We normally write to comment on issues that relate to the services we offer our clients. For once, please allow us the indulgence to write about a service provided to us by May Marketing.
How do you grow a business in a fiercely competitive market place? Provide great service? Of course but its not enough.
Intali has been buying and selling investment and development property for clients for 14 years. 83% of our work is sourced from clients we have worked for before. That shows that we are providing the service they want (and is also very satisfying). But it also showed a weakness - that not enough potential clients were aware of how good we are.
When we started the business, "marketing" was stuffing details of properties into envelopes, taking them to the post office and waiting for the phone to ring. We progressed to be one of the first commercial agents to drop printed particulars in favour of email brochures. We have always been "early-adopters" of IT systems that help to provide better client service. So we are not afraid of change - in fact we embrace it.
Following a business review in the Spring of 2016 we identified the need for a formal marketing strategy. We asked Market Harborough based May Marketing to work with us on this project. Their brief was simple - provide a marketing strategy that will help to grow the business exponentially, year-on-year.
We assumed that armed with that objective they would come back to us in a couple of weeks with a plan of action which we could implement immediately with devastating effect on our competitors. It did not quite work out like that.
Before their instruction was confirmed, they wanted several meetings to "get to know" the business. There was nothing superficial about this - they wanted to know and understand it all. From their 27 page, four-stage, fully costed and scheduled proposal, it was clear that May knew our business.
Their proposal required significant input from us - far more than we had expected. But then this was no "off-the-peg" strategy - this was bespoke to our business and our people. And so we entered into an exhaustive and comprehensive review of the business, the services offered, its clients, our ethos and our aims.
For reasons of commercial confidentiality we would not wish to divulge too much information about the process we undertook, the way the strategy was constructed and implemented, but what we can say is that the work was delivered exactly in line with the proposal submitted by May Marketing at the outset.
We are absolutely delighted with the outcome. The whole team at May Marketing were engaging, understanding and proactive to our requirement. We were not even aware that some of the skill sets they have existed, but as the work developed it became clear that their individual talents dovetail beautifully to provide a comprehensive and distinctive marketing service.
We found that marketing touches everything our business does. May Marketing have the resources and skills to advise on any aspect. Following their engagement to provide the marketing strategy we also commissioned them to provide a new website, to assist with the development of a specific marketing campaign and provide marketing collateral. All of of which helped to deliver on the strategy adopted.
Finally a word on the cost. It is not considered polite to talk about fees – particularly of service providers. But we feel it is very important to understand that you get what you pay for. May Marketing are not cheap and why should they be with the skills and services they offer? Engaging them on our project was a significant investment of both time and money for a company of our size, but it became clear very early in the process that their service offers outstanding value for money.
Not as cheap as stuffing envelopes - but then if we were still doing that we wouldn't be here.