Intentional MD Chris Fraser reveals why 2022 was the agency’s “best year”

Intentional - Chris Fraser

Fraser spoke to Mediaweek about stepping up as a leader and their key to new business success

Intentional was founded in 2011 and focused on Google Ads. Chris Fraser joined the specialist digital advertising agency in 2015 as a partner and launched its paid social arm.


The independent agency has continued to grow and add channel experts across all paid digital advertising, always remaining a paid specialist.


Managing director Fraser spoke to Mediaweek about stepping up as a leader, their key to new business success, and why 2022 was their “best year”.
Fraser joined the agency in 2015 and launched the agency’s Paid Social arm. “We’ve continued to add channel experts across all paid digital advertising, always remaining a paid specialist,” he said.

Stepping up to the leadership plate at Intentional


Following the departure of the founder, who exited the business in 2021, Fraser took the helm in 2022.
“This has shifted my focus towards leadership, development of our people, implementing a lot of leadership and development activities, mental health programs, bringing in employee assistance programs, overall agency growth, partnerships with other agencies, talking with clients CEOs and so on,” he said.
Fraser explained that for him, it means he spends less time on campaigns.
“The fact that our clients, and we as an agency, had the best performing year was humbling, considering it was the year I had the least to do with daily campaign management,” he added.
In terms of Intentional’s specialisation, Fraser said: “Our best clients are those who are intentional too. Our name as an agency does mean something.
“What we find is intentional clients are brands that are truly unique, growing and solve a problem,” he added, noting that many of their clients stem from fashion and design, sports and outdoor, and tech with a lean towards eCommerce.
Fraser highlighted their focus on creative-led digital advertising.
“I’m a big fan of the work of Binet & Fields; I always recommend marketers to read The Long & Short of It. With so many self-proclaimed experts in Media, we’re blessed to have a solid piece of research to at least test and learn from,” he said.
“We do our own testing on the back of their model, so are not religious on the 60/40 split of Awareness & Direct Response.
“For us working with clients of different sizes and budgets, we don’t keep strictly 60/40, but a non-negotiable is there needs to be a level of Audience building in working with us,” he added.

Foundation clients and recent client wins


Fraser noted that Intentional was lucky enough to continue its relationship with its very first client, Albumworks, and Thankyou since the start of the company.


“We’re incredibly proud our average client tenure is three years; it’s an internal KPI we track,” he said.


“We learned a key ingredient to our success is deliberately maintaining a smaller client base with deep engagements; we’re definitely not in the churn and burn,” he noted.


The agency’s recent client win has been fashion brand Venroy, a deal they closed back in late 2022.


“Together, we delivered their best results in back-to-back months after onboarding for November; this was all without having any discounts during the Black Friday or Christmas period.


Fraser added: “Plus, with our foundation client Thankyou, we ran our first digital out-of-home campaigns, which was a big milestone.


“We’ve always spoken about digital media starting to take over and blend in with traditional, and to see that come about last year was really exciting.”

Intentional - logoWhy 2022 was Intentional’s best year ever

Fraser proudly called 2022 the agency’s “best year” and noted that it was the result of restructuring.
“We changed our team structure to ensure every client had a dedicated strategist and client success manager, supported by our advertising specialists.
“It essentially means every client has a team of five experts working on growing their business, and we’re seeing the return for our clients,” he said.
“With a heavy mix of eCommerce that, in general, slowed during 2022, we saw most of our clients enjoy 20%+ growth, even after the hyper-growth of 2020 to 2021,” Fraser added.

Exciting offerings in the year ahead


Fraser shared that Intentional is excited to offer Creative services in 2023, noting that they will be able to develop, edit and put into market their own ads.


“While we’ve always been involved in the creative process with our clients, helping to write the briefs and detailed reporting on creative insights, we can now offer that blend of Media & Creative together.


“Plus, the digitisation of traditional media is hugely exciting; we’re bullish on the integration of Programmatic channels into our clients’ media mix,” he said.


Fraser noted that through partners like StackAdapt, Intentional can utilise an “incredible suite of channels and inventory that is creative and audience-led; rather than just purely technical.”


“The Catch-Up TV and Digital OOH space is ripe for a creative disruption taking the learnings of what’s worked best on digital channels and testing their impact,” he added.


On joining the IMAA


Intentional joined the IMAA in 2022, and for the agency, being part of the industry body has been a positive experience – not just for the company but its staff.


Fraser noted that having access to resources and training and being part of a wider network is a valuable part of their membership.


“As an indie agency, often it can be a lonely experience as a single entity with a small team,” he said.


“But we are really looking forward to making ourselves part of a bigger team and attending more in-person events this year as well,” Fraser added.

Top image: Chris Fraser


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