IM+C, the agency led by Alberto Fernández, Founder and CEO
IM+C, the agency led by Alberto Fernández, Founder and CEO, incorporates talents into the team at a time of many transformations. Founded in London eight years ago as a strategic consultant for international media in the English market, it opened an office in Barcelona, with the aim of serving the market as a media agency specializing in developing and managing global and international campaigns. Today, IM+C is fully internationalized and has offices in Barcelona, Madrid, London, Miami and El Salvador and a network of partner agencies in the main markets of America, Europe and China. Alberto reveals how “a young talent can, from his point of view, contribute his work and ideas to companies”. The company adapts to changes in the work model, the role of brands and expectations for the future.
** Answer the following questions ** .
What is IM+C and what goals does it have for the coming years? .
IM+C is a unique independent agency, fully integrated and committed to sustainability that offers a boutique service with a different way of working, under the same roof or working remotely, all projects are developed by a magnificent group of people who contribute their knowledge from their specialties to bring the best solutions to our clients’ problems.
All this without ego struggles, returns or P&L, since there is only one income statement for all the clients and countries with which we work, this gives great independence to the teams that leads us to be able to offer better results.
For the next few years, my goal is to consolidate the way of working and, above all, that the brands understand the positive of working “truly” integrated and with social responsibility. We are from the new generation of companies with a purpose and we will continue to grow with these criteria.
What is the hardest thing about being an independent agency? .
In all positions there are good and bad things, from my experience working in several agencies, the “indies” have a more positive balance in many aspects. Transparency, trust, flexibility and a better level of service, more personalized and tailor-made, are the main qualities of indie agencies. The most difficult thing is that you don’t have the financial “lung” of the big groups, for example, if you want to open a new office in a strategic country, the journey is always long before making a profit or reaching the “break even” and some they can allow them and others we can’t always.
Also access to global clients is much more complex from an independent agency.
What are the values that a brand must have today to be successful with its consumers?
A brand must always understand who its consumer is now and in the future, understand them and adapt as soon as possible to their needs, because these are constantly changing and if a brand that is now in the “top of mind” of its consumer, fails to adapt , it will cease to be a reference brand for that consumer, that is what makes the world of marketing so complex, because consumers are individuals (social, but individuals) and do not change en bloc, which seems fine to a consumer now , trends, fashions and influences will lead you to other types of needs.
Obviously there are currently global trends, different for each “generation” of consumers, sustainability in a broad sense, climate change, transparency, technology, comfort, accessibility,…
. How has the company evolved with the pandemic?
Our company is relatively young, and the pandemic has helped us get to know each other better, align ourselves internally, and create processes that allow us to carry out the type of communication we have in mind for our clients.
We are creating a unique agency, fully integrated, sensitive to the environment and responsible for the issue of sustainability, with a different way of working. Since January 2021 we have doubled the workforce in all countries, and our turnover has grown by 150% in 2021 compared to 2020, thanks to our customers and their trust.
What is taking away from the expo. 2020 Dubai, without counting on the El Salvador pavilion prize?
For an advertising agency, the experience of conceptualization, design, audiovisual production, construction, and management of the entire pavilion for 6 months is something extraordinary, in the literal sense.
No pavilion at Expo 2020 (almost 200) or in previous expos was created or managed by a communication agency, hence the success of the El Salvador pavilion, understanding very well what the country wants to convey to the world, we were able to create an experience the only one that impacted hundreds of thousands of people who did not even know that the country existed.
• What has the Dubai World Expo award meant for IM+C?
Thanks to this project, awarded with a Gold for the interpretation of the theme, in the first presence of El Salvador in an Expo, we have been approached by several countries interested in being able to work together for the next Expo in Osaka in 2025.
We are preparing the best team of professionals so that our contribution to Expo 2025 is even better.
• Why is creativity so important in the agency’s work?
Creativity is important in all aspects of life, in business more, and in advertising agencies it is essential.
When our clients look for solutions, creativity always provides that plus that allows them to distinguish their products or services from the rest of their competitors.
• What projects are there in the short and long term?
Apart from Expo Osaka 2025, which is long-term but we are already working on it, we are preparing a great exceptional event in Central America and the Caribbean for next summer 2023, which we still cannot talk about due to confidentiality.
In addition to continuing to add value to our current clients, helping them find valuable technological solutions that allow them to grow their businesses and be more relevant in their communication to different targets.
• What sectors does the company cover and which ones do you want to promote?
We work for all kinds of sectors in different markets, although our international experience in dozens of countries for tourism/travel clients is remarkable.
• At what level is the company involved in society and the environment?
As previously indicated, IM+C is an agency deeply committed to sustainability and the environment, apart from the social policies that we apply to all staff, we are trying to apply the maximum of the SDGs, from sustainable mobility, ecological consumption and many more measures that will allow us to obtain BCorp certification in a very short period of time, as well as having launched the first green guide to advertising in Spanish to help agencies and production companies to be more responsible and take care of the planet.
What is the green guide?
It is a sustainability manifesto in the advertising profession, we have been working on it for months to help all companies measure and minimize the environmental impact in our campaign creation and content production processes. We also provide tools to offset emissions that cannot be avoided, very simple methods and tools to achieve zero emissions. To act with global responsibility professionally and personally.
How should the image of a CEO be before his agency?
Well, I think that as everyone would like, close, without arrogance, responsible in broad terms, innovative and brave.
Would you invest in new talent and entrepreneurs?
Of course we do, in fact, we help numerous entrepreneurs in their initial steps to help them build their companies, even before their friends or family trust their viability.
What is your opinion of Startups?
They are the ones that will move the economy of the future, the trades that do not exist will come from the hands of young entrepreneurs and visionaries, and not so young, who are designing the businesses that will come soon and adapting better to the needs of consumers, more technological , fast, conscious and changing.