Friday, 22 October 2010

Top tips for delivering an effective email campaign

1.       Data – Mass emails are by nature generic and the recipients know it. Good data allows for all sorts of simple changes that could make all the difference between someone hitting delete or open.
To begin with we should be looking to cleanse bad data and make sure we have names for the recipients. ‘Hello Jane’ is much better than ‘hello friend’!
Data should always be on the agenda and we should be logging how people respond and what actions they make. Our goal should be to respond to people with short seemingly bespoke emails. E.g. if person x donates to a Pakistan fund they should be sent an email thanking them for their generosity and the latest story from the frontline. This can be done by creating triggered emails.

2.       Title – There’s a lot in the title of an email. People receiving lots of emails often decide whether or not to look at a particular email by its title. If it’s too cold or generic expect it to be put in the trash. Email titles should quickly and easily explain how it fits into someone’s space and what it can do for them. It needs to convince them that there is something worth reading, a legacy of quality is not enough to ensure that the email is opened. Even the brands to who I feel most loyal need to convince me that each email is worth reading.

3.       Timing – Firstly, holding off for a few hours can be better than making a deadline. Emails that are sent last thing will be seen first thing the next morning at the same time other, ‘more important’, emails. We don’t want to be competing for attention.
 Once your email is completed and ready to go consider who the recipients are and when the best time to send it would be. We have to ensure that our email hits the inboxes when people are most likely going to open them. Do you want your recipients to be reading your email at work, or at home? If it’s a personal email consider early mornings, evenings or weekends when people have some free time.
Top tip: The best time to send an email to busy professionals would be late morning or early afternoon just after lunch. These tend to be the times when people have fewer meetings and are working a little slower.

4.       White Listing – Ensure that the email server used is white listed. White listing ensures that the emails are delivered to inboxes rather than the trash, junk or not at all.

5.       Email Content – Opening an email is the equivalent to picking up a magazine. We can’t assume that all opened emails are read. We need snappy headlines that appeal to the audience. Ask questions that you know people are asking or link the article to people’s lives – ask yourself how is your content relevant?

Monday, 23 August 2010

Sex Appeal

Does the freedom of speech allow us to say what we want, when we want?

Some say it’s the most basic and fundamental of human rights. In the USA they call it the first amendment. The freedom of speech is a privilege that should never be taken for granted, misused or abused by anyone... even marketers.

Freedom of speech assumes more than the right to make an audible noise. Firstly it assumes the ability to communicate through written, signed, acted, or verbal language. It assumes that the speaker has sufficient knowledge to communicate with their audience using appropriate language, analogy and concepts. The speaker should also
have an understanding of both their position and that of their audience. This engenders the second and most significant prerequisite of speech: community.

Community is the most integral ingredient of any conversation; without it no one and nothing can exist. It is only as individuals relate to others that they take on an identity; uniqueness is understood in community not isolation. We owe a lot to community. Not only does community shape our identity; it supplies the tools of speech and grants us the freedom to use them.

As the sum of its parts, community is fragile and vulnerable. A healthy community requires its members to be positive contributors. When community members decide against honouring the trust extended to them, community breaks down. Why then do we so often exploit its weaknesses in order to gain personally? Given that it is the community that has granted us the privilege of free speech, we should ensure that our ‘words’ serve and develop rather than take from and ravage it.

In the 21st century we have more communication tools available than ever before. As our ability to ‘speak’ has developed, so must our understanding. There are still many people who the community rejects; people who are not listened to – that must be corrected, but those of us to whom the privilege has been extended must learn to use it well and be considerate of the impact our ‘words’ have.

It is my belief that greater than our individual right to exercise free speech is our responsibility to make positive contributions to the community that extends to us that privilege. Given the relational and sexual immaturity that devours our sex-craved society, is it still right to use it as a gimmick? I think it’s time for the unimaginative marketers who use sex to do the job they can’t, to get creative.

Dan Chalke

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

The rudiments of branding

I decided to undertake a small observation project while on a recent trip overseas. The title of the project; ‘Learning from Caribbean branding'. Having visited the area before, I had a fair idea where the exercise was going to take me, but some of the results took me by surprise.

I was expecting to see interesting cultural use of colours, naming strategies and visual identities – all of which I did observe. The vibrant use of colour carries through from architecture, to interior design through to advertising and packaging. Along with this I noticed that local naming strategies are influenced by geography (eg. Piton beer) and people (eg. Aunt Gemima and Grandma’s), nothing very unique in that.

