THINKS FOUNDER ON ADAPTING TO CHANGE AND WINNING AWARDS

Despite a difficult 18 months for businesses, we have doubled in size, moved to a sexy new studio space and gained 15 new clients. This is topped off with a hattrick of Drum Awards, as well as the pièce de résistance, The Grand Prix – The best digital agency in the country – under 40 staff.

Think conducted a Q&A with Paul Grogan, founder and creative director, to reflect on the last 18 months, take time to appreciate our clients and understand what the future holds for Think.

So what’s changed at Think since the pandemic began?

Over the last 18 months we have repositioned the agency as a full-service creative consultancy, working with a strategic partner to deliver audience research activities that inform our brand and marketing work and made 4 new hires across SEO, Social and Design to strengthen our digital marketing offer.

This was born out of a need to meet client demand. Clients don’t necessarily want a one stop shop and we still work with trusted partners on projects where specialist skills are required. However, clients feel reassured when working with a strategic agency that doesn’t look at their project in isolation, but can look holistically at their wider marketing and business goals and work collaboratively with other suppliers to help drive their business forward. They are looking for an agency to be part of the conversation and be able to provide advice across disciplines.

How has the business grown in this time?

We work with an eclectic array of businesses across construction, manufacturing, professional and business services, education, not for profit and many more. Our wide sector expertise means we’ve been able to win a staggering 15 new clients in the last 18 months.

We have produced 17 brand identities 50 brochures, 38 websites, 14 digital marketing campaigns, 24 SEO strategies, 30 commercial photography jobs, 16 CGIs. We are fairly busy to say the least!

Think are lucky to work with some fantastic marketeers, it’s been a testing time for everybody, and it’s taken a tremendous amount of tenacity and trust on both sides to weather the storm. Our clients are obviously the bread and butter of our business, and we wouldn’t be here without them. With each new project comes new challenges. Thankfully, our clients trust our opinion and when we have to push back on their approach, they know we only have their businesses best interests at heart. This is obviously why we won The Grand Prix at this year’s Drum Digital awards. This means our clients rated us the highest scores across 5 different criteria to be awarded the best digital agency in the under 40 staff category, and we couldn’t be more chuffed!

What are the businesses you work with looking for?

We’ve noticed a shift in companies who, back in March 2020, were reluctant to invest in branding, quite often stating they don’t need to as everyone in their industry knows who they are, predominantly in the B2B sector. These same businesses are now seeing the value in a rebrand or refresh to make sure they don’t get left behind. There is also piqued interest in B2B audience research post pandemic, as business strive to understand how their buyers needs and motivations have changed. This is really exciting for us, as better insight leads to more informed and effective design and marketing opportunities .

The climate is tougher than ever, and businesses need to put their best foot forward. Digital marketing has accelerated significantly in the B2B market. More businesses are looking closely at their content marketing strategies to grow their organic channels and become less reliant on, throw enough it will stick, PPC lead generation.

Our clients (and potential clients) have realised that they can have access to a cross functional marketing team that spans SEO, social, PPC, copywriting, strategy, design and project management – at a fraction of the cost of hiring these skills inhouse.

So what does the future hold?

In pretty much any space or sector in 2021 there is so much noise it’s hard to differentiate your brand or business from the rest. Strategy and that nugget of audience insight to set you apart has become more important than ever, whether you are looking at a brand overhaul or a social media campaign. But it’s important to not to do ‘strategy for strategy’s sake’. We are keen to work with our clients to create demonstrable change, wherever their entry point is. We think it’s this sensitivity towards client’s budgets that will help businesses back on their feet in the next 12 months.

Despite the increase in digital demands, we still see print as important. As an aging population with over 50% of the population over 40, many adults feel digitally excluded. Print can still be as relevant as your Instagram page, and we have seen this with many of our clients, with a significant increase in print spend.

It’s an exciting time for Think due to the exponential growth of our agency and we don’t see this slowing any time soon. We’re on the look-out for a new hire, but mainly our focus over the next 12 months will be to continue to nurture our talented team, who have fortunately been able to bond in the office over the last 6 months. Keeping great people inspired and happy in the workplace is a key strategy for keeping our clients happy! Our clients love our dedication, the boutique feel that makes them feel special and the quality of our design and marketing expertise. Our aim is to build on this and continue to develop relationships with clients that see the value in a strategic design partner, one that gets their business challenges and can help shape their bottom line.

Best Digital Agency 2021! We are proud to announce we are worthy winners of the following:

Best Service Delivery Agency Winner 2021 & 2020

Best Web Design Agency Winner 2021 & 2020

Best Creativity & Innovation Agency 2021

Grand Prix Winner Best Digital Agency Under 40 Staff 2021

View our agency profile on The Drum