Finding real leadership is tough.

We put in the hard work.

Executive Search by Martin Tripp Associates

Expert Knowledge

50+ years’ experience in media, information, technology and entertainment

Obsessive About Delivery

An unparalleled success rate, from an unmatched methodology.

Global Reach

Based in London, we have worked on leadership roles across five continents.

Our Approach

A methodology that ensures success, with a six month guarantee

In a few weeks, we build networks that might take others ten years to complete. On every search,  we will talk to over 100 people to fully map the market and identify the best possible candidates. And then we filter that insight through expert face-to-face interviewing. We are so confident of our process that we offer a six month guarantee on every placement.

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Our success rate in the last financial year
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Number of assignments our researchers work on at a time

ETHICAL, RELENTLESS, PASSIONATE, INFORMED

We always put our clients’ interests first, and work exclusively on each search. Once we are engaged on a role, we do not give up. We will only take on a client if we can share their passion. Our job is to keep on top of changes in the market so we can help our clients stay ahead of the curve.

We work across the media, information, technology, communications and entertainment industries. This means we can bring best practice from across sectors to your business.

Our history

James Dodd

James Dodd

Partner

James heads up the technology and entertainment practice within MTA. Before joining us, James ran operations for one of the UK's largest ticketing businesses, and had a varied career as actor, choreographer and recruiter. As well as recruiting senior technology roles across multiple industries, James looks after our clients in the e-commerce, video game, film and theatre sectors. James became a partner in April 2019.

james@trippassociates.co.uk

+44 20 7692 0530 • +44 7775 515 866

Martin Tripp

Martin Tripp

Managing Director

After more than a decade as a manager, writer, and analyst in the UK and Africa, Martin became a headhunter in 1996, and established Martin Tripp Associates in 2008. As well as recruiting across all disciplines in the media sector, Martin has worked with a wide range of non-media clients on senior e-commerce, digital, and communications positions.

martin@trippassociates.co.uk

+44 20 7692 0530 • +44 7961 100 389

Matt D’Cruz

Matt D’Cruz

Partner

Matt heads up the media and information practice at Martin Tripp Associates. As a former news editor, he has spent much of his career talking to senior executives across all industries. A founder member of Martin Tripp Associates, he has recruited across a huge range of roles, from heads of strategy, product or sales through to editors and audience development leads. Matt became a Partner in the firm in June 2016.

matt@trippassociates.co.uk

+44 20 7692 0530 • +44 7796 326 764

Latest from the Blog

Xbox Series X / S vs Playstation 5, value for money?

Console yourself

Sony and Microsoft have finally released their next generation consoles. With retailers selling out faster than they can put units on sale, the launches appear to represent success for all. But do they?

On the one hand, Sony and Microsoft have succeeded in bringing new hardware to market on time, and have garnered quite a lot of positive coverage in the press and social media. On the negative side, there are stories citing widespread hardware and software issues, exclusive titles are scarce if present at all, and the cost of new games to the consumer has skyrocketed. So, are early adopters getting value for money, or paying a premium for unfinished games and hardware? Let’s take a look.

Hardware

Let’s begin with a quick comparison between the three hardware components which are arguably going to make the most difference to gamers and developers. For now, we will just consider

Read More

What no-deal Brexit means when hiring overseas workers

Amer Zaman, an immigration solicitor, who spoke with Martin Tripp about the effects of a no-deal Brexit on hiring..

He’s Zaman.

Both the EU and the British government have said that a no-deal Brexit is now the “most likely outcome”. Should this come to pass, one of the many challenges that businesses will face is that of employing overseas staff.

For the last forty plus years, UK businesses have been able to employ staff from EU members states with little fuss. On January 1st, when the transition period expires, that is all likely to change unless a surprise last-minute deal is struck.

So what does this mean for business? I spoke to Amer Zaman, founder of immigration solicitors Cranbrook Legal, to try to get some clarity on the issue.

The first couple of points we discussed were actually faintly reassuring. Firstly, existing EU employees in the UK will not be affected by the change, as long as they have registered under the EU Settlement Scheme (though this has been far from perfect). Second,

Read More

The Gamification of Life and Commerce

Switching to new horizons

Like many facing the prospect of several weeks (so we thought) stuck at home, the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons seemed like the best-timed launch in the history of gaming. As James reported recently, gaming has fared exceptionally well these recent months. But Animal Crossing has distinguished itself as a cultural force. As lockdown went on and Zoom pub quizzes grew wearisome, Animal Crossing continued to be a place to reconnect with friends, but without the pressure of trying to find something new to talk about. Instead, visiting friends on their islands was a chance to do something fun with people again.

