Agency culture of fast information

 |  By: Steve Johnson In: Agency management

When I met up with Simon Butler, co-founder of London digital agency Purestone, he mentioned that in his previous career he was in consumer marketing at BMG Records, client-side.

It was an industry where you needed to know exactly how each record was doing, day by day. Everything flowed from that. You lived and breathed by those numbers. Careers and fortunes hang in the balance. Should you invest more in a record? Or dump it? Change the positioning? Or launch something else to jump on a bandwagon?

For those who think that Twitter invented trending, think again. The music industry has seen it all, and those daily numbers aren’t simply chatter – they’re real money that real people part with, and each day is a new pattern. If you’re on top of the daily trends you have a chance of being successful.

So that was his business world, until nine years ago. He then decided to set up an agency with colleague James Smee. But his need for immediacy of information was in his blood by then. He was aware that the ocean of data that confronts us needs to be distilled into the essentials so you can make smart, fast decisions. In agency terms, that means fast daily information on job overruns, job capacity, budget overruns, billings, forecasts.

As an agency manager you create your own agency culture, based, inevitably, on what’s important to you. And if you develop a hunger for each day’s distilled information, your team gets it. If you give team members the information at their fingertips, they develop the habit of always being informed and understanding the commercial implications of their actions. How powerful is that?

Back in 2005 when Simon was leaving the music industry, a Chemical Brothers’s album suddenly trended very hot. It went gold and won a Grammy. Its title says it all. Push The Button.


Purestone chose Synergist for their agency management system. See their user story infographic at

So, push the button...