Recent freelance marketing projects
I work with two types of client:
- Clients who have an in-house marketing team but need a strategic marketer to help with a particular challenge, or who need an extra pair of hands at busy times.
- Clients who don’t have a marketing team and want ongoing marketing direction and support.
Whatever the marketing challenge, I love finding the most cost-effective marketing solution that will get results – whether that’s leads and pipeline, new clients, brand awareness or a new marketing strategy. These are a few examples of recent projects:
Outsourced Marketing Management for Ecclesiastical Planning Services (EPS)
The marketing manager at EPS, Emma Simpson, has a busy role, overseeing every aspect of marketing for two brands as well as bespoke marketing activities for all EPS’ channel partners. In late 2017, Emma approached me to outsource some of her marketing planning work.
After taking the brief from Emma, I conducted desk research, held interviews with the sales team and with EPS’ channel partners to produce a B2B campaign plan, proposed metrics and a copy platform. The feedback was very positive ‘we’ve reviewed the B2B marketing plan you produced and are delighted with it. Thank you for putting this together and for the detailed research you did’. The plan is now being put into action.
Emma says ‘I’ve worked with Ciara before in the past and I know she’s a talented marketer. My role is so busy that I wanted to outsource to someone I could trust and who would just ‘get it done’. That’s exactly what she did and I’m delighted with the results.’
Strategic Marketing Audit for Smirthwaite
Smirthwaite has been manufacturing high quality and child-friendly seating for children who need postural support, for over 30 years. They enjoy an excellent reputation in their market, gained through the manufacture of quality and robust products, fantastic customer service and strong relationships with therapists and parents. However, they are operating in a challenging market; cuts to NHS funding and changes in procurement has led to minimal growth. The leadership team made the decision to bring in a marketing consultant to help them identify market opportunities to further grow the business.
After meeting with Claire, the Commercial Manager and Richard, the Managing Director, I recommended a thorough and deep marketing audit before putting together a marketing strategy. The audit consisted of:
- a review of the current SWOT and creation of a PESTLE
- interviews with the leadership team and Smirthwaite sales teams
- competitor analysis (desk research and mystery shopping)
- customer insight and analysis (depth interviews with occupational therapists and parents)
- product portfolio analysis
- review of markets (existing and potential new markets and segments)
- review of marketing activity to date
Smirthwaite operates in a complex market and the marketing audit was labour intensive. The customer research was particularly challenging as NHS staff are so busy, but the audit highlighted a number of marketing opportunities for Smirthwaite.
I produced a detailed slide deck showing all my findings. As the slide deck was 120 slides, I produced a summary report highlighting the key issues and a strategy document with proposed marketing strategies, expected results and associated risks.
The Smirthwaite team were able to develop a strategic plan using this information which they are now putting into practice. Richard said ‘This is an excellent piece of work, there were things in here that I knew and expected to see, but this has also highlighted new information for me.’ Claire said ‘A highly detailed and comprehensive piece of work which has helped us both confirm our existing thinking and more interestingly, challenge some of it’.
Digital Marketing Training for a Firm of Architects
The Client: A well-established firm of architects in Cambridge. The company have an excellent reputation in their sectors but the senior leadership team felt they ‘ought’ to be doing digital marketing. They were reluctant to dip their toes in without understanding what was involved.
Solution: We started by looking at their current strategy and identifying how they could apply digital techniques to enhance what they were already doing. I then ran workshops covering what digital marketing is, how could benefit their business and how their competitors are using it. It was a lighthearted but informative sesison but crucially it gave the Directors the confidence to invest in content production and start posting and engaging on LinkedIn and Facebook.
Targeted Lead Generation for a Start-up Training company
The Client: The owner of this start-up has a great business model but a shoestring marketing budget. He is targeting C-Suite execs at FTSE 500 companies. Two challenges, a difficult to reach audience and minimal budget to do it with. But, with a bit of imagination and clever thinking, you can get great results from a small budget.
Solution: We started with building personas for the target client profiles. From this, we identified their key challenges and how this company solve them. We built a content plan around these challenges and posted regular LinkedIn articles to raise awareness of the brand. We then exported the owner’s LinkedIn contacts and identified targets that existed within his connections. We then built a program of sponsored content and targeted direct mail and Inmail to generate meetings.
Marketing Audit and Copywriting for a Surrey-based digital marketing agency
The client: A small creative agency with big plans and fantastic skills. They want to grow substantially over the next five years but were so busy with client work, they didn’t have enough time to focus on developing a growth plan.
The Solution: we started with a marketing audit, looking at the agency’s current positioning in the market, clients and competitors. We identified there was a need to shift positioning to differentiate from competitors and appeal to the kind of clients they want to attract. The positioning was agreed and I rewrote the homepage copy to reflect this shift. In addition to the website, I rewrote the copy in sales materials to ensure the value proposition was conveyed at each stage of the sales cycle.