Mundane and Mäd are polar opposites to us. But, weekly work surely requires a degree of repetitiveness or habits shaped to maximize success- we decided to explore the routines of our team, to share our industry insights and introduce the colorful characters behind our work.
Today, we caught up with Frazer MacRobert - the Head of Communications at Mäd.
As a Scotsman abroad, subtitles are my friend, my Cambodian claim to fame is being subtitled on Netflix during an episode of 'Dark Tourist'. Scottish accents regularly rank in the top spots for the world's favorite accents, but I do have to water mine down to ensure I'm understood!
Fortunately, my job relies on strong written and graphic communications, so the accent rarely causes confusion. I've been in Cambodia for two years now, with a year in France sandwiched in-between. Joining Mäd back in March, I've leant on my marketing experience from the last eleven years to drive forward both our internal comms, and also enhance various client projects.
Hobbies? Football and DJing.
Proud achievements? I owned my own nightclub and clothing brand for many years!
Favorite place? Koh Rong Samloen... or Celtic Park.
Favorite software? Photoshop, it's so versatile.
Personality type? Self assessed as ESFP, perceived as ENTP.
Favourite Weekend Drink? A negroni, but I'm eyeing up the office Carménère for Friday!
How fast can you solve the office Rubix Cube? Two minutes...ish.
And how fast can you type? 100wpm.
What've you been reading recently?
At Mäd we encourage continuous learning, and keep our library brimming with insightful literature for our team to peruse.
I've been pivoting between two books this week. The first, 'The Happiness Hypothesis' by Jonathan Haidt, is a social psychology journey attempting to enrich the readers' well-being and general understanding of what causes meaningful, lasting happiness. I'd studied psychology at Glasgow University, and gravitated towards the social focuses, so it's been interesting to digest Haidt's propositions. One key thought is that Happiness can be summarized as the equation:
H = S + C + V
Happiness = Set point + Core Situations + Volunteered Activities.
To expand on the equation: The set point is a persons natural level at which they feel happy. It's like warmth, some people feel warm at lower temperatures than others, just as some feel happier easier.
Core Situations are the general factors in a persons life that'll influence their mood, such as their job, social circles, free time, family situation, and living conditions.
Finally, Volunteered Activities refer to the hobbies and general 'non-essential' activities that a person opts for.
Haidt muses that we can optimize each variable to ensure enduring happiness. This may be by improving your core situations/circumstances, such as moving home to a neighborhood nearer your friends and your work (long commutes are generally bad for happiness). It could also be by maximizing your free time with meaningful hobbies and volunteered activities.
Learn more about the Happiness Hypothesis via the official website here: https://www.happinesshypothesis.com/
Secondly, I've learned about Chronotypes and that I'm a 'Wolf', based on concepts in 'Why We Sleep' by 'Matthew Walker'. It's an interesting read as to how society is structured to reward the early risers, but there's evidence to suggest some people find productivity bursts at non-conventional hours. Knowing your chronotype can help focus your energies more productively, and thankfully Mäd's modern and accommodating approach to working hours allows all team members to thrive in their own way.
The global COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the discussion on remote working, although fortunately Mäd had already embraced such practices. We have a modern approach to 'office hours', and are extremely accommodating to our team as long as targets are being met. Finding out when, how, and even where, individuals prosper can help great leaders encourage great work from their team. As always, investing in the best software to allow such a flexible and productive structure is key: We use Bloo, Miro, and generally aim to use cloud based platforms to allow effective storage and remote access for our team whenever they want (or need).
Does your Chronotype affect your daily productivity?
The 'hustle culture' reinforces waking up early to get ahead of everyone. There's the competitive idea of getting up before going to bed, which mocks the trend quite nicely. As a 'wolf', I must admit I'm more likely to pull an all-nighter than endure 5am workouts, but it's important to make sure my mind is switched off for traditional business hours as a lot of my role is client facing.