Living in the global world of communications I was also not surprised to see the major advertisers are communications suppliers/operators. In particular Lime and Digicel are very big spenders. The obvious connection of using a fruit as a main mobile operator name is not lost on anyone, and on first glance it seems unoriginal and verging on plagiarism. However if you take a step back and look at it in isolation, it is a clever name. It works. Lime is one of 4 ingredients that are hugely important in the Caribbean; rum, lime, coconut and banana (plantain). So take the concept of importance and dependence into the name of the local mobile operator – and there you have it – genius. However all of this was not too interesting to me, as the parent organisations are large global players, and their identities are clearly cookie cut across the nations, simply taking cultural sensitivities into account.

The small islands of the Caribbean vary in sophistication. Even on the islands that have supermarkets you do not have to walk very far before you
find street stalls, often just tables set up with various goods – mostly fruit and vegetables. One day I walked up to such a street stall to buy some vegetables, and soon realised that it was not one stall but 3, and before I knew it, I was approached by 3 individuals trying to sell me their wares. One seemed desperate and pushy, one was aggressive and one was softer and more personable. You can probably guess which one I bought from. There was not a lot of difference between their products, so in the end it was down to the person selling it. (The stalls in the picture are from another island.) This was a stark reminder to me why branding evolved in the first place. People needed to differentiate their product from the next person's, and with time this became more sophisticated and included logos, names, positioning, proposition etc. Soon you forget that people are behind brands. I have long believed in vision and values based branding, but this was a great example of seeing first hand the origins of the need for branding.

On other occasions we bought wares from the boats buzzing around the harbour (ice, t-shirts, bread etc). They have developed wonderful raw strategies to brand themselves. They call themselves names such as Mr. Quality and Mr. Fabulous. You will actually find them named in guidebooks! The chap in the picture is actually Free Willy (although I am not sure what that proves) . This raw branding brought a smile to my face.

Note to self – remember whatever branding projects I am involved in – people are always the main thing.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Have a drink on us...

I’ve received enough promotional fliers and spoken to more than the required amount of salespeople to learn that ‘a free give away’ is more than likely a manipulative offer tied in so many terms and conditions that it would take an entire summer holiday to plough through them. Such has been my experience that I have lost all faith in ‘free’ offers and the brands that offer them.

At a recent networking event we wanted to offer something better than an embossed pen that didn’t come with the dreaded T’s and Cs. What does a completely free gift look like; a gift free of said T’s and C’s and subversive manipulation?

This is what we came up with...

We dressed contact cards in five pound notes and gave them away. Buy a drink, get a kebab, stash it in your wallet; we don’t care what you do, this is a gift to you from us.

And that was that.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Everyone's a marketer

As I run seminars helping professionals get to grips with how social media* can help build and grow their businesses, a simple truth is becoming very clear to me;

In the new world of social media, everyone's a marketer.

I am not saying this is the end of the need for marketing departments. Of course there will always be the need for them, to co-ordinate and drive activity. However, I do believe there needs to be a mindset change within organisations as to what the role of marketing is. Traditional marketing is about lead generation, brand building and supporting the sales function. This kind of marketing is well defined and often lives quite independently of other departments. I believe that, particularly for professional services companies, marketing is at a challenging place, as it needs to become much more integrated and cohesive with the rest of the organisation.

Most marketers understand that social media has challenged traditional activity, and that the blend of go-to-market activity of any campaign now needs to include social media. That is a given. But what is not so well understood is how this new social world impacts the relationships between departments within an organisation? I am not sure many marketing departments are asking the questions;

1) How do we harness the power of social media, utilising everyone within the organisation?
2) How can marketing bring leadership to the organisation in order to maximise the benefit of social media?
2) What is marketing's role in coordinating this disparate activity?

As with all opportunities before us, we have to embrace the change that goes with the opportunity. Business leaders need to empower their organisations to explore these things.

Our understanding of the power of social media to benefit business has only just begun.
Exciting stuff.

Sandra Bullen

*Social media is complex, but in the main, I simplify it to Linked-in, blogging and micro-blogging.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Why Apple’s ‘unveiling’ of the new iPhone wasn’t a clever marketing ploy

A couple of weeks ago an Apple employee left a prototype iPhone in a New York bar. The phone was discovered by an as of yet unnamed individual who, upon realising what they’d found, sold the phone onto, who subsequently dissected it, confirmed it’s legitimacy, and took the story to press.

