Strategic marketing consultancy | Brand marketing consultancy | The Marketing Directors logo

Centre for Alternative Technology

Centre for Alternative Technology logo

How we helped put this eco charity on a firm footing and champion a zero carbon world


The Centre for Alternative Technology showcases sustainable building technologies in their visitor centre in rural Wales. They also run courses in sustainable building. They wanted help to put their charity on a firm financial footing, and thus better champion a sustainable future.


Multi-stage approach to:

First, primary research with key management and stakeholders, and secondary market and local catchment research to identify new business opportunities, and opportunities to better structure the charity and better market themselves.

Second, working collaboratively with the CEO, Chairman, to review and refresh their business strategy. Specifically to create compelling vision, mission, and set of guiding principles to help realise their goals.

Third, review and optimisation of advertising and promotion activities, particularly via Google Ads to boost requests for course prospecti and course sign-ups.


We identified several dozen opportunities and prioritised those most likely to boost demand and income quickly. We then focused marketing effort on realising those opportunities working with hand-in-hand with key management. Through optimising online advertising we helped exceed annual course targets within 3 months.

In addition, we helped finesse CAT’s mission, vision, and devised a more customer and stakeholder focused organisation structure. All instilled renewed enthusiasm and also focused collective energy to champion a zero carbon world.  Read more about and then visit the Centre for Alternative Technology

Process Bliss

Process Bliss Software Development Success Story


Having developed prototype ‘business process’ software, our client wanted to explore opportunities for the software, and then specify, and develop a marketing strategy to commercialise it.


3 stage research and software development approach:

First, we worked with our client to create research stimuli bringing-to-life the software idea, what it does, and how it worked. This comprised one page software summaries, a list of features and benefits as well as wireframes or screen-grabs.

Second, depth interviews (over two dozen) with a range of potential business customers and covering a range of industry sectors. The purpose of research was to understand businesses needs, issues and frustrations. Also reactions to the software idea and details. This enabled us to create an outline marketing strategy; target market ‘sweet-spot’ and software development specification to focus coding activity.

software development specification

In a subsequent stage, we compiled further stimuli covering brand names, communications, more detailed software screen-grabs, and pricing. All was explored with a further sample of the priority target groups (again around two dozen). The aim was to assess what resonated most and what didn’t. This then allowed us to recommend an ‘optimal’ software development specification, brand proposition, communications and pricing.


Our work gave management confidence to establish a new business and software brand. Called Process Bliss, it is a simple way to help teams work together and do great work. It works by embedding simple processes and workflows to undertake key tasks. Thus empowering those new to roles, and boosting business efficiency and effectiveness, while keeping everyone in the loop. Read more about how Process Bliss works and schedule a discovery call or start a free trial.

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Interface Exhibitions, Events and Interiors

Interface Worldwide Events and Exhibitions


To better differentiate Interface, and attract more exhibitions, events and interiors clients. However, mid-way through our work, the world was struck by Covid-19, and the exhibitions’ sector shut-down. The focus of our work therefore switched to both short and long-term planning.


Multi-stage approach involving close working with the client management team. Also website and search engine performance analysis. Then client and prospect research, strategy development and website revitalisation.

First, management team interviews to understand strengths, weaknesses, what worked and could be improved. Then as lock-down eased, research depth interviews with a score of clients and prospects to understand their experiences and service needs in the future.  These covered companies in several countries. As a result this allowed us to develop new strategies to better meet the needs of customers. In particular, to convey Interface’s capabilities and boost business efficiency and marketing effectiveness.


Outcomes included a new advertising campaign targeted at local businesses and which also championed Interface’s interiors capability.

Also a new website promoting their unusual ability to create, build and deliver new brand experiences.

Interface Worldwide Success Story

This inspired an immediate and significant jump in search traffic. High search levels and enquiries continue to date. This is despite the exhibition sector and global remaining in lock-down. Check out Interface Worldwide for inspiring exhibitions, events and interiors  for your brand.

Rackleys Chiltern Hills

Rackleys Chiltern Hills logo

How we launched an amazing wedding venue


  • To research and develop a marketing strategy and plan to launch Rackleys Chiltern Hills; a new luxury wedding barn and event venue in the heart of rural Buckinghamshire. As the refurbishment took over 18 months, careful staging was needed to develop the venue, while attracting guests, and building a high quality reputation.


