IMA’s rise to success in Amsterdam

A worldwide reach of more than 10 billion consumers sounds like a figure most marketing agencies could only dream about. But this is exactly the number that influencer marketing experts IMA – and its network of more than 20,000 bloggers, vloggers, creatives and social media influencers – can connect with. Founded in 2010, the agency’s team of 70 digital experts has helped put the Amsterdam-based agency at the forefront of harnessing the power of international bloggers and influencers, and in the last few years it has helped international brands including Diesel, NIVEA, Tommy Hilfiger and Samsung reach target audiences with award-winning strategies and campaigns.

Emilie Tabor

Emilie Tabor

IMA founding partner and CMO Emilie Tabor clearly has an affinity with Amsterdam. In fact, she even sports a tattoo of the three crosses from the city's coat of arms on her right forearm. And she says that being based in Amsterdam has been instrumental to the firm’s meteoric rise. “Thanks to our location here in Amsterdam, and the ability to easily travel across Europe and the world, we have been able to build our network of more than 20,000 international influencers and run global campaigns for our clients,” Tabor explains. “Being based here has really helped: the city is a real international melting pot, plus there’s so many creative agencies in Amsterdam, as well the global headquarters of big international businesses.”

Amsterdam: the perfect place to attract top talent

Tabor and Raedts were honoured by Forbes in the 2017 Media 30 under 30 list, which represents Europe's leading young entrepreneurs and innovators. But Tabor says the firm’s success is as much down to IMA’s team of digital experts who develop its bespoke marketing campaigns for the clients and influencers they work with. She says that being able to attract top talent to come and live and work in Amsterdam has simplified the process of building an international team of marketing experts.

“We find that a lot of people want to live in Amsterdam, so we have managed to attract so much strong talent from all around the world,” Tabor says. “We have more than 17 nationalities working here now, who are able to speak all the local languages of the influencers that we work with. In fact, when we post a job opening we get amazing talent from all over the world applying who are already ready to move to Amsterdam.” IMA’s clients are also always happy to take the chance to visit the city for business meetings. “Our clients are based all around the world and they love coming to the city,” she adds. “They always come to us because they want to come and spend time in Amsterdam.”

A creative city perfect for collaboration

IMA was one of the first companies in the world to create its own digital platform to improve matchmaking between brands and influencers. Tabor says that this innovative approach to measuring results for its clients - as well IMA’s rapid expansion - was helped by the collaborative mentality of the startup scene in the city, and from being inspired by other established Amsterdam companies who paved the way for the city’s booming business economy.  “There’s such a startup mentality here, and a lot of startups that have become really big as well,” she explains. “The creative scene is also so strong. Collaborating here is very easy: there’s a lot of creative meet-ups, a lot of fun events being organised and we're always working closely with other agencies around Amsterdam.”

Prinsengracht Amsterdam CC 3.0 BY ariannesmidt via Wikicommons

IMA’s plan for the next few years includes opening up satellite office around the world, and continue to improve its digital platform. But despite the company’s continued expansion, Tabor says Amsterdam will always be IMA’s home. “The next step for us is opening up offices around the world. We are opening offices in New York, Dubai and Argentina for the other regions we work in, but this city will always be our base,” she says. "It’s an easy, fun and well organised place to live and work. The Dutch mentality is a no-nonsense mentality, hard-working, well organised, but still fun. Our motto is we will make it happen – that is an attitude that Dutch people always have, especially in this city. Maddie and I both lived all around the world, and there’s really no place like Amsterdam.”

Read more about Amsterdam's creative sector.