10 Questions and Answers About Our 4.5 Day Work Week

10 Questions and Answers About Our 4.5 Day Work Week

In 2022 we took the bold move to introduce a 4.5 day work week and we’re often asked about how the change has worked. So we’ve answered the top 10 questions we’re always asked in his handy FAQ guide. Useful for those considering a similar scheme. 

1) What motivated you to try a reduced working hours week?

Strange was founded 23 years ago, back when there were only a handful of specialist digital agencies and over the years we’ve always tried hard to be innovative with our work in digital marketing and web development. We’ve always been innovative with many of the employee benefits our team enjoys as we always want the best and brightest working for us.  This scheme is just an evolution of these benefits and feedback so far has, not surprisingly, been great.

 2) Are people paid the same for working 4.5 days as they are for 5 days?

Yes absolutely. No changes to basic terms of employment have been made and of course salaries are not adjusted downwards. The main objective of this benefit is help make Strange the best agency to work for, not to reduce our operating costs.

 3) How are the employment contracts handled?

Our employment contracts still stipulate a 37.5 hrs work week,  so essentially we have just informally decided to allow staff to have 3.75 hrs (½ day) off per week paid at their normal salary rate. As the scheme has been communicated as a trial, we are able to extend the trial as necessary. 

 4) Are people more productive?

Productivity is certainly one measure that we monitor, but for us it’s been more important to make sure we continue to meet all our campaign deadlines and project launch dates. We haven’t seen a significant increase or decrease in productivity and it hasn’t led to people working longer hours during the rest of the week to compensate. 

 5) Do people work later on the days they do work?

We haven’t seen this. As an agency, we’ve never been about how many hours you put in and we actively encourage a good work life balance. From internal data the percentage of people working some extra hours a few times in a month has remained consistent. 

 6) What about client deadlines? How are they managed?

We’re really client focused and client commitments are at the centre of all our planning so we’ve been able to manage delivery of work relatively easily. We meet daily as a team to make sure we deliver on our commitments. And of course our team is good at what we do,  so we naturally make sure we get the work done. 

 We’ve got some simple rules in place to make sure deadlines are met and we’ve been encouraged that people self-regulate their hours very well.  And when it’s needed, people are happy to work a regular week when they need to. 

Perhaps surprisingly,  some of the team rarely use the benefit and prefer to work all week. So on average approximately 30% of team work the full week. 

7) What are the basic rules of your scheme?

We’ve implemented some simple and easy to follow rules to make sure our clients’ work is never impacted and that the benefit is fair to all people. 

 These ground rules were implemented at the start of the trial and they’re worked out pretty well.

  • The half day isn’t treated as annual leave. Unlike annual leave, half days aren’t something that can be bought or sold, accrued or paid out like annual leave.  
  • Half days shouldn’t be used to lengthen another booked holiday – either at the start or the end. This is particularly important if people are travelling long distances, going abroad etc.
  • Half days can only be taken during a full week of work. So for example if there is a bank holiday, then the half day can’t be taken.
  • Half days get booked and approved via the normal holiday booking system which everyone can access and to see who is working when.  This keeps the process simple and helps ensure there is always an appropriate level of coverage within teams.  

 8) Are people more happy?

On the whole people are more happy than before the scheme was introduced. We measure several factors to help gauge the welfare and wellbeing of the team as part of the annual review cycle and it’s been interesting to see how some of these scores have changed over the year

We’ve seen positive improvements for the following areas;

  • How likely are you to recommend Strange as an employer 
  • How happy are you in your role
  • How stressed do you feel about your work 

Interestingly, and perhaps a factor of some shorter weeks,  we’ve seen flat scores for;

  • Work life balance
  • How often do you work outside of the business day 

9) What are some of the other benefits of the scheme?

With this benefit allowing for an extra 20 or so days paid holidays over the year, it has allowed people to really maximise the benefit of the normal holiday allowance and to take full advantage of the other holiday benefits we have. It’s allowed more people to sell back unused holidays or roll over unused holidays to the next year. 

This has allowed people to use their annual leave for… well… annual leave…  and not have much of it taken up with the more mundain things that seem to eat away at our leisure time these days. 

10) Would you consider going to a 4 day week?

We’ve thought about it, but we’re not sure we’re ready to go that far. We think we’ve got the balance just right at the moment. 

Feedback on our benefits package is very good. We operate a predominantly work from home environment with occasional days in the office to suit, people can choose their start and end times each day, we’ve got a very generous holiday programme with additional paid holiday for things like volunteering. We’ve even got a work from home bonus that helps fund utility charges to help soften the increase in living costs.

But we always keep these things under review and will always make decisions based on what’s right for our clients and at the same time try to balance that with what helps our team.

If you’d like any further details of our scheme, or you’re considering options for your next agency,  please do get in touch. 


Google’s Travel Goals for Performance Max

Google’s Travel Goals for Performance Max

As we move further and further away from the Covid-19 pandemic, demand for travel continues to increase. To help capture this increased demand, Google has introduced Performance Max for travel goals. 

