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Read this: Media Business Podcast #4: ALF Insight

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Media Business Podcast #4: ALF Insight…

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How much you give and there's no regular commitment just hit the link in the show description to support now hello welcome to this special edition of the media business podcast brought you buy Media business insight and this week.

I'm Fraser Murdoch managing director of how we are obsessed about finding ways of making sales easier and media companies advertising agencies for marketing services businesses when they're targeting the figures in advertising marketing in the UK in this episode.

We will also talking to head of content about a brand new report that covers the big spenders of the future.

That's all the time.

So I'm delighted to say that today.

We're going to hear from two very different business.

Models both agencies yet both come from a very different place one is a staff up and one is a break away from one of the big networks in each case I'd like to examine the business development in other words how we set up a process or not for winning clients that begin with a start-up so hms16 was founded in 2016 by Richard who is the h Steve Meredith and Paul Seabrook Richard represent for sales and client management bit of a triangle so welcome Richard Hammond thank you very much.

So let me ask you.

What was the biggest challenges for hms16 at launch.

Richard long time ago since we've been trading even to this moment.

I remember the the phone call.

We got from a Chinese automotive brands and I'm asking us to work with them on a secret project.

And we didn't start hms16 out of Vanity your eGo.

It was really to surround the clients business opportunity to build electric cars in in Europe and that story was the tough start because we built the business three guys lot of automotive experience in fact that General Motors worked on a seat business across Europe I've worked on the Chrysler Jeep launch in Europe so we were steeped in the industry and then the client decided not to launch electric vehicles in Europe so it was a tough start to the journey wow.

That's a shocker Richard so what happened next yeah, you know what it's in the turn off years that have elapsed since those secret meetings in darkened hotel rooms in the city with some interesting people.

I think we.

We do mummies realise that they were not going to be launching a vehicle and trust me we push them hard to investigate a cup of tea markets like Norway to launch test market, but we couldn't convince them.

I think what we did was it was a couple of moments ago right.

Do we keep going to eat? Just pull the plug and get what we are all doing Consulting running different businesses doing freelance one will do we doing make this work and I think at that point it was a moment of deep decision all three of us and we decided that it was we had credentials with a lot good track record contacts that we would attempt to Muster clients from other territories and we did that we were lucky to find other people that wanted a independent view on their business and their creativity and we.

To move forward with less ambitious growth plan, I think we achieved half of our revenue in the A1 supposed to the full number but it was a good wake up call and I think it we did really pick the track car in terms of trying to recover from that difficult start in the book when I write one.

That's the story so now let's go over to the breakaway agency good stuff, which until 2017 was part of the mighty omnicom Media Group when the £2 has Ben Hayes and Andrew Stevens omg, stake in the business notionally at least this is very different to the hms16 experience and I'm pleased to welcome one of those co-founders today Andrew Stephen so we've got on the telephone Andrew what is a founder of good stuff.

You presumably been in a similar situation to Richard today though.

I'm interested in understanding the challenges of good stuff.

Not as a start-up which he wants were but as a business that broke away from them.

Agency and all the strengths and of course the Witnesses that brings.

What were the biggest challenges for you on breaking away to challenges within it really I think the first making the decision to want to break away in the first place.

We had a relationship with omnicom business was doing very well and it's a very difficult to cut that cord at which point go go, can I solo particularly in a world where for Media buying you know the needs of back-end of an agency of the finance the meditation benefits of scale you get our kind of so important, but essentially we had decided that year that that was a moment to do it would look back 5 years from 2017 having nuts done that there is an opportunity for conversation, but only come so it took that opportunity at the time so get the first challenge with.

Decision and then you can't seeing it through.

I think once it had happened.

I think the challenge was getting used to run a fully in business, because it had felt independent before that but in reality we had omnicom as a back as a supporter and always there at the end of the phone should you need something so I guess that reality of not being they're not being someone at the end of a phone should there be a finance query or anything else? I guess it's just getting used to life on her own.

Thanks Andrea so Richard in your case it was you had a client and then you didn't have a client and Andrew in your case the stabilisers were off so let's move now to business development itself so first of all Richard what structure is it just you it's not we we've been very lucky actually we've ourselves with people from different Industries who probably done the done there 20 years of hard disk stuffed and now Consulting linked up with people in different sectors with enormous amount of knowledge and contacts so we work with my other guy in the retail sector we have a guy in the pr.

Sector we have two people in the automotive area that we connect to we leverage the contacts and they've been extremely useful to guide US into.