  • Staged collaboration with the management team and also graphics and web designer, over 18 months.
  • Firstly, secondary research to understand, the range and nature of current wedding venues, and offers, in and around Buckinghamshire.
  • Secondly, qualitative research, comprising depth interviews, with prospective and recent brides and grooms, and wedding planners to understand their needs and decision making criteria.
  • Thirdly, we defined the Rackleys Chiltern Hills brand positioning, product and service offer, and other elements of the marketing mix. Then created a website and established a social media presence.Rackleys Chiltern Hills Wedding Barn Buckinghamshire
  • As the build nears completion, test events, and marketing, will increase in proximity to, and beyond the official opening.


  • Marketing for Rackleys Chiltern Hills wedding barn and event venue started in Spring 2020 with the launch of their new website, and social media sites.
  • The impressive refurbishment is well underway and opening on track for 2021. Rackleys is now open for show-rounds, taking bookings and welcomes first guests in April 2021.
  • After 2 months of (low key) marketing activity they have already received a ‘significant number of enquiries and bookings’.
  • Take a tour around Rackleys amazing wedding barn in Buckinghamshire and check out their social media for latest news.

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Guys and Dolls Casting

Guys and Dolls Casting logo

How we helped a TV and film casting agency achieve record placements


Guys and Dolls Casting provides supporting artistes (SAs) to the television and film business.


To grow the customer base of Assistant Directors (ADs) in TV and film, and also provide even more supporting and featured artistes to TV and film productions.


  • Review of company and market situation with the CEO, including financials, customers and productions served, and also strengths and weaknesses.
  • Depth interviews with a range of Assistant Directors (mainly 2nds/3rds, some 1sts) in TV, film and commercials sectors. Our aim was to understand their needs, attitudes, behaviour. And also reactions to proposed new Guys and Dolls Casting services.
  • Analysis of findings and production of recommendations to better meet AD’s needs.
  • Also analysed online marketing performance. And then developed communication strategy and plans to refresh the website, increase awareness of services (such as new Extras Manager), and leads.
Guys and Dolls Casting Agency Website

Guys and Dolls has built an envious reputation for supplying fabulous extras; high calibre supporting srtistes and crowd for feature films, television programmes and commercials.


Marketing collateral, processes and resources put in place to grow the business. As a result, in 2019, the team smashed previous records for getting SAs and featured artistes on set. Lots more artistes are also being lined up for 2020 productions.

If you need professional supporting artistes or want to be one, get in touch with Guys and Dolls Casting.

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Pauline Quirke Academy

PQA logo | Performing arts marketing success story

How we helped an amazing brand treble sales in four years


The Pauline Quirke Academy for Performing Arts is a small business with big ambitions. Their success to date has been driven by their entrepreneurial team. With no professional in-house marketing competence PQA also relied on management judgement and design agencies to grow. Concerned about becoming stale they wanted to make sure they had effective plans to drive growth.

Marketing challenge

To double turnover and the number of academies from 50 to 100 in 3 years.


performing arts marketing

One of PQA’s promotion flyers

  • Research-led; secondary research and analysis of media costs and impacts, customer leads and sign-ups by drive-time. This clarified the geo-demographic target market for new Academy openings. It also inspired more cost-effective media strategies and plans.
  • Primary research among Academy principals, students and parents (both new, current and lapsed, also new, high and weaker performing academies). This helped understand product and promotion strengths and weaknesses, and also performance drivers/barriers.
  • Created mini advertisements and leaflets to help understand student and parent needs and also define the most compelling brand messages.
  • Recruited in-house marketing team to improve marketing capabilities, and also foster a culture of continuous improvement.


Identified the most motivating ideas to position and promote the brand and deliver a distinctive brand experience. As a result, we launched a new performing arts marketing campaign and student numbers increased c. 20% after the Autumn opening season. Since the first marketing hire, the team has grown to 7 executives over four years. All are highly motivated, and also focused on delivering an amazing brand experience. In addition, overall student numbers, and sales have more than trebled.

Read more about The Pauline Quirke Academy online.