Gizmodo blogged about everything from the design of the outer shell to the apparent new processing power found within the prototype iPhone. Their verdict was unanimously positive, leaving an apparently red faced apple with a glowing report of their newest tech.

With gadget blogs all over the net reposting the story, sceptics started questioning the legitimacy of the ‘accident’ that led to Gizmodo getting hold of apple’s secret iPhone. Apple refused to release any definitive statement on the blunder and rumours started flying that it had all been part of a pre scripted marketing ploy.

As seemingly positive as this has all been for Apple there are fundamental reasons as to why this definitely wasn’t a clever marketing move and why it’s unlikely to ever happen again.

1) Apple’s current marketing strategy has taken years to refine and is the envy of most, if not all of their competitors. When Apple held a keynote to announce the iPad earlier this year, rumour had already been circulating of a tablet like device that would revolutionise the way we view digital media. With absolutely no word from Apple pre unveiling, the hype built and built culminating in the event itself making international news. The fallout from the keynote led to the selling of 1 million units in the U.S. alone.

2) Even if Apple were developing a new marketing strategy it’s unlikely they would choose a new iPhone as the flagship product. The existing iPhone has been a phenomenal success for apple, selling well in excess of 30 million units. Consider that most of those sales are to contract customers who will inevitably consider a new iPhone as a replacement for their current phone, and you have a product that does not necessitate this style of promotion.

3) And finally, Apple remotely wiped the product after they realised it was missing leaving Gizmodo with an essentially useless prototype. Althugh Gizmodo’s article was a candid review of the product, it was essentially built on speculation.

It will be interesting how Apple handle the promotion of the new iPhone from here on in. With a guestimated release date of later on in the year, all eyes will be on Apple over the next few months. Doubtless they will carry on with their secretive approach until the day the product is officially launched but for the time being gadget lovers all over the world are left to enjoy a once in a lifetime opportunity to salivate over a new Apple product before the unveiling.

By Rory Muldoon

Saturday, 1 May 2010

2 sides to every story

Very soon a new LinkedIn App. Is launching – it is called DueDil – short for ‘due diligence’. It comes hot off the heels of a service called Unvarnished that launched in March, with a large amount of US PR noise.

The aim of the APP. is to bring more transparency to social networks.

"We all expect the web to be transparent and objective, yet in closed communities like LinkedIn and Facebook, there is no objectivity," the company explains on its web site.
"As a result it is almost impossible to get a true understanding of a person or a company before going into business with them."
"We invite you to participate and become a part of this community by submitting your own contributions, and thus building your own reputation as a trusted reviewer."
"As difficult as it might be sometimes, honesty is the best policy. We ask you to be sincere, constructive and fair, and to speak without fear of repercussion."

As a director of service providing companies, it raises really interesting sociological issues, that are leaving me feeling very uncomfortable, so I have spent some time thinking through three points of concerns.

Firstly, ‘there are two sides to every story’. Anyone who helps friends through a divorce, arbitrates in their children’s arguments, or runs a service company knows that there are two sides to every story. People see the world very differently. It is a core value at both ABA-design and The Flexible Marketing Co. that we go the extra mile to please our clients. In fact when an independent consultant, Kitty O’Hagan, came to assess our own brand values and proposition, she came up with the expression ‘ you like to delight and surprise your clients’ – and we try to live by this. But in the twenty (or so) years that I have been doing this job there are a handful of times, where I have had to walk away from a client knowing that the client is not happy. I hate it. It really upsets me. But I have to shrug my shoulders and move on, because in the main, it is usually about an expectation gap between us (agency) and the client. With the most rigorous of engagement processes, contract negotiations etc, human nature is that this still sometimes happens. No processes stop human beings misunderstanding each other – from time to time. So in summary I am worried that good people will get bad press.

The theory is that if you are good you will have many good reviews, and the odd bad review will just be ‘noise’ amongst the truth. This leads me to the second concern. Another aspect of human nature, we take the energy to complain, but we will not take time out to praise. I am concerned that only the disgruntled will engage with these sites, and those that are quite content will not even think to enter the debate.

My third point is less of a concern and more of a comment from the company, “As a result it is almost impossible to get a true understanding of a person or a company before going into business with them." That is true if you just choose to use LinkedIn to engage a client, but surely this is were the online and the real world collide? As much as I believe in social networking, once you find a product / service / consultant, you then do your own due diligence in the real world, and get on and get good old fashioned references. The real world and online world have to co-exist, and to try and do everything online in a complex business environment, I just don’t believe in. In our industry we often refer to our first client meeting as a ‘chemistry meeting’ – ie. Did we get on? Could we imagine working together? That will never be achieved from a social network.

