It goes without saying that 2019 was a whirlwind year. Not only for ourselves but for all businesses with a year dominated by uncertainty…………Brexit.
On the whole though, 2019 was a great year for both ourselves and our clients, with highlights including a 5th and 18thbirthday anniversary and a £120k office redevelopment.
The beginning of a new year is always a particular busy period for SMC, with most of our clients looking to review their marketing strategy and put together budgets for tactical promotional activity in order to achieve their objectives for the year ahead.
To kick start the year, our client Nottingham Professional Services recognised it needed to update its website to better reflect the events they hosted and the professional services community it represented. Our role involved acting as project manager to create a brief, define the website wireframe, write content and liaise directly with the web developer on design and SEO to ensure the website was launched in a timely manner.
Another website project soon followed. A previous client that we helped develop a marketing strategy, Edsons Specialist Joinery, contacted us to help them to launch a new website. Edsons were very keen to design a new website that showcased the calibre of joinery projects they work on for high net worth individuals in London. As part of our role, we were asked to help find the right website developer, sit in on design briefings, create and upload content and project manage the overall website development process.
This busy period was compounded when our Managing Director, Bev, broke her ankle, whilst away on holiday. This was an inconvenience to say the least, and caused a temporary halt to anything but looking after existing clients and making sure their priorities were met!
April again proved to be a very busy month, with trips to and from the hospital and physio appointments becoming a regular occurrence for us both, as Bev began her rehabilitation programme back to full fitness.
In May, our client Blueprint Interiors was shortlisted for an award at the East Midlands BusinessDesk Masters Awards 2019.
We were then introduced to Finch Consulting, an engineering risk management consultancy. Finch were impressed with the level of PR coverage and online presence that we had created for Blueprint and wanted us to replicate that for themselves.
Based in Ashby de la Zouch, we met with the Finch Directors and it was clear from the outset that we could help them a lot. We were appointed to act as their outsourced marketing manager and immediately it was all hands on deck and a real baptism of fire into the Finch “community”. In the first month of work. Finch had agreed to sponsor the Marine & Coast Civil Engineering Expo, The Chemical Industry Association Awards and exhibit at the Safety & Health Expo. Our role initially was to create all the event plans, issue email invitations and create website content and social media postings for all the exhibitions and awards events.
Normally the summer months tend to be a little quieter, with most of our clients choosing to take a well deserved holiday during this period, but with Bev now almost fully recovered, the return to active service helped to ensure July 2019 turned into a slightly busier month.
In early July, we were contacted by Derby based architects, Morrison Design, who had recently undergone a management buyout. We met Dave Gardner at a golf event a few years ago and had stayed in contact. They wanted help to put together a regular programme of marketing activity. In an initial meeting, it was pointed out to us that in fact Morrison Design were the oldest architecture firm in Derby, had an impressive library of past projects, for clients such as Hilton and Rolls Royce, but had never undertaken any form of marketing. Our initial role was to help the directors, announce their MBO to the wider public in local and trade publications, as well to review all their past projects and convert them into case studies for their website.
With Bev, firmly recovered from her broken ankle, and back on full work duties, it was back to business with a bang.
After reviewing their online website performance, our long-standing client, Merritts, agreed to have a new website built, that would help them drive more website enquiries.
Much like the other website projects we had completed in the early part of the year, our role again was to help Merritts find the right website partner and sit in on design briefings. Once a website developer had been chosen, and website wireframe approved, we then set out to create all website content required and manage the website development process. Merritts were keen to get the website live as soon as possible, so from start to finish the website project only took 5 weeks to complete.
Another long standing client, Blueprint Interiors also celebrated their 18th birthday in July. They celebrated by throwing a party at Worklife Central, their purpose built office and design showroom in Ashby de la Zouch. We helped Blueprint to create an event plan and put together a guest list. We also helped to send out the invites and managed the RSVIP process.
In September, our renewed presence at networking events paid off as we took on another new client, Ecology Consultants, RammSanderson. Bev met one of the directors at a Procon Nottingham event at Wollaton Hall. The company was in the process of celebrating their 5th birthday and had opened another office. As their outsourced marketing manager, we helped RammSanderson conduct a full strategic review of their business and put together a bespoke and co-ordinated tactical marketing plan which we are now fully involved in helping them to implement.
Historically, the final quarter of the year, is always our busiest period, in the run up to Christmas and last year proved to be no different.
We took on another new retainer client, in Derby based IT support firm, Link ICT, who again wanted help in creating a new website. Having been in business for over 15 years, Link were aware that their old website lacked usability and didn’t reflect the skills and expertise within the business relating to the latest technological advances. We helped Link ICT, through the design process which was centred around its customers, to ensure that the new website design was attractive, responsive and user friendly.
Finch Consulting were also very busy in the final quarter of the year, as they moved into their new £120k purpose offices and training facility, “The Nest”. In celebration of the office development which was designed and built by Blueprint Interiors, Finch held an office opening event, attended by clients, suppliers strategic partners and neighbours within the Ivanhoe business park. Our role was again to help co-ordinate the event plan process and send out invites. We were on hand on the night of the opening, to take photos and manage Finch’s social media account to maximise online exposure.
Going forward into 2020
On a whole 2019 was a year of ups and downs for SMC. There were lots of highlights throughout the year, some of which you have read above, however, our renewed focus on business development in the latter part of 2019 means that 2020 is already looking like it’s going to be an even more exciting year.
As most of you know, Bev is rather fond of her golf and this year will be the Lady Captain at The Nottinghamshire Golf & Country Club. As part of her Captains year, she has pledged to raise over £5,000 for local charity Big C little c. In July 2020, she will be hosting the 3 Bunkers Challenge, with local businesses agreeing to raise £1000 each, by completing 9 holes of golf in Derbyshire, Leicester and Nottinghamshire in the same day. More on that later though.
This year SMC will also celebrate its 10th birthday. We’re not quite sure how we’re going to celebrate it yet, but stay tuned, we’re sure it will be a cracker and we’ll be sure to let you know of our plans.
Finally, thank you to everyone who has supported us throughout 2019. We’ve had a bit of a topsy-turvy year, but we feel we are very lucky to have such great clients and contacts and really appreciate the understanding and support shown to us in the early part of the year.
We wish you all the very best for 2020.
Bev & Elliot