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Nile and York

Nile and York logo

How we helped a designer textile brand expand globally


To build on the UK and European footprint, strengthen international distribution and presence, and also cement customer relationships.

Interior Design Services Marketing | Nile and York

Nile and York’s elegant website and fabrics


  • Analysis of issues and opportunities with CEO/management team.
  • Developed plans to build awareness and interest while mitigating risks.
  • Provided guidance and advice to create new marketing materials.
  • International promotion to raise brand awareness, interest, generate leads and also build and cement customer relationships.


New trade marketing communication campaign implemented globally. As a result, this rapidly raised awareness and interest of this designer textile brand. It also boosted distribution in new markets such as the USA, and helped cement customer relationships. Today, Nile and York continues to carve a niche, and also win acclaim for its range of stylish fabrics and new wallpapers.

Check out the beautiful range of Nile and York small print chintz and sateen fabrics and wallpapers. With a range of nine designs and also six colours there is bound to be one to enhance your home.

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Cadbury logo | FMCG marketing success story

How we inspired new desserts for out of home eating


To understand attitudes and needs to eating desserts out of home. In addition to uncover insights to create new desserts and grow the category.

fmcg product development

Dessert Development Approach

  1. Restaurant trade observation and secondary research to investigate menus and also the current range of desserts available out of home.
  2. Research planning workshop with marketing, research and food development teams.
  3. Creation of advertising and product stimuli to understand needs and uncover insights and ideas for new products.
  4. Family group discussions in various out of home eating establishments, also creative consumer workshops with different demographic groups.
  5. Analysis followed finally by a debrief and working session.


Provided a series of visual and written insight platforms to inspire and focus new dessert development. Also several pointers to improve trade channel operations. This ultimately helped cement trade working relationships with a leading restaurant chain.

See the delicious range of desserts at McDonald’s UK.

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The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

CIMA logo | Professional Services Marketing Success Story

How we researched and developed a new global professional services marketing campaign


Having concerns about the effectiveness about their current advertising, CIMA wanted to understand how it worked, understand accounting students, and also their student journey. In particular, to develop a new and effective strategy and campaign to attract more students.


Professional services marketing success story

Professional services marketing success story | How we helped CIMA research and develop a new global ad campaign and increase members

  • Interactive workshop followed by team working to create brand positionings and also advertising ideas.
  • Qualitative international management team depths, student creative workshops (group discussions) and depth interviews. This enabled us to pinpoint the target market sweet-spot, understand the customer journey, and develop a brand strategy. This then inspired ..
  • Further marketing communication development followed by quantitative research in 8 countries: UK, China, India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, South Africa and UAE.  Three different agencies were challenged to develop creative work to match our brief and compare with ideas developed thus far.
  • Finally research analysis followed by a management team debrief.


Through our work we identified key motivations and barriers to taking CIMA qualifications. Also a blueprint to enable consistent and distinctive global brand communication covering rational and emotional benefits, personality and style and tone. In turn this inspired a new advertising campaign which launched globally. As a result student acquisitions grew by 15% in year one. This exceeded the goals originally set.

Considering a career as a management accountant? Visit the CIMA Global website.

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Buckinghamshire County Council

Buckinghamshire County Council logo | Buckinghamshire Marketing Success Story

How we helped improve public services and value for money

Background and challenge

With pressure on public finances, both national and local Government wish to contain costs and also maximise cost recovery.


To understand family information and service needs and assess awareness. Also usage, drivers and barriers to use Buckinghamshire Family Information Service.


Buckinghamshire Family Information Service website


  • Management team discussions to identify issues and opportunities to improve service appeal and generate income.
  • Research included depths with parents of pre-schoolers, primary and secondary school age children. Also businesses targeting families in the county.
  • Online quantitative research survey covering adults in local authority areas in and also around Buckinghamshire.
  • Analysis of findings and production of marketing recommendations. These were finally delivered in a face-to-face management meeting.


Our work bench-marked Buckinghamshire Family Information Service performance, information and service needs, usage and drivers and barriers. As a result this revealed many insights on geo-demographic penetration differences. It also spotlighted opportunities to improve online information provision, service value, develop new business services and help recover costs.

The Buckinghamshire Family Information Service provides lots of ideas on fun family activities in Buckinghamshire.

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