Cast your mind back…the year is 2013; Andy Murray has just won Wimbledon, Britain's first Wimbledon men's singles champion for 77 years. William and Kate welcome Prince George into the world, same-sex marriages get the ‘yes’ vote in the commons.
Did the B2B tech world really need another agency? It’s a question our co-founders Virginia Bray and Diana Tucker agonised over in a variety of coffee shops and hotel lounges, featuring free Wi-Fi and ample parking, while pondering the life-changing decision to start a business together. Especially as, despite knowing of each other professionally, the two had never worked together before and had followed quite different career paths.
As experienced marketers – they talked about the type of agency they wanted to build: one that treated its clients in the way they would like to be treated themselves; one that created a culture of support and opportunity for team members and promoted the profession and professionalism of marketing.
With a clear vision of the kind of business they wanted to run – the next decision was where to focus. They knew that vibrant and engaging content was – and still is – a vital pillar for success in an ever-evolving tech world. They saw an opportunity to help technology companies reach their full potential by creating the kind of content that buyers really want and need; that helps them reach good buying decisions rather than content for content’s sake.
They decided to bring their years of experience and skills together to create a content marketing agency to help B2B technology businesses to engage audiences, share ideas and communicate value by fusing together old and new marketing practices.
Just like the Higgs Boson particle, discovered the same year, Marketing Fusion has had quite the journey. And as with any journey worth taking, there have been a few pitfalls – as well as triumphs – along the way. Here are just a few of the things we’ve learned:
It’s not always easy to do this – especially in the early stages – but figuring out the clients we can really help, and those we can’t was a key lesson for us. Over the past 8 years we’ve worked with some amazing people – and are so grateful to those who have supported us. You don’t have to be peas in a pod, but shared and similar values and attitude to work make for a more harmonious and productive working environment.
As a business, our aim is to build long term trusted relationships with our clients. It means delivering on our promises and putting them and their success at the top of our agenda. Sometimes things don’t go right. We might miss a brief – or client priorities change. Building empathy and putting ourselves in our clients’ shoes have helped us to move past some of the setbacks that occur.
Be confident. As an agency, we believe you should be a partner to the client, not subservient. We find ways of working that fit with our client, be that fitting with their cultural model or using their preferred channels of communication. Be willing to challenge on occasion, or keep pushing when you know it’s in line with their end goals. It’s important to be clear up front that this is how we work and this is what we can offer. Set expectations from the outset that reaches the best outcome both for client and agency.
What makes a good team member? It’s not always apparent from a CV – especially in this time of remote interviews and onboarding. Picking someone with the right attitude is just as important as the specific skills set. We’ve worked uber-hard to make our recruitment and on-boarding processes as smooth and rich as possible. Having learned a lot of lessons, it’s still a work in progress, but by having regular feedback we have made a process that is structured and welcoming.
Every business will experience highs and lows – and it's crucial to ride the wave and celebrate successes when they occur, as well as learning from your mistakes. By honestly assessing our strengths and our failures, we’ve been able to build something together that we all feel a part of – which was an attitude that was integral to Virginia and Diana when forming Marketing Fusion.
Agility and flexibility are the watchwords for any small business and over the last 18 months this has been tested to the max. As a small business, we have the ability not open to bigger organisations to respond to some amazing opportunities, brought to us by partners, employees and customers and have embraced those that fit with our vision and strategy. As the marketing landscape continues to evolve and shift through digital and audio, we believe it’s important to keep offering more invigorating content through new and exciting medias.
Most of all, we just want to say a HUGE thank you to all of our clients. You have given us the opportunity to adapt, change and grow and it has been the biggest pleasure to do so. We wouldn’t be where we are without you and your support and we can’t wait to see what else we can deliver over the years to come. What’s next for Marketing Fusion? As our name describes, we will continue to fuse old and new marketing practices to bring innovation to the B2B tech marketing space. We are so happy with how far we have come and we’re excited to see how far we can go. We want to grow, change and inspire while continuing to support our clients and enable them to have better conversations through great content in the years to come.