Well yes, we’ve done it again, another happy client has been shown the added value that a focused marketing programme can deliver and has now appointed their own full time in-house marketing manager.
Over the last year we have been busy mentoring them into their new role, but now it’s time for them to fly free. We are pretty proud of this team achievement as this amazing transition from doing no marketing to it becoming a regular activity has occurred in just two years. Suffice to say it has been a pleasure to be part of the Finch Consulting community.
Here is the story of how we helped Finch Consulting reach a point where marketing is an accepted part of the culture and now at the very centre of everything they do.
About Finch Consulting
Finch Consulting are an engineering, health & safety and environmental risk management company that provides expert witness, legal counsel, training and consulting services to clients in the legal, financial and insurance, food and drink, leisure, manufacturing, energy and waste sectors.
We initially met with Finch at an awards ceremony in April 2019, where another one of our clients (Blueprint Interiors) had been shortlisted for a prestigious award. Finch were impressed with Blueprint’s overall marketing approach and the level of exposure they received in their marketplace. They got in touch with us after the awards night to see if we could implement a similar programme for them.
We met with the Finch Directors in early May 2019 to find out more about the business and how we could potentially help them. It was clear from the outset that Finch had never utilised the potential of marketing as a way of helping them deliver value to their clients and help them achieve their objectives.
We were officially appointed as their outsourced marketing manager at the end of May and were very excited with the prospect of helping Finch grow and develop.
Our assignment involved carrying out a marketing audit to understand their strengths and weaknesses, assess their current client base; understand the various services they could offer to their clients and find out what resources we had to play with. It was very much a “where are you now, where do you want to be and what do you need to do to get there” approach. We helped them develop a clear strategy, identified key prospects and sectors and ensured activity was focused and effective.
When we inherited the keys to the castle, Finch did not record any marketing-specific KPI’s or have access to google analytics. Whilst they had a social media presence, most profiles were not set up in the most effective manner. They did not use any email marketing software. The benefits of SEO in generating enquiries through the website had not been explored.
What Finch did have however was a great brand and a very forward thinking and entrepreneurial board of directors that were keen to learn more about marketing and drive the business forward.
We were also introduced to the “Finch plan” a document which is produced by the directors which contains all the financial figures from the previous year and outlines the future financial targets and company goals. This document is then distributed to the entire Finch community to help keep them informed of the direction the business is heading.
Over the next few months, we helped Finch set up all the basic tools needed to implement an effective tactical programme.
This included setting up social media accounts on both Twitter and LinkedIn, inputting the coding for Google analytics to help us track their website visitors and behaviour. We also met with Finch’s chosen creative agency “the Cafeteria” to gain a better understanding of the work they had completed for Finch from a branding perspective and also brief them on the collateral we would need their help creating, such as email templates. We also created a content plan based on our initial assessment of keywords that would attract new business.
Also, during this period, Finch completed a £120k investment in their new state of the art offices, called “The Nest”. We helped Finch publicly launch the office opening and their new training division. We also created a plan of press releases that could be sent to both local and trade-related press publications.
Following the launch of “The Nest” we were invited by the directors to attend Charm 2019, Finch’s annual internal conference to explain to the Finch community our marketing vision and the journey we wanted to take Finch on. It’s fair to say that at this point in time, there was limited understanding amongst the team as to how marketing could help them in their daily role.
By January 2020, we had laid the foundations for the next stage of Finch’s progression into the world of marketing. In that period, we had developed a social media strategy and created a schedule of website blog articles, videos and interviews that were published on the website and social media to help them rank for certain keywords but also to help them share their positive new stories.
Finch also came up with an initiative called “Project Reality” a campaign to help them transition from an SME to a medium sized business within the next 5 years. This included the appointment of heads of service and specific plans for each division and the launch of a re-designed website.
With some exciting plans on the horizon, the arrival of COVID couldn’t have been any more unwelcome! Finch has a good spread across many market sectors, however, there was still a significant impact on revenue which required a remodel financially and operationally to plan for the uncertain times ahead.
As their outsourced marketing manager, we encouraged Finch to continue to push forward with its marketing approach. When many firms retracted spend, Finch invested in marketing and used consultant ‘downtime’ to create a ‘bank’ of advisory based content which was used to keep the Finch profile high in a manner sensitive to the events happening across the world.
This helped to engage everyone even more in the value of marketing through a recession. By the height of the pandemic, Finch was publishing two technically based advice articles per week.
This helped to double their website visitors and included lots of new people coming to the website via the links to these advice articles we were publishing on social media.
By the end of 2020, our role as Finch’s outsourced marketing manager had changed significantly. The value of marketing had been firmly recognised and it was decided that the time was right to appoint someone internally to take on the reigns of running the day-to-day umbrella marketing programme on a full-time basis. From here, our role was to act as the marketing non-executive director to mentor and guide decision making and ensure their progression continued as planned.
The next phase also involved improving Finch’s brand profile on a national basis in trade journals and also continue to build their social media presence on LinkedIn. We researched suitable trade journals and developed relations with journalists. We were able to secure Finch a number of opportunities to have technical advice articles published at no cost due to the quality of its content in leading national trade magazines. This equated to well over £30k in equivalent advertising spend.
Our work on LinkedIn also helped the Finch company page build over 1000 quality followers from key prospects. We consider this to be a great achievement as when we first started working with Finch, they had less than 100 followers. Combined with the appetite from consultants to re-share this content, Finch was reaching and engaging with senior decision makers in all the right sectors and with businesses operating in the far corners of the world.
We also introduced Finch to a leading SEO specialist, who is currently working with them to implement a focused keyword content strategy to help them rank highly on Google. This also involved working with Finch to make technical changes on the website to ensure the site is performing in an efficient manner such that Google can crawl and index it properly.
By June 2021 we had fulfilled all the objectives set for our role, and our retainer ended on an extremely amiable note with the prospect of adhoc assignments in the future.
Obviously, this is bittersweet news, but this is the goal we set ourselves when we take on a new client. We take great pleasure in seeing clients grow to a position where they are ready to recruit a full-time marketing manager. So, whilst it is never nice to lose a client, this scenario demonstrates that we have been successful in helping a client grow and develop and that marketing has played a key role.
Normally our client life cycle is between 3-5 years but Finch has grown to the point where they need someone in just 2 years. This is a testament to them as a business, our teamwork and their willingness to integrate marketing into everything they do.
HERE ARE SOME KEY STATS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
- Web traffic increased by 100%
- Company followers increased from 100 to over 1000
- LinkedIn website referrals increased by 4500%
- 100% increase in leads from website content
- Shortlisted for multiple regional and national awards
- All financial goals achieved (as revised due to covid)
- Client base widened and relationships strengthened
- New services launched
- Marketing systems and processes embedded into culture
If like Finch, your business would benefit from developing a focused marketing strategy and implementing a regular programme of marketing activity, please do get in touch.