• Stefano Marrone’s agency won a huge project early on – he thought this was the start of something huge.
• However, no matter how much they leveraged this case study, the work they expected just did not materialise.
• Come along and find out more about Stefano’s favourite mistake, and what it taught him both professionally and personally.
When Stefano Marrone’s agency won a huge ad project, he thought it was the start of something huge for the business.
“Quite early on we had an above the line ad assigned to us, which for an agency of our size at the time was completely unheard of,” says the co-founder of Nucco. “We’d never had that opportunity before.”
“It was an amazing project, and we thought from then on more things like that were going to come our way.”
But no matter how well the work was received, or how much Nucco leveraged the case study, this simply did not happen.
They’d also hired more staff as they were expecting a bigger, busier pipeline.
“We’d hired people in the October for this big project, but by the February we didn’t know how we were going to pay their salaries,” he says. “We really had to buckle up. I think for a month or two, we didn’t even pay our own salaries.”
“It almost put us on our knees – we had to learn a lot about resilience.”
For Stefano, this prompted a bigger question. What processes did Nucco have in place for an opportunity of this size?
The answer: not a good one.
“We managed to deliver the project in the end, but we were fighting tooth and nail. There was no appropriate process in place for a project of that size – and we were not ready to tackle it.”
Stefano had gone ‘all in’ in the hope it would lead to a stream of big projects – but he realised that even if that had happened, they would not have been able to cope.
“The reality is, if we’d had four projects like this one at the same time, we wouldn’t have been able to handle them. We went from doing projects between £8-15k to one that was more than £100k, and it created this illusion that we’d made it.”
This is Stefano’s favourite mistake as the lessons he learned from it helped his agency to go on to win big projects and even bigger clients.
“We needed better protocols in place, especially when bigger stuff happened,” he says. “We realised we should stop trying to tackle big clients with a smaller-minded approach. We applied this and went on to win work with Google.”
This session is a great example of how agencies can get carried away at the thought of a big project, without stopping to check they can actually deliver in the first place.
Come along and hear more about Stefano’s favourite mistake – and what it taught him both personally and professionally.