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

Rackleys Chiltern Hills

Rackleys Chiltern Hills logo

How we launched an amazing wedding venue

Challenge

  • 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.

Approach

  • 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.

Results

  • 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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Pauline Quirke Academy

PQA logo | Performing arts marketing success story

How we helped an amazing brand treble sales in four years

Background

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.

Approach

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.

Results

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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Marlow Monster Fireworks Show

Marlow Monster Fireworks Show flyer | Marketing success story

Challenge

To create an engaging event for the local community, boost interest and trial of new sports, and local clubs. Also to raise the profile of Marlow Sports Club, and raise funds to pay back the land purchase cost

Approach

It all started with an idea from a tennis club member who is a qualified pyrotechnician. Thereafter, we set out to fill a gap in the local market. Also to create a distinctive experience to inspire kids and adults alike. Nearly 9 months of planning goes into staging the show. It is an organisational challenge led by members of Marlow Tennis Club, and also involving help from all other sporting sections.
Marketing promotion aims to reach over 90% of the community half a dozen times in the 2 weeks before the show.
The offer itself is also designed to involve local sports clubs, great music, as well as purveyors of fine local beers, wine and food.

Marlow Monster Fireworks Show

Results

The Marlow Monster Fireworks Show is now in its 5th year. From a standing start, attendance has grown every year, and visitors now include over 10% of the local community.  As a result, it has raised over £30,000 to pay back Marlow Sports Club’s land purchase cost. Thus also helping to provide a lasting legacy for the local community.

The 2020 show is on Saturday 7th November (social distancing guidelines permitting); for advance tickets, visit the Marlow Monster Fireworks Show ticketing website after October 1st.  Thankyou for supporting the cause.

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Parkinson’s

Parkinson's logo | Charity marketing success story

How we revealed insights and event ideas to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease

Background

Parkinson’s is a charity focused on promoting awareness of, research into and help to alleviate Parkinson’s disease. In particular, they wanted help to understand needs and motivations to take part in events and generate and assess ideas for new events to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease.

Challenge

To research why participants take part in events, and also provide guidance to develop new events to promote Parkinson’s.

Charity Market Research Approach

  • Brainstorming and team working to devise and bring-to-life potential new Parkinson’s event ideas
  • Charity market research involved depth discussions with a wide range of event participants, from popular to more unusual events such as the Dryathlon, Secret Cinema and flash mobs.
  • Research analysis to reveal findings and conclusionscharity market research

Results

Revealed a clear picture of the type of event participants, their event needs and factors that drive participation. Also reactions to a range of events and what would most stand-out, appeal to event goers and match Parkinson’s objectives. Our work ultimately focused Parkinson’s UK communication and fundraising strategies and event development strategies.

Read more about and then support Parkinson’s great work.

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Ovo Energy

Ovo Energy logo | Marketing success story | Ovo

How we researched and helped develop a new energy service that has increased customers three-fold

Background and challenge

Ovo Energy is a small energy supplier who also wanted to create a new service to take on the might of the ‘Big Six’.

Approach

  • Team working to create stimuli to express the new energy service.
  • Customer depths and groups with existing and potential Ovo customers in all energy regions. This also included lapsed Ovo customers and customers of the ‘Big Six’.
  • Research and product development involved recycling and refining ideas in just 4 weeks.
Energy marketing consultancy

New Ovo Energy Proposition that’s helped increase customers three-fold

Results

Identified widespread unmet need for a new brand to challenge the ‘Big Six’, and also the ingredients for a new service. Since launching the new service, and energy marketing campaign, the number of Ovo customers increased three-fold. In addition, Ovo became uSwitch ‘Energy Supplier of the Year 2017’, winning 11 out of the 12 awards.

See Ovo Energy’s refreshing new energy services.

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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

Challenge

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.

Approach

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.

Results

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.

Challenge

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

Buckinghamshire-marketing-consultancy

Buckinghamshire Family Information Service website

Approach

  • 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.

Results

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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Berenberg Bank

Berenberg logo | Telephony marketing success story

How we’re helping build a pioneering reputation in investment research

Background and challenge

Berenberg Bank is a global investment bank. The telephony team wanted to uncover insights on demand and income potential. Also to understand drivers and barriers to bundling fixed line, mobile telephony, broadband and television services. This would input to an equity investment analysis and report for their clients.

Telephony market research approach

  • Initial discussions to agree objectives and devise quantitative survey questionnaires.
  • Survey translation, coding and testing.
  • Conducted fieldwork in several countries; UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany
  • Devised quantitative analysis specifications, and also cross-tabulations.
  • Analysis, report copywriting and finally production.

Results

telephony market research

Contributed many insights on drivers and barriers to, and also the financial implications of bundling telephony and TV services. For example, across all the markets surveyed, customers’ desire for bundled services, increases as customers experience more bundled services. As a result we predict more mergers, acquisitions and strategic relationships among telephony and television providers.

Berenberg’s reports continue to help build a pioneering reputation in equity research and investment.

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BBC Match of the Day

Match of the Day logo | Magazine marketing success story

How we researched and helped develop a new magazine

Background

Match of the Day is the BBC’s flagship football programme. A earlier attempt to expand the brand was unsuccessful and a new opportunity foreseen in the teenage publishing and online market.

Challenge

To understand the market for football news and gossip, and also identify gaps in the market for a new multi-media football offer.

magazine market research

BBC Match of the Day Magazine

Magazine Market Research Approach: Three stage process:

  • Research planning session to decide issues and opportunities to explore and also create/compile new ‘offer’ stimuli.
  • Group and depth insight programme. Methods included paired depths with pairs tasked as investigative journalists, and groups with respondents asked to complete football and football media diaries. In addition, paired father and son depth interviews and individual football enthusiast interviews. These respondents were also asked to buy and review magazines.
  • Working session to debrief findings, conclusions and recommendations.

Results

Identified opportunities and created blue-print for new Match of the Day magazine and website targeted at tweens.
The magazine launched in 2008. In year 1, sales amassed c. £8.5m thus enabling it to vye for category leadership.

Read BBC Match of the Day magazine

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Livv Homes

Livv Homes

How we helped inspire a new social enterprise

Background

With origins as a housing association, Livv Homes (was First Ark) is a pioneering social enterprise based in Knowsley, Lancashire.

Challenge

To help Livv Homes establish a clear, motivating and unifying direction. Also to develop strategies to better meet customer and stakeholder needs and improve marketing capability.

First Ark-social enterprise

First Ark, a pioneering social enterprise

Approach

  • Information review and stakeholder interviews to understand hopes, fears, marketing capabilities, business issues and opportunities.
  • Create start-point mission and ‘brand’ positioning to explore and develop in working sessions with management.
  • Team working sessions covering four business units to determine customers, segments and also needs.
  • Develop mission, positioning and series of marketing plans for the overall business. Also for the range of business units and product and service groups. We also devised key performance indicators (KPIs) to aid ongoing management.
  • Interactive marketing ‘discovery’ sessions followed finally by a strategy debrief.

Results:

Helped First Ark (now called the Livv Housing Group) understand how to think from a customer point of view and discover the benefits in so doing.
Established a clear and challenging mission to inspire the management team and organisation at large to develop their exciting social enterprise. As a result this sets a new high standard for the way the organisation works and has potential to transform the local economy.
Also established new marketing strategy, brand strategy and plans to ensure concrete and steady progress to achieve desired financial and customer outcomes.

Read more about this pioneering social enterprise.