30 Years of Monitor: An Interview with Our Founder
The Past, Present and Future of Monitor Creative
Monitor Creative was founded upon the principles of teamwork, collaboration, and imaginative thinking. Speaking to our founder, Moray Newberry; we asked him about the importance of building an effective team in a constantly evolving industry such as marketing.
“Looking back over three decades reminds me how important it is collaborating with people who have the same principles of teamwork and imaginative thinking. Teamwork has been our most valuable asset and collaborative working has greatly benefited our clients because we have always felt the desire to be a part of their team.”
The 1990s: Laying the Foundation
The first decade of Monitor consisted mainly of establishing the company as a ‘client first’ agency managing new product launches and supporting companies wishing to improve their marketing efforts. Values that we still follow as Moray Newberry moves into his new role of Chairman in our 30th year.
In 1994 email marketing became a widely available tool for mass communication, so we widened our design capabilities adding the benefits of this new communication tool by using digital communications as a new way of delivering creative solutions to the mass market.
With the invention of Google in 1998, marketing activities such as web design enabled us to create websites to act as ‘shop windows’ for our client’s products and services, by again widening our design and development skills which have become a primary focus of our clients. “One of our largest websites required the merging and re-designing of 17 individual sites into one and then promoting the new site across a variety of business sectors”, said Moray. We always focus on technology that supplies added solutions and benefits for our clients, rather than always adopting everything that’s new”.
The 2000s and 2010s: Innovation Takes Flight
The early 2000s began the second decade of Monitor Creative, a new century, and a new approach to marketing; with the launch of LinkedIn, Myspace, and Facebook all between 2002 and 2003. This started an era of social media, and quickly gave rise to content marketing as well as increasing the number of mobile users. In addition to social media, the invention of WordPress in 2003 allowed us to design and develop higher quality websites for our clients that “function as their shop window” Moray says.
After the invention of the iPhone in 2007, the use of mobile devices quickly expanded, and 2014 saw the number of internet users on mobile exceed that of PC users. Moray explained that “we started to see this change in our monthly reports and passed this information on to our clients”, he added “the mobile versions of sites needed to be just as good, if not better than the desktop versions, and this is something you can definitely see with our new website”
As the 2000s continued into our third decade, Moray focused on continuing to invest in the Monitor Team. The addition of our current creative director Cheryl McMillan in 2006 was followed by digital and design director Marcus Barretto in 2016. Moray highlighted that “there are current projects that even 5 years ago we would have had to pass up – but now we have excellent in-house experience”.
The 2020s: Adapting to Change and Looking Ahead
The launch of artificial intelligence has introduced another challenge, where people can now ask an AI program to develop a marketing strategy for them. Moray highlighted that “whilst exciting, it removes the personal touch of working with an agency. He added that “some companies using AI to generate artwork are seeing mistakes that a human just wouldn’t make!”
The Covid-19 pandemic was the most recent event through which Monitor Creative has adapted. In March 2020 we began working from home, and Moray explained, “remote working was one of the developments where we were right at the forefront. We jumped on Zoom and Microsoft teams almost immediately to remain in touch with our clients, and continued offering our services as if there was no interruption”. Explaining that he still sees great value in face-to-face meetings, which is why we’re now working hybrid.
As we celebrate our 30-year journey, it’s clear that adaptability has been the cornerstone of our longevity. Founder Moray Newberry’s reflections highlight the importance of innovation, flexibility, and commitment to teamwork and a client-first approach in an ever-changing marketing landscape. We plan to continue offering a wide range of creative solutions to our clients, helping them to achieve their specific marketing objectives with a dedicated team behind them. Here’s to another 30 years!