An interview of Creative Spark by The Annual 2013
Founded in 2010 to cater to the increasing demand for specialised digital expertise, Creative Spark is a cutting edge digital agency characterised by its ability to innovate and constantly push the boundaries. In the three years since its inception the company has experienced considerable growth, expanding from a one man operation to a team of 28.
Managing Director, Matthew Buckland reveals that the past year has been the most successful yet. “We’ve recorded our highest revenue and client acquisition so far,” he says, explaining that Creative Spark is unlike most other digital agencies in that it produces its own products, the most prominent of which is its publishing site Memeburn.com, a platform which fosters innovation in digital and social media. “We’re not just here for commercial gains but rather see ourselves as active participants in the growth of the local digital industry,” he maintains.
As specialists in the digital arena, Creative Spark is able to provide clients with a comprehensive understanding of the available platforms best suited to their needs. Senior Account Manager, Catherine Murray explains that whether it’s social media or mobile platforms, the agency is adept at tailoring the right user experience to the platform in question.
In order to achieve this, it focuses a significant amount of its attention on the development of quality content. “Social media and content are intrinsically linked,” comments Digital Strategist, Ian Naidu. “We need to make sure that we are developing the most relevant content for the audience and platform in question.”
Providing a very particular set of expertise, the agency is challenged with finding the right skills for its specialised offering. Social Media Account Manager Melissa Chetty reveals that Creative Spark has developed quite a specific culture, characterised by exceptional individuals who are willing to walk the extra mile and possess the ability to think in a highly creative manner.
“We’ve built a strong culture of innovation,” adds Murray. “On a regular basis we circulate the latest examples of cutting edge work produced in the industry and encourage staff members to keep abreast of innovative new developments.”
Operating in an economic environment which has generated greater demand for digital services, Creative Spark has remained largely unaffected by the recession. Indeed Buckland points out that the agency was born in the recession and as such doesn’t know any other kind of economic climate. “When you excel at what you do, your services will always be in demand,” he asserts.
However, this doesn’t mean that the agency is without its challenges. Buckland reveals that in an industry which is constantly evolving, the Creative Spark team needs to ensure that it maintains a firm grip on digital platforms and how they fit into the marketing landscape. “More traditional platforms have a certain degree of predictability, whereas digital platforms are ever changing. While this makes our industry very exciting, it also makes it challenging.”
In order to rise to this challenge, the agency’s philosophy is one of innovation and pushing boundaries. “What makes us different is the extra value we add,” comments Naidu. “At Creative Spark we see ourselves as curators of the digital landscape where we are able to articulate the stories of our clients and in turn make them engaging to their audience.”
Significantly this philosophy relates to more than just the agency’s clients as Buckland explains that it concerns the whole of South Africa’s digital industry. “We don’t see the rest of the industry as competition but rather as an eco-system which we’re committed to helping grow,” he says.
Looking towards the future, Creative Spark is gearing itself up for a new phase of growth. “We’re going to need to move into new offices soon and are considering the possibility of opening offices in Johannesburg,” he reveals. “It’s daunting but at the same time extremely exciting.”