Category Archives: Around the Office

Around the Office: It’s Football Season!

Football season is officially underway, and our Akron office got into the spirit of the game today with a tailgate party! Homemade barbeque, dip, desserts and more kept everyone pumped up for the first Cleveland Browns home game this Sunday.

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Go team!

An American Tale

I recently landed back in the UK after my three week work exchange programme placement in Akron, Ohio. My initial reasons for picking Akron revolved around becoming familiar with the Data Management Platform (DMP) and seeing clients and useful contacts in the area. I had no thoughts or expectations on what Akron would actually be like. Some might say that this was naïve…I like to think I was just being adventurous. I did a little research after realising that I was going on the trip, Wikipedia informing me that it was the home of Goodyear, Chrissie Hynde and LeBron James but other than that I had no idea what to expect. Let the adventure begin, I thought!

I don’t know quite what I was expecting in terms of climate, but I certainly wasn’t prepared for it being so warm and sunny. My first week in the office went by in a flash of sunburn and salad. I had some great ‘Icebreaker’ sessions and learning lunches with the team, then spent my first weekend seeing the sights of Akron and going for an 11 mile run around the tow path in the valley. Not only was it hot in Akron but I also quickly came to find out how hilly it was!

During the trip I experienced many American Firsts. I tried my first s’more, drove (a golf cart) for the first time, watched my first ‘football’ game and went to a proper American ‘mall’. I also got to go and see The Black Keys in their home concert in Cleveland, which made the trip for me on its own.

In reference to the driving being a first – I’m not a driver. I’ve never even had a driving lesson, so driving a golf cart felt like a big deal. Not being a driver turned out to be quite an issue living in Akron, as the town is quite spread out and everyone drives. Within the first couple of days of me arriving, the team had organised a Taxi service to drive me to and from the office from my hotel. This worked out OK for a while, but as the week went on the driver got later and later to his allotted pick up time, he also started to get lost on the way to the office, which was confusing to me as I thought he was a local. Needless to say, the taxi man lost our business and the lovely office team took it in turns to drop me off and pick me up from then on. Note to self – if going to somewhere in the US that doesn’t have public transport – learn to drive!

One of the keys things I took away from my trip was the relationships I was able to build with the team. I could not have felt more welcome from day one in the office, everyone was so friendly and generous and that was a constant during my whole stay. I felt like Princess Kate Middleton at times, and not just because everyone kept asking me if I see much of Price William or Harry, living in London (I look nothing like her by the way).

I really enjoyed getting to know all of the teams at the office. One of the key opportunities I had to do this was at cross fit training, which happens at the office three times a week. It’s a scheme started by Brian a couple of years back and it has had a big impact of many members of the team, not just in terms of bringing the teams together socially (and getting a bit of friendly competition going on) but in changing people’s entire lifestyles. I’m actually really going to miss those cross fit sessions, as well as my daily chats to Melody about music on the journey to and from the office and my weekends with Bryce, Elizabeth (and their amazing dog Mowgley) swimming and drinking homemade margaritas.

Thank you so much to everyone that made my trip happen, you all made my experience very special and I’m eternally grateful. To anyone thinking of applying for the exchange programme – I cannot recommend it enough, and if you’re thinking of coming to the London office, I can promise you that we’ll show you all the best things that England has to offer, we might miss out on the taxis though, as they’re even worse in London!

IgnitionOne Hackathon!

So much to do, not enough time! Familiar to anyone?  Most likely.  So, what happens when you want to squeeze another project into the pipeline?  You want it to be innovative, you want to satisfy your clients’ needs, and you want it soon, real soon.  You do what any good team does, you find a way to get it done!  And that’s how the first IgnitionOne Hackathon in Atlanta was conceptualized. We are well integrated with our clients and knew what could create a positive value add for them, so we put them right to the top of the list.

A Hackathon: 5 developers. 2 days.  Could this be done?

