Digital marketing agency
Name: Tim Grice
Position in the company: CEO
Years with the company: 6 months
Number of employees: 18
Yearly revenue: £1m (2019)
What was the most challenging experience since you started in 2019 and how did you overcome it?
Besides the current crisis we’re facing with Covid-19, the biggest challenge was trying to get a brand new agency name out there. Even though we have decades of experience between us, taking a new brand and getting visibility on launch is a huge challenge. We took an ‘always on’ approach, ensuring we were visible across Google, Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We used our personal profiles across Twitter and Linkedin to share news, stories and updates. Within 2 months of launch we had organised and run our first event, attracting agencies and local businesses in the Leeds area. Six months in and this activity is still ongoing and stronger than ever, we feel we’ve made a big impact and are already generating inbound leads on the back of it.
In brief, you are a digital marketing agency. You are very active on LinkedIn and currently have less than 500 followers – what is your social media strategy (in this case LinkedIn) to increase followers?
I wouldn’t necessarily say our strategy is to increase followers, rather to improve our engagement. We want the right people to follow us rather than ‘all people’. Our strategy is fairly simple, every person in the business has the responsibility to create and share thought leadership articles, whitepapers and videos. We have a wealth of knowledge and skills between us, we post multiple times a week and each member of the team supports the other by liking and sharing to their individual networks.
Which is your less lucrative service and what actions are you taking to enhance its strengths?
In terms of amount of revenue generated it will be social media marketing. We have the capability within the team but are yet to flesh out a full proposition and a go to market strategy. We’ll be taking steps over the coming months to make this happen, there will likely be multiple hires and investment in tools.
Which new technologies are you currently investing in and why?
Almost all our investment goes into our data and tech team. We build a lot of our own custom market analysis tools as it allows us to customise to ours and our clients needs. Having said that we still invest in multiple pieces of software across organic and paid search. We’ve recently invest in Google Marketing Platform and the Basis programmatic platform from Centro. We are keen to accelerate growth on the paid media side of the business so felt this an essential investment. Generally across the business we are using Monday.com for project management and Microsoft Teams for communications, which is ideal for the current remote working environment.
If you were looking for partnerships, collaborations and/or joint ventures which companies or industries would you tend to target and why (a good fit, potential for larger returns etc…)?
We’ve currently partnered with a Marketplace agency specialising in digital retail. As a performance agency we want to make sure every aspect of digital acquisition is achieving growth, we don’t currently specialise in marketplace optimisation so needed a partner to help deliver across this channel.
We also have a few clients we buy media for offline and run multiple digital PR campaigns, so we’re continually testing new partners across creative design and development.
Your earlier adventure saw Branded3 being created in 2003 and sold for £10.7mln in 2013. What are your plans to add value to connective3?
Branded3 was a pure SEO specialist, we did very little across paid media, social and media and conversion rate optimisation. Connective3’s aim is to connect these areas together, organic, paid and social. Underpinning it all with first class data insights and strategy. We want to help our clients deliver across all their digital acquisition channels.
How ready is your company to handle any coming shifts or industry-level disruptions, e.g. from AI?
A large amount of our work is based on strategic thinking and execution. Although AI or automation is playing a large part in paid media, we feel it will always need the best thinkers to guide campaigns and implement new strategies. We live and breathe the industry we work in, we read and report on all the latest news, we test the latest tech and we’re constantly looking for ways to add adapt to our client’s needs.
Describe the company’s workflow for creating a new service: what criteria do you use to decide whether to launch a new service.
We first want to understand the size of the market, who are the key players and where is the best place for us to play or what proposition could we have to set us apart. More importantly than all that is the question of ‘does it add value to what we already do, and can we add value to the service’ if the answer is no then it is unlikely we would push forward with the launch.
How have you developed competition strategies in response to potential new market entrants and competitive threats?
The industry is crowded, there is no doubt about that. There are new entrants to the market every day with similar propositions and services. We feel the best way to combat this and differentiate ourselves is by doing the basics 1) retaining talent 2) delivering industry leading results 3) establishing ourselves as thought leaders.
Where do you see the company in three years and what are your plans to achieve this target?
We have very ambitious plans for the business and multiple incentives. We want to be at least 60-70 strong in terms of headcount with revenues exceeding £6m. We will almost definitely have one, if not two more offices in the UK and will be beginning to look at opportunities internationally, the US is likely to be first on the list given the fact we already have active clients.