At Mäd, we don't enforce strict office hours on the team, and working remotely is a breeze due to our various collaborative and organizational softwares. That being said, I definitely feel an advantage of following expected norms for my position. I tend to be on-site five days a week, and I position myself at the first seat at the first table when you enter the office- as the first person a client or team member will see, it motivates me to continuously be productive. I've basically forced productivity on myself by giving everyone complete transparency of my work at all times.
What does your daily task list tend to look like?
The joy of agency work, is the excitement of change and new challenges. Whilst weekly workloads may change industry as we work with banks, retail, property, tech, and more, there is a fair amount of similarities.
Firstly, keeping on top of task lists is invaluable. We use Bloo to organize all projects and internal activities. I usually start off my office day by pouring my third coffee and structuring my daily task list based on all the emails and Kanban's I've explored on my commute to work.
Then, I check in with the MarComms team to ensure everyone is on track, and also have intelligently structured goals for the day- I try not to micromanage each task, but it's certainly important to offer support when necessary.
There's often copywriting tasks to be done either directly in Webflow or Ghost, as these platforms have the ability to send live previews to our clients, or I'll use Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets or sometimes Figma to allow collaboration and real-time editing from all necessary parties.
'Working alone, together' is a great concept used at Mäd for various design thinking exercises, but equally we value the importance of key communications and collaboration. Keeping up to date with software trends allows us to ensure working together is always optimized to ensure happy clients, happy team members, and great results.
Recently I've been working on a lot of social media and Google advertising campaigns, which involves various Adobe Creative Suite software to create appealing visuals. Fortunately I'm weathered with ten years of nightclub advertising, which greatly developed my knowledge on appealing graphic design tactics.
Frazer also enjoys the office having the most recent copy of FIFA on the playstation - or at least he enjoys it 50% of the time when his slow Scottish build-up play triumphs over the flaring Khmer tactics.
What's your biggest achievement at Mäd, so far?
I love advertising campaigns, and Google Ad services often get paired with SEO services as a combination of short and long-term solutions for visibility and impact. During a CBRE advertising project, I offered a Search Ad solution to a pain point they were having with website visibility, whilst planning to tweak their SEO to give an organic boost after an estimated three months.
However, after I'd performed my SEO audit and updated various meta tags and tweaks, I found that the SEO instantly responded and fixed a major overlooked bug in the backend of coding and tags. It was extremely gratifying to be able to tell the client that the long-term process had been sped up and fixed within the day.
At Mäd, we seek out 'M shaped' individuals or at least seek to develop talents to progress skills and career paths for all of our team. Having foundations of knowledge in multiple areas helps us cross industries and explore niche areas with an important level of competence.
How did you discover Mäd?
I discovered Mäd through the Phnom Penh Crown FC project, and it really appealed to both my career and hobby interests. I love football, and I've always had an interest in effective branding and design; As soon as I read the Mäd case study on this project I started putting together my open application to join the team, it seemed a perfect fit.
After our rebrand of Phnom Penh Crown FC, their new home jersey became their highest sold top of all time and the project also helped seal their biggest advertising deal in the Cambodian football league's history.
I think one aspect of working with Mäd that isn't discussed enough, is the opportunity for personal growth. We are always working feverishly on multiple exciting projects, and this accelerates our learning and general working capabilities at a pace arguably unmatched by similar job roles in a static industry.
We're encouraged with self-betterment and continuous learning, and as such I took the Phnom Penh Crown FC project as a personal challenge and dedicated my spare time to creating a worthy rebrand for another football club. The disciplines and style I learned from the collective Mäd culture helped me launch Berwick Ranger's Community Foundation back in the UK, so that was a pretty immediate impact Mäd had for my personal life.
Frazer heads up our MarComms team and is our internal expert on advertising and marketing services. By working with Mäd, your brand can evolve through effective visibility, communications and intelligent market positioning. Visit our services page to learn more about the range of our work, or contact us directly to discuss your upcoming projects.
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