Ring those segments that we had not Direct experience in particularly retail employees employees consultants we work on a basis of day rates with them and work with them on the basis of successfully, so, it's a smart way to open up degrees that we haven't looked at previously Andrew how is business development structured good stuff broadly speaking so self and Ben Hayes my role.

Essentially is an external roll, so I look I look after all external relationships and within that any new incremental revenue within the agency at ventrolla centuries and to make sure that stays within the agency that broadly how we how we structure stuff, so I will look after all your business.

Any new Ventures the we might want to enter into as well and within that I have a small team of 2 people who fall into what currently call they were we are about to change this a marketing and new business team so you're about to change it may I ask yeah, because we're going to take away name new business because in reality don't we don't do what I think is probably deemed as classic new business and all of our efforts was ultimately results in new business our marketing and they're very much brand ribbon, and we do that for and I think we have a slight luxury in the media industry in that there are very few strong differentiated brands in the media sector.

There are lots of networks there lots of agencies that begin with m and a lot of agencies with a with an array of pastel shades for their own colour palette alternative really distinctive brands in media.

I don't think they are very many and with a background that we've got so we started our life in creative agencies.

It's Archie's weaveworks on some amazing brand.

We fundamentally believe in the role of the brand can play for our clients and therefore.

I think we should believe what the Royal brand can do in media.

So everything we do is driven.

We do events.

We don't things I start stuff which was a million-pound initiative to find the next generation of agency owners and we work very closely with creative agencies and with a partner agencies to duper random stuff was ultimately ends in referrals and new business, so we don't for example do mailing campaigns.

We don't employ you and externally to do your business and everything's all goes through me and go through a brand lens, so we had a business in media.

Look and feel a bit different to some of the big networks events there just under which I just over 2 weeks now quickest off Media showcase that is now it's 48 which is at the Curzon theatre in Soho and that events was to better connect creative agencies in the audience 250cc dzonas head of strategy from agencies from AMV Adam and Eve to widen to mother and on stage.

We will put 8 m owners who have specifically created a new opportunity to work with credit.

Directly to the idea of getting content in Context to work together with two big event we do campaign coming hosted that for us is amazing new business very indirect way because we're working with 50 different creative agencies talking about the Power of Brands and media creativity, so I guess that's a good example of us doing your business, but it doesn't feel like it's new business.

Sir Richard you entertain having your competitors in the room where you were promoting your agency if if I've got that right, it's competitors.

It's more a case of I think that's Sunderland we had a few years ago was that a number of creative agencies had some frustrations with media agency partners that they didn't have the access to meet others to talk about the development of an update Media owners simile had frustrations that they would be stopped talking to the creative agencies 500cc so showcase really was They're gonna break down that barrier and directly introduce the media owners to the creative agencies, so no competition in there for a tutorial agency partners of ours and obviously the media and partners.

We are just hosting and curating the night I would say very smart from a

Buying perspective and media planning partner I think from the credit agency point of view was quite difficult to work with other agencies in the same room so we would go the opposite direction would be to run workshops for clients.

We create an environment where they can talk about their issues and challenges ahead changes the dynamic from the breathing process to the crater delivery to the execution and then the media by what did allow them to do is to talk about the wider business issues and its way to get some into intimacy with the client and understand what they're real issues are what's the traits out there one of them opportunities and what are the barriers to overcome that we call that are Discovery day.

Keep it on the Nautical theme as hms16, but it's it's a fun day, but I do like the good stuff.

You know kind of agnostic approach to getting the craters in the same room as well.

But we would definitely look to help clients across the piste in a way.

We look at them as you know as a business.

Not just as a creative opportunities about adding value to their business whether it's raising money helping them in a pitch that investors if it's launching a new product if it's about me a traded messenger USP to the market or working you know with a media partner to deliver events Media buys etc.

So it's much more holistic business proposition that we focus on and then use that to ultimately do with day job if you like which is making great TV ads over to you given that you don't do that traditional mailing stuff.

Where do you get to Leeds from all pretty much comes?

So whether those referrals are from existing clients, so we we are part of the operating company where we know the degree to which clients would recommend us to the clients and we know that score is very high on that so we get a lot of referrals from existing clients.

We get to referrals probably more so intrigued from pregnancy partners through intermediaries from the aar auditors like the qwerty to probably have 405 difference incoming streams of referrals and then there's Jessica picking up the phone to know new companies door to clients will people have gone to a new company, but I'll take only that very small part of what we do most of it is Fielding in band opportunities is some of that Legacy of

The network do you think I think and I'm and I don't know what the approach of Seven Stars is but I'm going to suggest it's not dissimilar to ask which is we will both benefiting from seismic change in the media industry in the UK networks dominating for ever and a day really over the last 5 years or so, I didn't networks problems have been very well documented and independents are growing significantly and therefore when it comes to review their business.