So, unless I am proved very wrong, and there is an energy in human beings to take time out to positively comment as well as negatively comment, and I am proved that the voice of the many will overpower the voice of the odd individual, then I probably won’t be taking the application any further.

Sandra Bullen
(if you are interested in using social media for business benefit, check out our social media starter pack)

Monday, 19 April 2010

You'd expect us to say that.....

Interesting piece in the FT Online recently about companies whose response to the recession includes cuts to their marketing budgets - or rather the advantages enjoyed by the companies who don't cut their marketing spends in a recession :

The De Beers "Shadows" campaign, which ran at a time of recession, is estimated to have increased sales by an annual average of 8% over three years. What's more, De Beers profits recovered by 21% in 1993 compared to the previous year.

Renault launched the Clio in 1991, the same year that new car sales in the UK declined by 21%. With advertising awareness of the "Papa and Nicole" campaign peaking at 56%, the Clio delivered increased profit through premium price positioning.

In the 1930s depression, Kellogg's maintained its marketing spend while Post did not. Kellogg then dominated the dry cereal market for the next half-century.

A recent McKinsey study shows how companies who increased their marketing spend through a recession were the only ones whose profit rose substantially coming out of the recession. An interesting paradox seemingly, though we think accounted for in large part by companies maintaining their spend but also demanding a smarter outcome; smarter spend keeps you ahead of the game.

The link below will get you to the FT web page which also hotlinks the McKinsey report.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Criminal Marketing - the does and don'ts of social media

All social groups have norms and values that govern what is and is not acceptable behaviour. Should an individual step outside of the subtle, yet rigid, boundaries they become a criminal, subject to the group’s justice system and even face permanent and absolute exclusion. The norms and values that govern Social Media groups are no less real than those that stifled my lunch time adventures at school. The problem is that Mrs Russell isn’t at hand to make clear where the boundaries lay. Here are five pieces of advice that I hope will help you form a socially acceptable Social Media identity.

Trespassers will be prosecuted.
Given that Social Media exist to serve a social and not corporate agenda, we’re already on questionable ground. But a quick search for your favourite brand in the Social Media circles will provide evidence that corporates are indeed welcome in some capacity to invade an otherwise peer environment. People appreciate being able to voice their opinions and show their loyalty to particular brands, and of cause have some contact with them but there is a fine balance to tread.
When in the social sphere we need to keep acting socially. This may sound obvious but time and again brands misinterpret appreciation as a signal to begin marketing. Brands need to add value to user experience in the same way that friends do: think invites, offers, news and updates.

Get a life.
It’s awfully hard to be social when you’re operating as a corporate body and speaking directly from the tone of voice guidelines. There are no absolute rules in the Social Media sphere but broadly speaking people like talking to people, not answer machines. We all appreciate natural and open conversation and inherently know when what we’re being offered is contrived and rehearsed. So get a life, grow a personality and give people the sort of information that you would like to receive. We all like humour, gossip, pictures, and videos; none of us communicate with our friends through press releases.

The demise of markets.
Market places are dying. Social Media is all about connecting with people, not demographics and so we should train ourselves to think in terms of conversations not markets. Conversations are an organic way of discovering and responding to people’s needs and the needs of their friends and families. Sometimes there will be a sale at the end but always your brand awareness will grow. When we talk about marketing to a demographic we’re already thinking in outdated terms and denying the individuality of customers and the power of Social Media. To use Social Media effectively you need to be prepared to have personal conversations.

Get Flexible
Get flexible with the relevance of your posts to your product. Appeal to the things that naturally appeal to people not just the things that appeal directly to your brand. If you’re in the business of insurance, post videos and pictures of skateboarding gone bad or bad drivers; YouTube is full of them. If you offer music tuition post the video of the Korean boy sing the Jack Johnson song. You need to learn to make you brand and its personality appeal to people. Post everything that relates to your brand and find a way of making the best of the web fit.

Jump in the deep end.
Jump in and start swimming. There’s little worse than a Social Media site that was set up, posted twice three months ago and has done nothing since. Equally, you should be embarrassed if three hours after a story makes the news you retweet or post the same thing having had it approved by the policy police; the online community expects instant news. And don’t be afraid of failing, Social Media moves so fast that what you perceive as a massive mistake, people will read once and move on. If you’re really unhappy delete the post and apologise for the slip; you’ve just become human.

