A Week in My Life: Farhad Divecha, UK Managing Director of AccuraCast
Farhad Divecha is the Founder and Managing Director of AccuraCast, a multilingual digital marketing agency that has powered online campaigns for some of the biggest global brands over the past 15 years.
His clients include PwC, Penguin Random House, American Golf, and UFC. Today, Farhad takes us through a week in his working life...
My morning starts between 7:00am and 7:30am. My first call of action is making sure my older two sons are awake and ready to make their way to school. As my older two children finish getting ready, my younger two start waking up and make their way down to breakfast. Nothing starts the week off better than frantically rushing to get four kids dressed sensibly and to school on time!
Once I have taken a minute to breathe, it’s usually time to make my way to the office. My relatively short, 30-minute commute is typically spent catching up on industry news, I usually check LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Discover, Emails and sometimes Facebook. My feeds normally consist of news about AI and the search industry. On this day, however, I spent the first part of the morning working from home as I had a meeting in King’s Cross with a new client we have just got on board.
Once the new client meeting was done, I head down to Facebook’s London HQ for the rest of the afternoon for our quarterly bench marking review, it was all good news as our accounts have grown over 100%, which is amazing! We had lunch at Facebook, catered by Dishoom – if you haven't tried it, I strongly recommend you do – and to top it off, our rep took me to the Candy Wall, beyond which point I can’t remember much since the resulting sugar rush had me delirious!
Starting the morning off catching up with the business growth team allows me to share the good news from Facebook and discuss strategy and progress with potential clients. Shortly after, I had a 9-month review with one member of my staff, we discussed her progress and areas in which she felt she needed more training. At AccuraCast, each member of staff has an allocated training budget that they can use towards external courses and qualifications that they feel will help them improve productivity and learn new skills.
In the afternoon, I had a sprint review and retrospective with our Head of Tech and the external development team who work on our Unyte AI tool (This is our proprietary cross-platform campaign management AI that allows our experts to intelligently automate budget management, bid strategies, and targeting for multiple platforms such as Facebook and Google Search in one place). The excitement – and the pressure on the dev team – is mounting, since we currently use this best-in-class AI with our clients only, but they’re working on the public beta, which should be available to a wider pool of marketers from September.
I started my morning off with a conference call with a major pharmaceutical company to discuss AI solutions for their marketing strategy. All in all, this went very well, and we had a lot of interesting options for them. This was then followed by a discussion with a client about the official Facebook Marketing Consultants technical services we offer.
As an FMC (Facebook Marketing Consultant – we were one of the first 10 in the world) we help brands to set up the technical aspects of Facebook marketing correctly, so they can measure and optimise their campaign performance. Our clients also receive select opportunities, such as advertising credit etc. via the FMC programme.
Later that afternoon, we host an event in central London which covered how AI, marketing automation, creativity and tech combine to create compelling brand experiences. I spoke about the case for AI with marketing, and practical ways businesses can start using AI to improve their marketing effectiveness. It was a great turnout and so encouraging to see brands sharing and learning about AI.
No rest for the wicked! Hardly a day after our big AI event, we were already planning the next one... this one will focus on sports marketing which will be held at Lord’s Cricket Ground on 3rd October.
I round off the morning covering our weekly client campaign review with the operations team. This meeting is held once a week to update the team on any changes, or news, and gives us the chance to tackle any issues collectively.
That afternoon began with a Q4 pan-European marketing campaign planning discussion with our client CCV. This was followed by a briefing on the sports marketing insights whitepaper, which covers online multichannel strategies for sports brands – the whitepaper outlines the four most popular acquisition activities in the sports industry, linking them to the marketing channels most likely to help your brand get that conversion. We do a lot of work with major sports brands, and this knowledge-sharing exercise feels long overdue.
That evening, I began teaching my eldest son how to use Photoshop. (The plan is to make him see ways to use his creativity for actually productive purposes rather than trying to become a “YouTuber” or selling designed e-shirts to his clan on Roblox!) I am proud to say he is picking it up pretty well.
It’s the end of the working week, and I honestly can say it’s flown by! I kicked off my day with a catch-up call I was asked to join in by our Head of Digital, to discuss expansion strategies for our client Online Golf. During the call, we discussed the attribution models and ways we can rapidly scale traffic now that we've reached their ROI targets.
Then it was time to learn something new, We have a weekly knowledge-sharing session with the entire team (which has been cleverly named AccuraTalks by Ed). Every Friday, one of my team present a new discovery or interesting marketing advancement that we should consider using for either ourselves and/or our clients. Some of the topics we’ve covered include Instagram donations, Reddit as a marketing medium, and how marketing in China differs from the western world.
This week’s talk, delivered by Stefano, was about Deep Web Marketing. I learnt that the deep web makes up an estimated 90% of the internet. It goes without saying that such a vast and virtually unexplored part of the web could be exploited for advertising purposes, but the medium doesn’t really lend itself for that purpose. Some interesting questions arose: is there a chance to use the deep web for a fruitful marketing campaign? Does its perceived illegality clash with the “trust” a business has to build with its customers?