It's much more likely these days that the clients will want an independent agency or two on that list and as the two biggest independent Media agencies.

Seven Stars and and we didn't get our first year.

If not.

I'm disproportionate share of those opportunities, so I think a lot of it is damage just market change and Frankie being in this all right place at the right time so Richard is different for you.

I think.

Sitting here rather enviously of them Andrews proposition at the moment.

I think I'll sector is incredibly crowded.

I mean he know with bumping into people doing creativity in the might be PR agency in event company immedia owner presenting creative ideas to clients.

It is a real Battlefield so I think we structural process very differently we work really hard at it.

We attend key trade shows we put PR pieces out into the median those titles that support those events we attend those events with ab UK Europe or global it's a lot of trips out to these key events like well, which is in Switzerland which is the celebration of the Watch industry rules at that one and I think you know we we build our own databases by picking up those contacts and

And then no training them on the great believer that you have to go for The Long Haul when it's cold leader move that to a conversation with that.

We're meeting and potentially with that's an opportunity so drill through the data and we work hard at making those leads come to life and converting them to the prospects as we don't have people just walking in the door asking for an independent review on their crazy because it's a very very competitive sector indeed that passing to you.

So you've got your guys.

You know there's externals.

I've been passing those leads to you and you pick them up and follow them through to me individually or you and what we can we split them up so across the 303 take on you know those leads the coming from more relevant victim of a creative challenge vs.

Steve if it's more day to let it go to Paul if it's more general enquiry that I tend to pick it up.

Follow that through to a meeting with a presentation ideally but it's it's a tough one and you have to be prepared to dig deeper you keep in contact because no business doesn't review everyday reviews yearly all you know it's a long cycle for sure when you see a lead Richard what what are they? What are the characteristics of a lead that say to you? I've got a really good chance hear about the character of the company with dealing with work much better with owner operators people that own their own businesses people that don't want to work with a big global network where they're going to be having any personal attention.

I think it's about the brands that want to grow something.

That's a legacy brand something has perhaps been through challenges and look.

New Direction but owned by family or a perhaps of family offers for examples of those of the kind of clients that we really drilldown on and and make sure that we see that through to a conclusion and with most successful with those gonna businesses if you look at our client base, it is us and mainland European focused we have UK clients as well, but a lot of our business comes out of the US and are typically entrepreneurial family businesses often not work with an agency before they work with the USA European agency, but you know they see the UK as a big market, they want to be in the in the in the UK and we fit that bill very well, so Andrew good lead for you.

What what are the characteristics? No?

We have a 19 point check for the clients the wee wee come across as to whether we want to continue the conversation.

You know from a fortune perspective that will be arranged of questions around the size of the clients.

We particularly like clients to scale to most clients are ecommerce and all and all Challenger brands.

We don't have many clients who spend the same every year and grow or declined by 1 80% so the business scale with acts as a partner or school could hire moxie like for the climate won't the scope of work so is a kind does doing digital in-house score less than we will do the digital for them what the processes were the we know them the ability to produce amazing work and Frankie whether it's something that the agency want to work on so we are.

Leadership team everything that comes in would you want to work on this client and will not saying that the answer to that is the definitive answer, but it's a really good guide as to how the agency would react when we announce that we are pitching for climax.

So we put all those things kind of in the mixer brilliant a different times of the year.

I guess fortune is more than the others and if you're having a good time then we'll probably put a bit more this on the phone and phone so so Andrew in terms of business development when you broke away one thing that didn't work something that did it didn't work.

I think it we chased far too many opportunities far too many chats and opportunities and I think we're too easily flattered if I'm honest.

I don't think we were profession.

And choose enough about the conversation with the meetings the partners that we did in the first couple of years and we had an awful.

Lot of what seemed like really interesting conversation the actually have we ask better questions right at the outset and probably been a bit stronger.

I think would have wasted.

Lot less time than we that we did in the end.

I think that's everything that I would have I would if I did it again.

I would learn and went wrong.

I guess the thing that went right was the fact that version was a founding and it was a great opportunity to open doors to any other Challenger brand that wanted to know the kind of thing we were doing my Virgin help to sleep on my console guess that was again fortunate that started when I guess that that would be there think it went wrong and probably seen it went right.

Thanks for sharing fantastic.