Since then, other games have grown in popularity. In particular, Among Us has become the rival for cultural dominance as the game that not only is everyone playing, but also talking about. I found the game through internet chatter and played just to understand what made it so worth talking about. While Animal Crossing became the new way to grab a coffee and relax with friends, Among Us became the new way to desperately lie to them in the name of fun (for those who have never played, the game is like a virtual version of Mafia, featuring blobby space people).

As we forged a sense of “new normality” over the summer, businesses restarted and began to re-strategize. As James discussed in his latest blog, some clear victors emerged, unsurprisingly, in e-commerce and online gaming. For more traditional retailers, the new strategy involved finding a way to pivot, often involving sharp transitions to ecommerce platforms, or else to piggy back on the victors of the lockdown economy.

The adaptability of Animal Crossing, in designing clothing, decorations, and the island itself, lends it to adaptability and use by a huge range of brands and causes. R/GA’s Head of Strategy Rachel Mercer has said Animal Crossing is such an ideal place for brands because of its clean and wholesome image. In the last nine months, product launches from banking to skincare, and fried chicken to designer clothing have found a place on the game.

Brands’ Animal Crossing islands offer in-game benefits, like custom makeup and clothing designs and high turnip prices, but others have even offered real life giveaways of face wash and discounts. For music fans, Gorillaz and Beck gave a virtual concert of “Valley of the Pagans,” from their new collaborative album, followed by an interview. And so while brands’ presence on the game is somewhat opportunistic invasion of the wholesome experience that Animal Crossing promises, there are benefits for the player to reap too.

Where collaborations with the game have been especially surprising are in the realm of politics. Most notably, Joe Biden launched his own island on Animal Crossing, with the goal of educating voters about his campaign and encouraging voter registration and turn out. Seemingly more successful, however, is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC)’s arrival on the gaming scene. She started by joining players on Animal Crossing, going to people’s islands with her own avatar. Then, closer to election day, AOC joined several prominent gamers on a Twitch stream to play a few rounds of Among Us. How AOC’s strategy has differed from Biden’s, and most brands’, is her personal touch. She herself is a recognizable face playing with the game’s community to interact and get closer to voters.

Forgoing potentially enormous profits in brand collaborations, Nintendo and Animal Crossing have made the bold inclusion of a selection of new rules in their latest update. Most notably included are bans on “politics,” “marketing,” and “financial benefit,” meaning an end to much of new political and brand activity on the game. For players like me, this move feels like a major decision from Nintendo, a major games company, to value, rather than monetize, player experience.

Digitisation is an unstoppable trend in every industry, with covid just accelerating a runaway train. A McKinsey survey has found that the digitisation of services and products has advanced by the equivalent of  three to four years in the past few months. That same McKinsey survey found that “the organizations that experimented with new digital technologies during the crisis, and among those that invested more capital expenditures in digital technology than their peers did, executives are twice as likely to report outsize revenue growth than executives at other companies.” Stuart Butterfield, CEO of Slack, has said in a recent statement, ‘the opportunities for digital transformation are expansive and wide-ranging. Businesses that do it well will drive engagement, achieve organisational agility, maintain alignment and empower teamwork across all disciplines and locations. They will have a competitive advantage in this new era of work.’

But because these changes are inevitable, there is all the more reason to be cautious and considerate with them, or at very least, balance social benefit with financial gain. We spoke, early in lockdown, about how museums and other cultural institutions have made the shift to digital, and digital game platforms. This has continued, with museums now embracing Minecraft to digitise museum learning experiences. Arguably, this change is one of many inevitable digitisations expedited by Covid, one that meets young learners on a platform they may enjoy more with the result of better learning outcomes. Digital platforms circumvent some of the barriers that might normally prevent visitors to museums, including time and geography. As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, digital transformation can be hugely positive.

With a new study from Oxford University finding a significant correlation between video game play and overall happiness – specifically on Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Plants Vs. Zombies – Nintendo’s decision feels especially important in these times. Rates of depression and anxiety are at all-time highs, and as benefactors and advocates of fun, video game companies stand to be natural allies to mental health causes. For a similarly worthy cause, Ukie, the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment, already demonstrates the value of video games, particularly with their recent #RaiseTheGame initiative to improve diversity and inclusion, involving every level of the industry, from students through to some of the most major companies in the industry. The underlying theme between them is to value the people, on both sides, of the video games community.

Like Nintendo, every company – from those with great success through to those facing the need for enormous transformation – must place their customers and community at the forefront. In business terms, this is the time to remember UX and CX, to find ways to help the customers who can then help you.

 

Eleanor Morum

eleanor@trippassociates.co.uk

Martin Tripp Associates is a London-based executive search consultancy. While we are best-known for our work across the mediainformationtechnologycommunications and entertainment sectors, we have also worked with some of the world’s biggest brands on challenging senior positions. Feel free to contact us to discuss any of the issues raised in this blog. 

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