally we had a party to celebrate that and the arrival of Frank in North Sydney! We also bid farewell to our global brand development director and chief strategy officer respectively, who’ve both spent much of the last 15 months in Sydney. 

A lot has happened during that time. Tom and Chris’s agency Digital Massive, which was acquired in July 2016, became Jaywing a year ago today. They’ve also grown substantially, prompting their move into our North Sydney office – a year to the day before ours. And now we’ve joined Jaywing.

We’ve pretty much filled the office and already feel like part of the family.

I end the week feeling satisfied and optimistic about where we’re headed – both for us and our clients.

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