As the weekend for the Hackathon neared, we finalized the projects and agreed on the requirements.  A bunch of other folks wanted to help out as much as they could, as we were anxious for our team’s success, so, we did what anyone does out of anxiety, we baked!  Apple pie, raspberry bars and samosas.  We headed to the office on the first day anticipating a stressed team. I hate to disappoint, but I don’t have a story of empty boxes of pizza, half eaten Chinese food cartons, unkempt hair and tired eyes.  Maybe that’s what you’d imagine when you’ve set big expectations for a small group of people in a boxed amount of time, but what we saw was quite the opposite.

Pictured: Craig Alexander, Brett Koenig, Mike Simpson, Vic Kirkpatrick, Mike Dugan, Dave Ragals, David Strube
Pictured: Craig Alexander, Brett Koenig, Mike Simpson, Vic Kirkpatrick, Mike Dugan, Dave Ragals, David Strube 

Developers huddled in a conference room or concentrated at their desk, nothing out of the ordinary. They were confident and clear on their objective.  When asked how they’re doing, they simply answered ‘We’re on track, here’s what we have so far’ and gave us a brief update.  But they didn’t need to speak about it; they could showcase their actual work. It was definitely progress! And I was eager to see how the concept would actualize into a product within a day.  And right on schedule the next day, they were prepared for a demo.  Not a work in progress, but near complete pieces of functionality that would change the way our clients use data from the DMS.

Grid Export was something we had on our wish list, and I was ready to see it.  One of the developers started the demo: Go to Media Management, filter your campaigns however you want them, click on Grid Export.  There you have it, a .csv of your campaign assets, complete with performance and engagement metrics.  Simple and fast!  I was impressed.

Then there was Web Query.  Essentially, web query functionality allows users to import data from a web interface into a spreadsheet.  For IgnitionOne users, this has to encompass account hierarchies and different levels of campaign assets available within the DMS per user permission settings.  To see a completed product that included all of this was exciting.  We downloaded the necessary add-in and completed set up of a normal spreadsheet.  Within a simple interface, we selected various levels of account assets (selected campaigns & groups).  All of it downloaded into separate tabs within the spreadsheet, mirroring the DMS.  We went through the steps again using a specific pre-defined filter within the DMS. And again, the Web Query feature was easy, quick and completely integrated within the DMS. The team had created more than a data pull down. There are so many ways our clients will benefit from this customized on demand data access tool. Whether they will use it to retrieve keywords for analysis, download ads to audit or create dashboards ready for presentation, this is another innovation that will simplify marketers’ day to day work.

At the end of 2 days, the challenge was more than met.  We have performance reports underway, we have Grid Export and we have Web Query.  Bounty well deserved for our developers and lessons learned for me.  When you create great features with clarity and confidence, they will speak for themselves.  You don’t need fancy words or comfort in food.  Though, I must say, the food was well appreciated!

Congratulations Mike Simpson, Mike Dugan, Craig Alexander, Vic Kickpatrick, Brett Koenig on setting a great example (and excitement) for hackathons at IgnitionOne.  And Donella Cohen, keep the Apple Pie coming!

IgnitionOne UK Makes the World Better with a Sweater!

The team at IgnitionOne London has joined the Woolly Revolution – participating in Christmas Jumper Day for Save the Children 2013.

As well as running part of the online advertising campaign for Save The Children through media agency Steak, the IgnitionOners wore their Christmas woollies with pride and donated £1 to make a difference to disadvantaged children’s lives this Christmas season.

To support Team IgnitionOne (and help get us on the Woolly Wonderboard), text IGNITION to 70050 (if you’re in the UK) and you’ll automatically donate £1 to the cause or find out how to run your own Christmas Jumper Day here. We’ll be sharing our silly Christmas jumper pictures below throughout the day.

Have a Woolly Good Day!

Christmas Jumper Day 7

Christmas Jumper Day 1

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Christmas Jumper Day 5

Christmas Jumper Day 6

savethechildren