If you are unaware about Performance Max, you can read our previous blog here. To summarise, it is a new goal-based campaign that uses multiple channels in order to drive conversions. 

Performance Max for travel goals allows hotel advertisers to run ads across Search, Display, Video, Discover, Maps and Gmail. You only need to link your hotel centre account, select your budget and create your own asset groups. Powerful headlines and descriptions will even be suggested to you. Then, Google’s powerful AI will automatically choose the best channels, placements and ad copy in order to produce conversions.

Up to 100 hotels can be selected in a single campaign, all with different images, ad copy and locations. You will then be able to see which individual hotels are performing the best within the campaign. 

Google says that on average, using Performance Max for travel goals, hotel advertisers receive an 18% increase in conversions and a similar cost per conversion. 

Overall, Performance Max for travel goals is a powerful new tool that simplifies the ad creation process and allows you to reach multiple channels easily. 

Microsoft Ads UET Tag Update

Microsoft Ads UET Tag Update

In May, Microsoft Ads launched a significant update to its Universal Event Tracking Tag (UET Tag).

The UET Tag has always been a fundamental part of conversion tracking, audience building for remarketing and automated bidding strategies. The latest update from Microsoft Ads takes this one step further by allowing advertisers to better understand user engagement on their websites. This new data will provide valuable insights to ultimately help improve ad targeting.

New Features

All hosted in a robust website dashboard, the new data available includes:

  • Total visits to your website and number of visits per page
  • Session breakdown by country and device
  • Quick backs (customers who stay on your website for just a few seconds)
  • Time spent on your website

Designed to help advertisers better meet their business needs, drive more traffic and conversions, this new feature will be automatically enabled in Microsoft Ads accounts from the 3rd July 2023. This seamless upgrade requires no coding, with all existing UET Tags being migrated and new Tags automatically enrolled.

To find out more, you can read the full update from Microsoft Ads here

3 New Google Discovery Ad Features To Help You Bolster Engagement & Conversions

3 New Google Discovery Ad Features To Help You Bolster Engagement & Conversions

Initially launched in 2019, Google Discovery ads were designed to provide advertisers with highly engaging ads that raise awareness and help capture demand when users are most likely to buy.

In March 2023, Google announced the latest improvements to Discovery ads to help brands stand out on their most engaging ad platforms, such as YouTube, Discover (Google app-based advertising), and Gmail. 

Here’s how Google is making it easier to get your products in front of your customers when they’re ready to make a decision. 

  1. Spark audience interest with product feeds 

Discovery ads can now leverage various product feed layouts, such as carousels, square, and portrait, to help create meaningful and impactful ads. With this feature, advertisers can deliver more relevant ads to their audiences based on their interests and intent. 

According to Google, adding product feeds to Discovery ads can allow you to achieve 45% more conversions at a similar CPA, when using sales or lead gen goals. Additionally, when paired with video action campaigns, you can generate deeper levels of consideration and engagement with your audience who are exploring content on YouTube. 

2. Turn data into results with better reporting and measurement

Launched at the end of March, product-level reporting allows advertisers to track the performance of their Google Merchant Center catalog items based on metrics, such as impressions or clicks. 

This is important to note as it means retailers who promote a diverse array of products will be able to identify which types of products are generating more interest and consequently take relevant business-related actions to improve performance.

 Additionally, starting in Q2, Discovery ads will be able to utilise more accurate understanding of their campaign performance within the Google ecosystem through data-driven attribution (DDA). DDA will credit conversions based on how users interact with your ads, and can identify which campaigns have the most significant impact on your business goals, using your account data. Pairing these insights with automated bidding strategies, such as max conversions, can lead to even more conversions.

  1. Conversion lift experiments 

Introduced last year, conversion lift experiments is a recent Google measurement solution that allows advertisers to measure the incremental conversions based on users or geography.  

For advertisers who are running both Discovery ads and video action campaigns, you can use Conversion Lift based on geography to measure their impact together and accurately assess the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Why is this important?

Today’s consumers shop across multiple different online touch points; more than half of which use YouTube, Discover, and Gmail alongside alternative platforms when conducting product or brand research. According to Google, 91% of consumers take action directly after discovering new information, therefore, it’s important for advertisers to capture audiences in moments when they are ready to make a decision. 

Google’s new tools can help optimise your ad campaigns more effectively. Utilising product-level reporting allows advertisers to identify which products are driving the most interest and then take appropriate action. Data-driven attribution helps to accurately measure the impact of campaigns on business objectives, while Conversion Lift experiments provide insights into the incremental conversions generated by campaigns.


Attraction Marketing Using Google

Attraction Marketing Using Google

Digital Marketing:

Attraction marketing using Google 


Brunel’s SS Great Britain

Brunel’s SS Great Britain is Bristol’s number one visitor attraction and a top 10 UK museum (TripAdvisor 2022). It is home to the world’s first great ocean liner, the SS Great Britain, the Being Brunel museum, and the Brunel Institute, which houses one of the world’s finest maritime and Brunel collections. The charity that manages and maintains Brunel’s SS Great Britain and collections is the SS Great Britain Trust.

