Agency life – growing global
From a film and music heritage to a brand-driven boutique with global ambitions, CEO Adam Rubins took on the role of running the rising global entertainment marketing agency over a decade ago.
Way To Blue has grown to become a full-service integrated communications agency working with household names such as Amazon, InterContinental Hotels Group, Sony and Red Bull to name a few.
After a series of acquisitions across the Asia-Pacific region and in the UK over the last five years, Rubins understands the important role that human and financial capital play in building a stronger cultural DNA for the business.
“Our investments have fostered a rich tapestry of talent and developed services to make the business truly versatile and agile, while always appealing to our clients’ needs,” he says.
Maintaining a relevant offering
With growth comes the inevitable challenge of ensuring that the agency continues to be “relatable” in a global market. To achieve this, Rubins says that the team has worked tirelessly to maintain “our culture, values, and a boutique service offering”.
Having scaled up its global footprint with offices in Australia, Singapore, Europe and North America, the agency has understandably had to evolve its boutique approach.
“Scaled investments, organic growth and targeted acquisitions have forced us to behave like an international company rapidly,” he explains.
This big-company culture underpins the how the agency’s team interacts with each other, their partners or clients, focused on helping them “feel like they are getting the best service in the market”, he adds.
If you invest in people, the output is meaningful financial gain.
Adam Rubins, Way To Blue
The power of people and intellect
In the creative and disruptive marketing business he drives, talent is Rubins’ most prized intellectual property. Like other cash-generating, scaling agencies, Way To Blue has raised a modest amount of equity and some debt for international growth.
However, Rubins wants to create an environment where the driver isn’t financial wealth. “Capital is more than just money. Our assets drive our investment strategy and our greatest asset is our people,” he says. “If you invest in people, the output is meaningful financial gain.”
The key elements of success have been the team’s collective time, effort and cultural alignment, says Rubins. “Making capital work for us is essential in the board room but global collaboration is the key to driving our business,” he says.
Keeping a global mindset
With a vision to reshape the future of brand communications, Rubins, plus the wider board manage a number of strategic objectives, including talent and culture.
For Way To Blue to continue on its growth trajectory, it’s vital everyone maintains a global mindset and Rubins wants to disrupt with “integrity at the heart”.
“A company’s values and strengths should align with personal values and strengths,” he says. “Being unencumbered by legacy gives us the freedom and agility to move with the times.”
“Limiting ourselves to a single market or a single offering may offer clarity, but it doesn’t create economies of scale,” he says. “And as a marketing practitioner at my core, I believe whole heartedly in integrated services on a global scale.”