The Big Peg community is home to the fantastic Strategy Plus, one of the Midlands leading digital marketing agencies. We really enjoyed catching up with them and finding out a bit more about their business
We would love you to tell us about your business?
Strategy Plus is a small and perfectly formed Digital Marketing Agency established way back in 1997 by Marketing Consultant Keith Ricardo. Keith, or Ricardo as he liked to be called (I wonder why), envisioned massive potential in the internet; thus took a young web developer under his wing named Cris (who is still with the business today, operating from a separate office in Bucharest).
Keith's son and Marketing Graduate, Daniel, joined the Agency in 2001 and took over the running of the business in 2012. This change has been instrumental in evolving the Agency from a Web Design & SEO business, into a complete holistic Digital Marketing Agency for SMEs.
How do you build a successful customer base?
Daniel prides the business on it's strong Marketing roots and the understanding of SME’s need for real ROI. Whether it's a Social Media post, Video or Website Content, Strategy Plus understand that we only succeed by growing others.
When we started in the 2000s, we won customers by the good old-fashioned cold call. Fast forwarding a decade later, Inbound Marketing became our focus; thankfully we haven't made a cold call in nearly nine years!
Inbound Marketing has 5 clear steps to success:
What has been your favourite highlight to date?
It’s hard to pinpoint a specific moment or event, but the gradual development of the network we’ve built with local businesses, chemistry within our office, and skills we are continuously improving produce prolific instances of communal good faith, hilarity and success.
Do you have any predictions on trends?
We predict that AI will affect our industry eventually; as data becomes more accessible and advertising becomes more targeted, our industry will encounter challenges as well as experience benefits. There will be many changes in the future of Digital Marketing, but if you stick with the 5 steps of Inbound Marketing, you will be ok. Do remember though, platforms such as Facebook and Instagram will always expect to get paid by you at some point, we would always recommend that businesses be prepared to have some budget for paid advertising.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
For those starting out in business, we would say don't be afraid to continually try new things. Not everything will work, but you won’t find out what will without trial & error. Very little comes easy in life, so be patient.
For Digital Marketing particularly, there’s of course SEO, Web Design, PPC, Social Media, Email/Video Marketing and more fields of expertise (which will only increase in the future as technology develops), but we would recommend that you study marketing initially. When the service you provide is Return On Investment, it’s paramount that you understand the process of sales.
What is your biggest challenge?
Our biggest challenge is being hard-nosed business people, we don't like issuing contracts and invoices, which are pretty important in business. If you don't like doing it, outsource to someone who does.
Digital Marketing is a challenging area for many reasons:
- Industry gets a bad reputation from lots of Agencies promising more than they can deliver and tying people down with fixed term contracts.
- Fast moving changes within the industry such as Google algorithm and Facebook changes.
We stick to our guns. We don't tie people into fixed term contracts and never get involved in 'black hat' techniques, whether it's for SEO or Social Media.
Why did you choose The Big Peg for office?
We chose The Big Peg originally because it was in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter, and having previously been in the Aston Science park, we were desperate for somewhere with lots of like-minded businesses with a bit of energy to the area. Since then we have seen so many more benefits, we have been able to move offices as the size of the team changed and gained lots of new customers and contacts. We've been here since 2006 and can happily see us here for another decade.
What do you like about being based in the Jewellery Quarter?
Aside from the bustling lifestyle, traditional ambience and variety of small businesses to network with, we love the Jewellery Quarter so much we created and still run a website for the area, along with lots of its social media.
Where would you recommend for lunch?
We couldn't possibly recommend just one place for food, but there are over 15 places available for discount with our JQ Card. As we’ve had a member of our team leave and another arrive recently, we’ve treated ourselves to lunch at both The Rose Villa Tavern and The Red Lion.
To find out more about Strategy Plus and how they can help your business visit their website.