Richard what about you? That's a really hard question happened and and you work in the business of a few years and I think when you have those into my conversations about getting round one clients and launching it's very easy to not focus on anything else, so I think that was probably the mistake.

We met.

We just wanted to be a bit like you know with Andrew with Virgin you sort of you pour a huge effort into something and then 3 months later.

It's still sitting in a document and opened in somewhere in China that was tough.

I think the thing we did right we work with partners.

We opened up our channels to interesting other businesses.

There's a lot of collaboration in the early days and that really helped.

And there is one of the things we did which was we open up the black book which is always useful but the black book does run out so I think it's you know I can share with the with the audience because I think it's it's easy to get beguiled and flattered when people come talk to you, but you need to do both you need to talk to them and make sure you got other conversations going on under Seasons good stuff, Richard Hammond hms16.

Thank you so much for your insights today.


I'm Jessie Ware from table Manners the podcast now here with my mum died and we have a special bonus episode of time coming to you sponsored by Sainsbury's taste difference autumn edition range go and check it out.

We talked to the fantastic broadcaster and entrepreneur Laura Jackson all about.

How to host fantastically listen now on your favourite podcast app I finally found an easy way to get a GP appointment when I need one with delivery app I can see a GP by video on the same day at the weekend friendly and if I need a prescription it sent to my local pharmacy really quickly Libby make simple download the Lily abner AVI appointment cost £29 including prescription sick notes and referrals the services available to anyone in the UK age, 16 and ok now.

We're going to take a brief look at a new development for mouth.

So if you don't know it already Alf is a service that provides people brands and spend that help Media businesses advertising agencies and marketing services companies to build their client base and these are the bigger.

spenders in the UK that the valve lifts

I have with me today addling Bonnie she's head of Us content welcome addling.

Thanks, Fraser adaline.

Very soon will be launching a new element to the which is called Alfie accelerators festival addling.

What is alpha accelerators as is another way for us at Auntie insight to help our clients generate additional revenue for their organisations by providing them with a set of prospects not currently available now, so surely addling every company big company is already in health.

Not necessarily and that's what makes that Freeport very interesting and exciting I think because these companies are not nice.

Why because although they have the means to do so they haven't yet? Spend enough to make it into the top 6000 UK advertisers, but they have the propensity to do so in future understand.

So how we set about actually compiling the data where we source 100-in Eat UK PLC companies ok, and we sort them from from which way buggies in 2018.

So the first one is the Sunday Times fast track 100 the second one is the Sunday Times tech track 100 in the third one easy ft 0 fastest growing companies list ok, so that's roughly 300 companies would use then winner down to.

Just over 100 to have we done that well the way in which we selected this company.

We looked at three different criteria.

The first one was company turnover so 417 it had to be at least 5 million pounds then we looked at the number of employees which had to be 10 minimum in 2017 but mainly the company we've included in a report weakness and revenue growth of a keys 45% over which was from 2014 to 2017 fast growing businesses people.

Are we trying to find in those organ donations so we've decided to provide c-suite contacts.

So people such as founders owners chief executive or manager.

Beast Wars because this business is being will actively young these are seafood people will be hands-on.

Then obviously Marketing contact soki Martin contact such as chief marketing officers marketing directors or equivalent because either condition maker for marketing advertising then insights is quite important because this is a groin area which she's going to again marketing and advertising so we're going to ride inside directors head of insights and finally we decided to least tech-people such as the city of technology director digital directors again, because these people are increasingly involved in the marketing strategy of businesses and are keen he's looking the business digital capabilities as well so

Are the kind of business is were interested in reaching such contacts? You should find out report very valuable.

So what is different to the core Health Service what makes it very interested for those of you listening to us today.

Is that these companies haven't been selected based on advertising spend which is the creature out with use for else but because there's been the fastest growing companies in the UK over the past few years as mentioned earlier, which means they do not feature in that although the fact that they are not been means that they haven't been spending huge amounts on advertising but have the capabilities to do so hence represent good opportunities for our clients these spenders of the future company should be on our clients hot prospects, please because they are as you say the companies of the future and that out.

Can in turn helps companies promote themselves and grow in future fantastic.

So when is it ready hopefully by the end of me excellent looking forward to it.

Thank you so much.

No problem.

Thanks for this edition of the media business podcast thanks to my guests this week adaline Bonnie Richard Hammond and Andrew Stevens remember you can find out more about helping sites at our website helping to hear more episodes in this series subscribe to the podcast episode of The Regular Show I've been Fraser Murdoch see you again next time.

Thank you for listening.

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