How I Became: Ricardo Seixas, Founder and CEO, One Day Agency

Ricardo Seixas, founded One Day Agency in 2019.

Along with his 20 plus years of an international career across the digital space spanning four continents, Seixas has worked for consumer brands, tech companies, start-ups, software houses and marketing agencies, pioneering and leading digital and marketing projects for some of the largest brands and agencies in the world.

Over the past three years, the Manchester-headquartered advertising and marketing agency has significantly expanded with the addition of further offices in London and Philadelphia.

Named as one of Prolific North’s Independent Agencies to Watch for 2023 and a Top 50 Integrated Agency, One Day Agency won a large-scale multinational pitch with Jordan Tourism board at the end of last year to activate Jordan’s new “Kingdom of Time” out-of-home campaign across 10 European countries, including the UK.

In 2022, One Day Agency announced £3.5m turnover and moved into a new 2,000 sq ft HQ in Manchester City Centre. In what appears to be a busy time for the agency, Seixas shares his career journey, tips and insights…

How did you first get into your industry?

I think my passion for this industry, the internet and tech started in 1994 at age 14 when I discovered I could talk to anyone in the world through the early days of dial-up and mIRC, the “Facebook Messenger” of the 90’s. I found the tech and human intersection fascinating. From there that passion never left and I hopped between projects, roles, industries, brands, agencies and even Continents but always within that vector. My first real job in this space was actually as a designer for a small website studio in Portugal around 2007 after my second university degree.

What do you love about your job?

As I grow with my company at a similarly shocking and unprepared fast pace, what I love about my job is evolving with it at the same rate. Today I will say it’s twofold. It’s seeing my colleagues, and my team, grow and develop with the environment I’ve built and my obsession for solving problems and doing great work for the people who trusted me. And winning. Love winning.

Who – or what – has inspired you in your career?

Two pivotal moments in my life and career inspired me to achieve more. One, highlighted above, was the access to people around the world at a very early age that absolutely expanded my views and forever changed everything. Interestingly, this was easy to achieve in 1994 because “online” people all shared the same interests and converged to the same platform so it is not comparable to today, it was a very unique experience that hardly can be repeated. Imagine your neighbours being from all parts of the world and everyone hanging out in one courtyard for the same reasons every single day for 10 years.

The second moment was when I moved from an engineering degree to communication design. The design degree, in a very demanding top-tier school, built on top of my analytical skills the ability to see the world through a completely different lens. Engineering teaches you solution A or B. Design fueled my inherent curiosity and creativity allowing me to see the whole spectrum of the alphabet. That intersection has leveraged me in every single role I’ve had throughout my career.

What are the biggest challenges about your job?

Not being able to idle. Idling allows the mental space to solve and tackle bigger pictures. To zoom out. This is typical for a fast-growing agency where there isn’t still middle management, a next step for One Day. Patience!

What skills have been the most crucial to you succeeding in your career so far?

Not necessarily a skill, or at least I don’t know how to classify it right now. What is and was crucial to all the successes in my career was to consistently have a self-aware two-year plan of the skills I needed to learn today to be ready for what would come two years later.

For example, I left the USA to join Google in the UK because Google offered me a job that involved managing big teams and I did not yet have that skill. And I knew that skill was needed when I would leave Google to be a “head of” somewhere else. And so on. The best way to succeed is to be ready ahead of time with experience and/or at least knowledge.

What was your first salary and what could someone getting into the industry expect to earn nowadays?

A career is an investment in yourself. I was never remunerated well because I never picked a job or profession based on income. And it never was a metric of success for me. I picked roles and companies that would give me the skills I needed to develop and grow. Today I head a successful company so I guess that finally paid off after… 25 years and six countries!!

What education or training would be most useful for someone looking to follow your career path?

There is a big problem in this space – technical people. Technical people are leading marketing and advertising, this is counterproductive and non-sensical at times. I am no critic of any education or path but the reality is that Meta’s Blueprints of Life, certifications of this, apprenticeship programs of that, and so on, are training people to be technical. Marketing and advertising is anything but technical. It’s about communication with people, consumers, and their behaviours.

For anyone looking to start in this space, it is really important to have very strong fundamentals of pure marketing and advertising. Furthermore, AI is taking over all technical skills so all that will be left soon is creativity and communication. Degrees in marketing, design, arts, humanities, marketing, etc. are all good foundations for this space. Then you learn skills on the job. The other way around won’t work because companies are not designed to train fundamentals.

What advice would you have for someone looking to follow your path?

Please, do yourself a favour: change jobs every two years religiously. Access to different clusters of information, skills, cultures, etc., is a massive multiplier for personal and career growth. Massive. It’s also, the fastest way to increase wealth. My hot take? WFH will not allow any of the above.

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