Behave yourselves.

By Dan Chalke

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Keep it on the wall

Posters; the golden age of marketing. It was a more simple time, a time when if your message couldn’t be delivered without applying terms and conditions it simply wasn’t worth saying. But times have changed and more sophisticated and reliable methods of going to market have been developed. We’re all far more concerned with our ROIs than we used to be and a new wall has come to the forefront of marketing.

Unlike its predecessor, this wall is not so obviously gutsy and it doesn’t have polished graphics or witty catchphrases. Often things are posted on this wall with little thought, no spelling or grammar checks, not even a cursory consideration of who might see it. Despite this, it’s got a lot going for it.

This new wall connects with people in the most authentic and trusted way; through peers. Peer endorsements are more valuable than primetime TV ads, product placement in the latest James Bond film, official sponsorship of the World Cup or the Olympic Games, even a similar endorsement from David Beckham. And, peer endorsements inherently come from trusted and impartial sources that understand our consumer needs, subtleties, and personality; no need to waste time with generic demographic segmentations.

The new wall is of course all of those virtual spaces friends use to share their lives. These spaces are simultaneously personal and public and if our products add value, specifically to their online experience, they can be opened to us too. But be warned, the new wall is far more relational than its predecessor, we have to learn to give value before we reap the rewards.

The opportunity to connect with individuals and their friends is greater now than it has ever been; we’d be foolish to let it go by.

By Dan Chalke

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Collaboration or competition?

Up until recently, my experience of 'the competition' was bumping into them in reception, as we were leaving the building, and they were about to go into their pitch slot. I would leave intimidated by the size of the creative director’s cardboard box he was carrying; obviously housing some creative genius that was bound to wow my potential new client. In other words, my attitude to competition was an adversarial one.

Over recent days, with the build up to the launch of The Flexible Marketing Company, and the post recession world of not tolerating unnecessary fixed overhead (a subject for a future blog post) I view the world much more collaboratively.

A few significant things have happened to me to aid and abet this new world view. Firstly there’s Jimmy. Great designer, works for us half the week, and branching out on his own the other half of the week. He often works in our premises the majority of the week. My creative team input to his projects and he to ours. There’s a lot of mutual trust between us and it is a win-win situation. Then there is Paul ( A young freelance designer, the son of long standing friends. I can’t employ Paul, but I can, and have, just passed on to him a client that, after a re-brand, can not afford the studio day rates of a mature agency. So I have hooked them up. (The client is a fantastic client, check out Then there is the fact that we have just sub-let some of our office space to another creative agency! I am not sure I would have done that 2 years ago. Finally, there’s Tim and Pippa at Wixhill ( On the surface, we’re competitors. But we both want significant projects, and we recognise that there are times when we are stronger together, and the sum of our parts enables us to do things we can’t do alone.

But here is the bigger thought. I have another neighbour friend; we watch our sons play hockey at the weekends. He is the European Marketing Director for a global Pharmaceutical company. On chatting about our worlds on a freezing January morning over a Starbucks coffee, he has explained to me that they have two global agencies they use, no small, local, specialist agencies. The reason is they need global reach, and global understanding. Wouldn’t it be exciting if, with the new possibilities of social media (another future blog post), we could make global, collaborative connections that one day might mean I could be bumping into WPP’s creative director in reception, pitching for work previously only won by one of the big global communication boys.

Am I naïve? Probably. Am I idealistic? Maybe. If so, I am much more enjoying the possibilities of this wider world.

Friday, 12 February 2010

In the mirror marketing

Is the world ready for another male body care product, maybe not. And will men really share the same brand that has so lovingly been built for the woman in our lives? But aren't some of us using it already? Is it just me or do other guys reach across the dressing table on the odd cold winter morning for a squidge of that feminine body cream.

If there is a cloaked market out there for male Dove body care products then will men embrace the Dove brand as part of their world? Gun metal grey packaging instead of white, orange and green typography instead of dark blue. And what about that tag line men+care, it's all true isn't it?

Successful marketing campaigns often play back a mirror reflection of who we actually are and then confirm that the product is part of our lives. In Doves case may be it already is a shared experience, so will a 'his' and 'hers' sit comfortably on the dressing table next to each other? I guess it depends who buys the groceries.

Anyway, here's to Dove for celebrating life!