SS Great Britain Trust

The SS Great Britain Trust is the charity that runs Brunel’s SS Great Britain and the Brunel Institute, caring for the SS Great Britain on behalf of the nation along with collections comprising 70,000 objects and artefacts in the two museums and the archives. The charity runs community engagement programmes and specialist education programmes that inspire future generations of engineers, helping to address inequality and barriers into engineering and STEM careers.


Brunel’s SS Great Britain originally came to Strange to fix their struggles with deploying their Google Ads Grant budget and effectively acquiring ticket transactions from their digital marketing activity.


    The first step to increasing budget deployment was to do an account-wide audit looking for opportunities to increase spend. From this, we found that the current account structure was inefficient and so we developed a more granular campaign structure. We extensively researched new keywords and added generic terms that we knew worked well due to previous experience advertising attractions. We also added a new campaign using keywords relevant to products being sold in their online store, allowing us to provide further reach and a secondary revenue stream.

    At the same time, we rebuilt all conversion tracking in order to accurately record the effects of the increased spend. Crucially, the new conversions included how much each ticket transaction was worth – allowing Google’s machine learning to optimise towards bidding for users likely to buy more tickets. 

    After our actions in the Grant account led to such a strong performance, we launched paid activity. Despite Google Grant providing a $10,000 budget for free, they cannot appear above paid ads or spend over $2.00 on a keyword bid. Having set the Grant campaigns up first, we had the best keyword research available and knew exactly which keywords to bid on. Furthermore, paid and Grant accounts can never compete against one another, so if the paid account has used up its budget for the day or there is a keyword we don’t want to bid real money on – the Grant account can still serve ads. 

    The other advantage of using a paid account is the ability to create display campaigns. We used prospecting campaigns that targeted people similar to those who had searched for our most valuable keywords and remarketing campaigns that targeted people who had previously visited the website but had not purchased a ticket.


    We were able to deliver significant performance improvements from month 1 of our engagement including;

    • 48.5% increase in Grant spend YoY.
    • 50% increase in Grant ticket transactions in peak trading period.
    • Significant improvements in the Paid Account perfomance with the ROAS achieving 11+.




      Increase in Grant Ticket Sales


      Increase in Grant Deployment


      Paid account ROAS


      The team at Strange are excellent. They’ve worked hard to understand our challenges and rework our Google Grant and PPC accounts to deliver much improved performance, plan an awareness strategy that’s helped us reach new markets and consult with us on our social marketing strategy.  They’re a trusted extension to the team and their broader travel and tourism marketing knowledge is great to have.

      Noah Burrows 
      Digital Operations and Content Manager, SS Great Britain  

      4 reasons you need a content series as part of your Travel Marketing strategy

      4 reasons you need a content series as part of your Travel Marketing strategy

      A content series is a sequence of related content around a key topic; each piece is a digestible chunk of information that can stand on its own, but also adds to the overall story. Publishing a content series allows you to provide information in a consistent and creative way, and helps to build an audience interested in your particular niche. An effective content series is important for your travel marketing strategy because it adds to the overall story your company is trying to tell while maintaining audience interest, streamlining your content creation process, building credibility, and boosting SEO efforts.

      Maintains your audience’s interest

      Content series are a great way to sustain audience interest and engagement for the content you are producing. This means it is vital your first instalment of the content series is captivating, establishes credibility, and engages the audience to ensure they continue to return to your page for the next part.

      So, how would this work in your travel marketing strategy? One way you may want to utilise a content series to maintain audience interest is to create a course of blog posts about specific locations within a country. For example, instead of creating a combined list of the ‘Top 5 Cities In Spain’, you could share travel insights in five bite-sized segments to make the content more digestible for your audience and to provoke a sense of anticipation for more information about popular destinations within a country. 

      Streamlines your content creation process

      Producing, editing, and managing one-off pieces of content can be a time consuming process. However, utilising content series can optimise and streamline your content creation process, making more efficient use of your time and energy. 

      Using content series in your marketing strategy allows you to re-purpose the same core content, format, and creative processes to create a sequence of engaging travel content. Not only does this make your content creation process more efficient, but it also ensures that you are regularly posting high-quality content to maintain engagement with your audience.

      Builds trust & credibility

      Regardless of if your content series contributes to a particular topic or adds to a broader conversation, it can help prove your company’s expertise and credibility within the travel and tourism industry. This is because incorporating a content series into your marketing strategy means you are regularly showing up on your audience’s feed, and people tend to search for dependable sources of information. Therefore, this is an effective way to build trust, reliability, and credibility. As your audience begins to put more trust in your company, you will establish more authority, create more interest, and generate more leads and bookings.

      Boost your SEO efforts

      Another important reason for creating a content series as part of your travel content marketing strategy is to boost your SEO efforts. You can do this by selecting a theme, researching related search terms, and then selecting focus keywords to utilise throughout your series to increase your visibility around that topic.