Mavens Of London is a London-based online research, strategy, and digital marketing company that has more than doubled in size every year since 2010. Founded in 2009 by Ben Bose, Mavens’ ranks have swelled and the company has projects covering every continent apart from Antarctica (digital marketing is lost on penguins).
They work with big-name brands such as Unilever, Citroen, IBM, Electrolux and Philips. Mavens is keen to hire MBAs for roles in consulting, senior consulting and managerial levels. Many MBAs will hope to launch a marketing career after graduation.
Based in the heart of the UK, MBAs will get the chance to work in an exciting, fast-paced industry. Their office warming parties even include jelly and explosives.
James Weller is Head of Talent and Training at the company and gives us an exclusive insight into the recruitment process, and tells you what you need to get hired at Mavens!
Mavens is a relatively new digital agency, can you tell us what the company does?
We mix qualitative and quantitative research methodologies to support brands' digital marketing decision-making and optimisation. Which sounds horribly buzz-wordy. We do research and that research is usually digital; we query data systems and we query people, in order to help brands perform better online, or to answer questions they might have.
You claim to be more 'quantitative' and apply more 'analytical rigour' than other digital marketing firms - why do you think this is an important differentiator?
Knowledge allows for more reliable business decisions to be made. The greater the rigour applied to the acquisition and analysis of relevant data, the deeper and more refined the knowledge can be. Or, as Ben says: “If we cannot back our information, we do not say it. Our recommendations are based on evidence. We are open, honest and not afraid to report on weaknesses and why they are there."
Who are some of your biggest clients and what do you do for them?
In the last year we've carried out research on behalf of, amongst others, Unilever, Citroen, IBM, Electrolux and Philips. The research, while always having some element of digital, varies: from understanding the differences in attitudes to particular products across particular markets, to looking at website performance, to monitoring social media mentions.
What are some of the common mistakes that companies make in terms of their online marketing?
Two of the most common mistakes we see are companies who still try to broadcast on social media, without understanding the conversations that can build up around any online activity; and those who fail to understand the importance of the language and terminology which consumers use, and how that may differ from the language and terminology that a company may use around its own topic space.
Has the concept of 'Big Data' been over-hyped, or does it really offer untapped revenue opportunities for companies?
The problem with Big Data is that, by its very nature, it's a solution looking for a problem. It's almost always better to define the problem and then to gather Sufficient Data, than to expend tremendous effort accumulating Big Data in the hope that it may possibly prove useful.
There aren't many companies who employ people to just play with Big Data to see what profitable and interesting insights drop out of it, or, as the National Security Agency (NSA) recently put it: “Memorialize what you need” vs. “Order one of everything off the menu and eat what you want.”
What are the typical backgrounds people have in the Mavens team?
Mavens are from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities, but all tend to have in common that they are highly educated, intelligent, curious, and have an interest in digital.
How many roles are you currently hiring for and at what levels?
Presently we are looking for around six to ten new hires with a range of experiences and tenure. Principally for MBAs, we are looking at both a Consultant, Senior Consultant and Manager level, though we are also looking to add to our development team to help expand our internal analytical systems.
How can an MBA capture your attention in their job application?
By being honest. Mavens doesn't require any specific background or skills; we're interested in people who are clever, curious and have some common sense. We're not so interested in hiring a CV. Anything that can be done in a covering letter to reveal who a candidate is, rather than what they've studied or done, is likely to help.
Any final words of advice for business school hopefuls trying to break in to the online marketing world?
Two things spring to mind:
Don't get drawn in by the latest trend, or whatever's shiny and new.
Don't take data that's presented to you at face value; make sure you find out where it came from, what the limitations of it are, and what the probable errors are.