Definitely Mabo: Tees team grows again

Mabo directors Lee Mableson, Craig Griffiths, James Lees, Robert Jackson and Dean Yates on the ‘Friends’ couch. Picture by Tom Banks
Tees Business Digital Media Pack

Mabo expansion includes impressive Friends-themed room as PPC specialists’ headcount climbs to 53

A thriving Teesside specialist digital marketing agency has marked an impressive year of growth with a key office expansion.

Award-winning Middlesbrough-based Mabo has spread its wings into another floor of office space at the heart of the refurbished Albert North development in central Middlesbrough.

The 5,000 square foot suite was officially unveiled to clients, staff and guests in November and takes the total floor space occupied by the successful pay-per-click agency to 11,000 square feet.

Mabo moved into 16-26 Albert Road in August 2018 with plans to increase staff from 25 to 40. That figure has now reached 53 and coupled with a 68 per cent year-on-year increase in business, said managing director Lee Mableson, it was the numbers that prompted the expansion.

“We moved in to the seventh floor in August 2018 but as we have grown over the past year, we took the decision to take out more space on the sixth floor too,” he said.

“This building was starting to get full, so the time was right to take another floor.

“We know a lot about the business we deliver, our teams work hard and perform well and we will keep growing as long as we keep serving our clients successfully. Our growth has never been set to target specific areas of our business – if we need to grow more in marketing, for example, we will. Or if we need to grow in sales, we will. It will naturally follow that our R&D team will expand then too.

“The move into new office space will both accommodate our current growth and give us the capacity to be able to grow.”

The new sixth-floor space has been designed with the help of Middlesbrough commercial interior design specialists Cocoon and Bauer. The idea was to create a flowing and relaxed workspace coupled with breakout areas for training and development and staff downtime rather than rows upon rows of desks.

The result is a trendy workspace – and one that has a slightly familiar vibe to it. One of the breakout areas has been designed to reflect a Friends theme, with the colours and layout of Monica and Rachel’s famous TV living room.

It’s a light-hearted mix with a chilled-out personality and one which is proving to be a talking point.

“We wanted to have a certain focus to the space, an engaging focus for staff. Work takes up such a big part of your life and it’s wrong that people don’t enjoy their work environment,” said Lee.

“Most people are familiar with the Friends’ front room – some people will say it’s a bit cheesy, but it’s just a breakout area. The reactions we have been getting have been quite good and that’s what we wanted.”

Lee formed Mabo in 2013. The company works with more than 350 clients around the country, offering a no-strings, contract-free approach to paid search management services.

High-profile brands on the client list include New Era Caps, Boomf and JT Atkinson and names Teessiders will be more than familiar with – fashion brand Psyche, health and fitness company Bannatyne Group, as well as businesses including Select.

Mabo has also given permanent full-time employment to two apprentices, who had originally joined the business in 2017, and is working with local education providers to create more career opportunities.

Several awards have also come with Mabo’s success. The hard-working agency was named best small PPC agency in the European Search Awards in 2018, something it is rightly proud of.

This year has seen it once again nominated for a raft of high-profile awards including categories at the UK Search Awards and the European Search Awards where several Mabo campaigns have been recognised.

Interestingly, the firm has also received no fewer than nine nominations in the Drum Recommends Digital Awards 2019 – each the result of being put forward by clients.

Mabo is recognised by Google as one of the UK’s Premier Partners, as well as being one of the first recruits to Bing’s partner programme.

The company’s new office development was officially unveiled to staff and guests – including Middlesbrough mayor Andy Preston, Cocoon and Bauer’s Peter Turner and Mark Hill from Albert North property developer Jomast – in November.

No second gear here – seems it’s Mabo’s day, their week, their month… and even their year.


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