A Week in My Life: Marcus Orme, CEO, Medialab
Medialab Group is one of the fastest growing independent agencies in the UK.
As an award-winning partner for growth, Medialab delivers transformative outcomes for organisations by adopting a transparent, data-driven approach to strategy development, performance marketing, media optimisation and campaign attribution.
The agency's CEO, Marcus Orme, takes us through a week in his working life...
My working week starts with a 6.15am wakeup call. I have no need for an alarm clock as this usually comes in the form of my nine-year-old daughter launching herself onto the bed to let us know in no uncertain terms that the day has started. After a well-received hug, the day begins.
Breakfast starts with feeding our delinquent but wonderful boxer dog, Dotty who is a big part of the family. The kids are next and it’s my turn to be chef. My son reminds me that scrambled eggs don’t taste half as good as the bacon and egg sandwich from the weekend - I tend to agree!
Mondays are operational in more ways than one; my commute into London gives my wife and I 45 minutes to compare diaries and work out our movements for the week - who is back for kids bedtime, school events etc. Juggling work/life commitments is a challenge, but that’s life - and the rule of thumb is, and always will be, that it’s ‘Family First’ which is something I’ve always imparted onto my team.
Once in the office, the operational theme continues; I intentionally plan internal catch ups for a Monday as it sets me up for the week to then focus on other areas. We start at 9am with a Senior Team Meeting. I find this hugely valuable as it’s a chance to share the key headlines from the week before and what’s coming up, as well as run through the numbers, new hires and innovations. My contribution is usually a bit of bad banter to gee everyone up! Once done, I have a much-needed coffee (always a flat white) and head straight into my various one-to-ones, typically with our MD, COO and CFO before other key members of the team.
I scoff down a healthy but boring salad lunch (probably from Pret!) before heading off for a personal training session. I do this twice a week at lunch time - it’s a killer, but I need to do it for multiple reasons as it keeps my mind and body fit and also energises me for the rest of the day (usually…!). I return, red and sweaty much to the amusement of the team and check through emails while I cool off by a fan. I then have a call with the Chairman before heading out for a late afternoon coffee with a new senior hire! He’s great - an offer will surely be heading his way.
Back to the office and I get stuck into mapping out our approach to an exciting new business opportunity. Illegible writing on one of our whiteboards follows, which I’ll try and make sense of tomorrow!
I tend to put a shift in on a Monday - so a late finish ensues. I then walk to Marylebone, about 20 minutes from the office to get some time out. It’s a lovely walk and I always think what a fantastic city we work in.
A late, light dinner and I’m done!
I start at 5.45am today with a jog in the Chilterns with my dog Dotty. I come back feeling great. How I’d love to have her energy though!
We have a big pitch this week, so I’m straight into our war room to work with the team on the strategy. They always impress me with their ideas and enthusiasm.
Next, I have lunch with our new Commercial Director to welcome her to the team - another great addition and good fun to be around too. I’m a big fan of Caravan restaurant (my friend runs it which helps!)
The afternoon involves a three hour meeting with a new American client and their other partner agencies to discuss their new product launch. 23 people in a room is intense but it flows well and the client is happy! The other agencies also impress me – I have a really good feeling about the new product.
I don’t tend to do lunch and dinner out on the same day otherwise I undo all my hard work from the training session but tonight, a very enjoyable dinner follows with the client. Soho House Greek Street proves to be a great choice although it’s a late night... but that’s usually a good sign.
It’s my favourite day of the week as it’s the day I work from home. I love it because there are no distractions and I can get some clear thinking time and smash through projects. It allows me to put the family first. I take the kids to school which I really enjoy. I need to cherish these moments as at ages nine and 11, I suspect they won’t be as talkative in a couple of years’ time…
We have a board meeting tomorrow, so prepping for this takes up the full morning.
Before lunch, I go for a jog with Dotty – it’s only 30 mins, but again I come back feeling invigorated. A light lunch follows and I get stuck back into it.
The best way to round off my day is to get along to my son’s school cricket match – a real treat and I enjoy every minute. We then pick up my daughter from her after-school swim club and an early family dinner follows. Once I’ve put the kids to bed, I squeeze in another hour or so of work before my wife gets home.
She is greeted by a nice glass of red, I’ll have one too so as not to be anti-social… well, it is Wednesday!
An early start as my son has swim training 5.30am in the pool for his club! It’s a real commitment for everyone – I always want to support my kids with their activities, and we do, but the training times for competitive swimming are brutal! His enthusiasm, however, is all the motivation I need.
Our strategic board meeting takes up the whole day but it’s a belter and we get loads done. My brain is now frazzled so the only logical thing to do after a long day of deep thinking and discussion is to continue the conversation in the pub; The Crown & Sceptre is calling. Ever since I started this has always been a bedrock of creative thought and ideas - and good to teach the millennials a thing or two about old times!
I can’t deny that I’m feeling a bit dusty this morning, so I start the day with an extra strong coffee. It doesn’t do the trick!
At the office, I get stuck into our weekly Credit Control meeting and update from the FD. Knowing what’s coming in and going out of the business allows me to be in the loop. I have a ‘Board Buddy’ session with one of our rising stars in the organisation where we have a cuppa and a chat. I really enjoy these and love the fact that I’m always learning from the team - reverse mentoring at its best!
I’ve opted for another Pret salad for lunch. Given the options on our doorstep, I really need to broaden my horizons! My second training session of the week follows – it hurts a bit more this time… maybe that final beer on Thursday night wasn’t such a good idea.
I then come back to the office and do a monthly company presentation to the team. This involves everyone downing tools and grabbing some liquid refreshment while I provide an update on the performance of the business; how we’re doing that month and year to date budget, new business updates, pitches, team announcements etc.
It’s really important that the team know what’s happening across Medialab so they feel part of how we’re progressing. I’m able to announce that we’ve hit our target which means a reward for everyone – the destination to be announced! It’s a good end to a positive week.
And so to Friday evening and the weekend! Time with the family. I put the kids to bed which, when you don’t do it that often, is a real bonus. Then its date night with my wonderful wife who has an equally busy and full on week in her role as CRO of a legal tech startup firm. We always have lots to chat about over Friday Steak Night which we both cook. A porterhouse with a fantastic Amarone – one of life’s pleasures.
Shall I air the second bottle? Be rude not to – I think we’ve earned it.