Richard Ward.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

App Store marketing

Apples App store is a curious environment to release a product into. With two thirds of app store users browsing directly on their iPhone (rather than on a desktop machine), marketing an app has become as black and white as making sure what’s been delivered stays in the top 25 download charts. Where as this system of filtering apps into top downloads worked reasonably well last year, the increasing influx of apps that hit the virtual shelves every day is literally flooding the market. Put simply the App store has become so saturated with products that it can’t handle the demands of sorting them adequately using its current system.

Towards the end of last year an app store update was implemented that added a further level of filtration for casual browsers. As well as the top 25 free apps and the top 25 paid apps, users can now look at the top 25 highest grossing apps. Whilst the new system does let consumers view which products are genuinely successful (as opposed to products that are released very cheaply in the hope of quickly stealing the much sought after top downloads spot) it still doesn’t get around the problem of free promotional apps not getting noticed. As it currently stands an App released with no prior warning is likely to sink beneath the masses never to be heard of again.

So is the app store gold rush over and done with? Well yes and no. Twelve months ago even the most ill marketed apps where getting noticed. The one-man outfit behind iFart, a rather unsophisticated soundboard application, was making developer Joel Comm £5000 a day. Nowadays the apps that are succeeding (retaining spots in the top 25) are, for the most part, the apps that are marketed outside of the confines of the app store. The Facebook app has consistently remained a top 25 free download because of its online presence on the Facebook web page. Gaming apps (which make up the lions share of app store content) are more and more relying on external online advertising campaigns to compete in a market that may see three or more similar products released per day.

In April we see the release of Apples full sized media tablet and with it a whole new era of digital consumption. With a whole host of new app possibilities the iPad may well see a return to the app gold rush, but until then the clever apps are the ones that recognise their presence outside of the rapidly decaying structure of the app store.

Rory Muldoon

Thursday, 4 February 2010

A new flexible future

I have been doing freelance marketing projects for the past 6 years or so. I love the variety of work, the unpredictable workload and the thrill of winning a new project. Working mainly with the educational publishing field, I am able to provide extra marketing resource for companies whose marketing departments are at full stretch or who are going through a re-structure.

However I have been restricted on what I can take on as there was only so much time available and not enough of me to go round. There are areas to develop, where I could do more for clients and take on more interesting work. I had been looking for an opportunity to work collaboratively in order to achieve this.

I have known Sandra Bullen in her design agency capacity for a decade and used her agency for many projects. We discovered our shared amibition to create a new company with like-minded individuals who are focussed on delivering great marketing results to clients who need a more flexible approach and so The Flexible Marketing Company was created.

I'm looking forward to an exciting flexible future, offering our clients the type of marketing support they need, as and when they want it.

Jo Dickie

Monday, 1 February 2010

Why all the fish?

We started The Flexible Marketing Company out of a response to business need. We had a name but we also wanted an image. We laid down a challenge for our good friend and creative illustrator Rory Muldoon to come up something neat. The results are visual studies on the Atlantic Mackerel and the story is right up our street!

These fish move at incredible speeds, some thing we often find our selves doing in business, responding to tight deadlines or having to rapidly implement a team into a commercial situation really quickly.

The Atlantic Mackerel are very tactical choosing to swim in groups that are compatible with each other. We find our flexible approach means we offer bespoke solutions that are complementary to in-house marketing teams.

And these fish are beautiful which we are sure you will agree is an attribute of ours once we have successfully worked on a project together!

So thanks Rory you have done a great job.

Richard Ward

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Green shoots under my toes!

I can’t be the only one out here who’s shaken hands with a satisfied client – only to realise some while later that our concluding handshake could actually have signalled a new beginning.

Since 1990 I’ve been running a successful design company, but during that time a marketing agency has taken root under my feet. It’s grown so steadily & organically out of our design business that it’s only now that I look down that I see I’m standing on a whole new business opportunity. And the fertile ground upon which the business will flourish has, ironically, been shaped by this recession as businesses shrink their marketing departments, reduce overheads & rationalise their marketing spend.

This prospect was brought into focus a couple of years ago when I landed a major re-positioning & product development contract. It was big & it was exciting for my design team to work on – but then we did something different - upon completion, my handshake with the client also gave us the go-ahead to completely re-build their own in-house marketing strategy.

Those of you that know me well will know that I’ve been enthusing about this new way forward for a few months now. And what’s really exciting is that now we’ve spotted this new opportunity it just keeps growing; And although we are already up and running, early next month we are going to formally launch ‘The Flexible Marketing Company’.

Stand by for more exciting news from me and another of my associates: Jo Dickie soon.

Sandra Bullen