Making the work life balance work
Agata Ziemianska and James Julian wanted out of the rat race that came with big city living. They were looking for a life where they could mix the great outdoors and still operate within their digital marketing field as they had both previously worked for leading advertising agencies in Auckland and Dublin. Fast forward 4 years and they’ve found themselves settled in Wanaka where they run a very successful digital marketing agency that works with both national and international clients. Being small, flexible and agile has meant they have seen impressive results for their clients and subsequently year on year growth for their business. I caught up with the pair to find out why they chose Wanaka.
What does NZDMI do?
NZDMI is a digital marketing agency, focused on data, advanced reporting and innovation. We’re an accredited Google Premier Partner and work with local, national and international businesses – and we’re lucky to be able to do that from Wanaka.
How long have you been involved with NZDMI in Wanaka and the wider digital advertising industry?
We’ve worked in digital advertising all of our professional lives. Before moving to Wanaka over 4 years ago, we worked in Dublin, Sydney and Auckland. NZDMI came to life shortly after our move to the South Island – we were driven to prove that smart thinking, extensive knowledge and access to industry experts are not limited to big cities. We now have a remarkable team, who can balance their work and personal life, while expending their digital marketing expertise. We believe that what we do now will become the standard of work in the future. With the digital cloud above us, more and more people will be able to work from a location of their choice and simply live happier lives – and that’s a win-win situation for employers and employees.
In your words how does NZDMI distinguish itself from other digital marketing agencies in NZ?
Our no-nonsense approach has resonated with our clients from the very beginning. We’re open and fully transparent, offering something many agencies have no confidence in standing by. We have challenged the traditional model of an advertising agency, where senior staff are disconnected from the actual work and rely on others to deliver the results. At NZDMI we all champion specific solutions, channels and tools, which means we always have a finger on the digital pulse. Our operational costs are also lower than those of Auckland or Christchurch based agencies so we pass those savings onto our clients.
We’ve recently been listed as a finalist in 3 categories of the inaugural Google Premier Partner Awards APAC – which is a great statement of our work being delivered to the highest of industry standards.
Is there a specific size a business needs to be before they can utilise your skills?
We don’t judge businesses based on their size, but on their drive to excel in the digital space. Online marketing is a vast space, offering unique, fully measurable solutions. Businesses must be ready to commit to a data-driven approach and open conversation. If we can agree on measurable objectives – we can match them with the right digital solutions.
What is the most rewarding part of your role with NZDMI?
Seeing our clients succeed never gets boring. All our work is deeply rooted in numbers, so it takes a committed team to take the data apart and use it to our clients’ benefit. Every business is different and so are our strategies. To see a custom solution we’ve created translating into better results always gives us a great buzz.
We are also very lucky to work for an industry so closely connected to technology. We get excited about new gadgets and see how the toys we all surround ourselves with impact what we do for work. A few years ago, it was almost unthinkable someone would shop using their mobile phone or answer a call using their watch!
What do you believe are key considerations for opening and successfully running a business in Wanaka?
Staffing is definitely something to consider if you’re planning to open a business. The lifestyle Wanaka has to offer helps in attracting the right people, but it also means it can take a lot longer to find the right candidate.
Outside of that, there are only benefits of setting up a business here. The airport is only an hour away – it often takes longer than that to get to Auckland CBD and the Crown Range is definitely nicer than Dominion Road! We have ultra-fast broadband, excellent local IT support, conference facilities and the most inspiring surroundings.
Have there been any learnings you could share to any new businesses wanting to potentially relocate or start up in Wanaka?
Have a plan and a budget – and stick to them. It’s easy to get sucked into the Wanaka bubble of a laidback lifestyle, but that comes after the hard work. Shop around for the services you need – you will be surprised how much Wanaka now has to offer and supporting local businesses goes a long way.
Best place to get coffee in Wanaka?
We’re not huge coffee drinkers, but we do love Florence’s Café and Foodstore – for their coffee and excellent selection of teas. You can also pick up the most amazing custard squares from Pembroke Patisserie there – the perfect Sunday treat!
Does Wanaka differ from other NZ regions for your line of work? If so, how so?
Wanaka has that relaxed feel to it – which can be sometimes deceiving. We all love our playground, but we also all work hard to be able to call this place home. The rewards of that hard work are so much better here than in any other place we ever lived or worked in. Where else could you have powder days incorporated to your company’s policy?!
What is Wanaka best kept secret?
When it gets really busy – it’s the secret parking spots many don’t know about. And the hidden little beaches, where you can escape the tourists.
Best advice for people moving to Wanaka?
Don’t plan to rely on others. People who moved here and succeeded all have one thing in common – DIY attitude. If you can make it on your own – you will be generously rewarded.
It’s 10am on a Sunday morning, where would we find you and what are you doing?
Walking our dog on one of the many beautiful tracks we have around here! In winter, it’s often Cardrona, with our favourite runs around Captain’s Basin and in summer it’s all about the beaches and MTB tracks.
Favourite time of year in Wanaka and why?
We love them all! Autumn for the beautiful colours and excuses to enjoy the outdoors.