Hobnobbing with Nick Cooke: Director and co-founder of Goat Agency

posted by 3 years ago in Hobnobbing

How did the idea for the business come about?

Myself and my co-founders came from working brand side at Sportlobster. We raised huge amount of money and spent it on every marketing channel possible. What we learnt was that when we paid football fan pages with 100,000 engaged followers to promote an app it would drive more registrations than when our ambassadors like Cristiano Ronaldo shared the product to their 100s of millions of followers. As a result, we effectively built an in-house influencer outreach team and quickly had the biggest network of sport influencers in the world.

When was the company first established?

August 2015, by August 2016 we had 12 employees, and by August 2017 we had 40.

How is the business doing?

In year 3 our revenue will be between £12 and £18 million pounds, we are now comfortably the leading influencer marketing agency in Europe. We are a rare example of a business that has been genuinely profitable from day one, and we have experienced exponential growth without raising funds. From day one, our priority has been delivering value for clients, and maintaining existing clients relationships, while acquiring new business. We are now working with New Look, Formula E, Google, British Airways etc.

Since the company began, what has been the biggest challenge?

Our team is made up of talented, young individuals, with an average age of 24, many of whom have only recently finished their studies and have not worked in a formal workplace before. Our policy is to focus on people’s genuine understanding of the social media space rather than focus on their CV. With that, comes a serious of challenges in terms of training. Whilst most companies pay a fortune to create a fun, but hard-working office culture, ours is inherent through the young, ambitious individuals we hire. The key has been our company growth in that it inspires our staff to constantly strive for the many opportunities that present themselves.

What makes you stand out from your competitors?

Goat is the only agency able to guarantee results, in terms of metrics such as impressions, engagements, video views and clicks. This is possible due to our unique CRM system we have built which contains a deeper degree of performance campaign data. We also don’t own or manage any specific influencers, meaning we are able to be truly unbiased and focusing on hitting KPIs as our sole focus. Finally, we are able to run truly global campaigns which are multi-language, multi-territory, 7 figure budget campaigns.

What’s been your best business decision?

Taking the risk at the right times. Leaving Sportlobster was a tough decision, but Arron, Harry and I choosing to do this together and knowing that taking the leap in August 2015 was exactly the right time to do so. Arron, Harry and I bring completely different positive attributes to the table, but with clearly defined roles we have expanded this dynamic across the company. Overall having the confidence to take risks at the right time is what has allowed us to grow so quickly.

What is next for Goat?

We have just hired a Head of Esports, which we are really excited about. We have recently set up a talent arm of the business in which we manage social media and position high profile individuals with major influencers in order to deliver mass social growth and add commercial value. The big move in 2018 will be the establishment of our global offices, New York, Singapore and Berlin are likely to be initial choices.

If you could help one business now with a single piece of advice, what would it be?

Judge success by how much time you spend with your co-founder/s or business partners because it means your team are able to do their job, and you are able to make key game-changing decisions.

Finally, what is your favourite biscuit?

I eat at least one box of Fox’s extremely chocolatey biscuits a week… so definitely those!