PromoMedia was set up as an alternative to traditional advertising agencies in the UK.
Having worked in a busy, independent marketing agency and with 20 years experience of working with media planners, media buyers and UK advertising agencies all over the country, it was clear to me that there were areas for improvement and flexibility in how people worked with advertising agencies in general.
Firstly, when I started my career, whenever we wanted to book any "paid advertising" we always went to the same advertising agency, regardless of the form of advertising - they had 'the contract' with us and that's how things were done.
As the years passed, I realised that whilst this leading London advertising agency was great at certain forms of advertising (and in certain locations), they weren't great at others. They were "good" or "could do everything" but weren't really brilliant at any. We, therefore, changed our approach.
We started to "pick and mix" which ad agency or independent media buyer we used, depending on what form of media we wanted. We would use one agency for TV, one for outdoor, one for radio etc. Also geographically, I would use different agencies. If I wanted the best new outdoor sites in Cardiff a young, ambitious team there were surely better placed to know what and where they were, rather than someone sat hundreds of miles away in West End London office? Of course, they were and the results we started to get from the advertising campaigns started to get much better as well.
I suppose I saw these big "full-service advertising agencies" as akin to a big advertising supermarket, where you could get anything, at a decent value, easily. However (to use the supermarket example), generally in buying locally or from specialised local suppliers or smaller retailers (if you know the best butcher, baker etc), you get better products and more personal service, often for less money. I thought there could be a similar approach in the advertising world.
Secondary, these large agencies were very focussed on "big spenders" and I wanted to create something which could help small and mid-scale enterprises (SMEs) looking to expand, develop and grow. On top of that, I thought that there must be a more flexible way for the national and international companies to work with agencies, who had, like me become wedded to one particular advertising agency out of ease or comfort.
I had nothing personally against these large advertising agencies but I felt that their approach had become outdated. Even today, it's still dominated by a certain attitude, boardrooms, an office with a certain postcode, pitches and posturing - often feeling more about them and how great they are, rather than the client.
This realisation was the birth of PromoMedia. I essentially wanted to unite the smaller brilliant agencies and freelance media planners, who were experts in what they did, with people - like you - who were looking for their skills.
As with most marketing agencies I specialised in a particular niche but it became clear that the means of successful marketing are similar across all industries. The marketing and advertising “toolkit” is essentially the same - billboard adverts, television advertising, newspaper adverts, radio advertising campaigns, social media, SEO strategy etc. – so regardless of what’s being advertised, with my media supplier contacts in place across the UK, I realised I could help any business achieve their advertising aims by connecting the client to this person or organisation. That is quite simply how it works with PromoMedia.
When you enquire through the site we match your enquiry with the person or organisation with who we think is the best to execute this for you. Sometimes they may be local to you, sometimes in another part of the country, sometimes it may be a small self-employed expert with years of experience in that field, other times an agency with better buying power, someone new and exciting; all of them are UK based and all, we think, are the best at what they do.
The beauty of this approach is that we are able to help most people and organisations no matter what size marketing budget they have in a way that a large agency may be unable to do so.
I have personally always felt that all companies should be treated the same when it comes to advertising. A large amount of personal satisfaction has derived from seeing new businesses grow through effective marketing. Don't get me wrong, it's great to work with huge brands with big budgets and then see something you work on featured on UK-wide billboards, on national TV ads or with major radio advertising, but it's equally satisfying to know that you've seen a small company grow on a tighter budget.
When I was formulating the concept of PromoMedia, I spoke to SME business owners, in-house marketing teams, self-employed individuals and even national companies - it was a unanimous answer that when they were looking for a new UK ad agency they simply ended up typing in Google “UK ad agencies”, “Top 100 marketing firms”, “the best marketing company”, “cheap business advertising”, “advertising for a company”, or something similar. These Google results threw up a sea of advertising and marketing companies, many offering tips on how to advertise and market your business, promises of "the best advertising rates", “cheap forms of advertising” or the like. However, in many cases when SME companies went on to approach these companies they felt either intimidated, like “small fish” or found them expensive. Big companies with larger budgets would find it an "easy solution" - as I did - to go to one supplier rather than source individual excellent suppliers of different media types, ending up with solid if unspectacular campaigns.
So, knowing that there were companies of various sizes looking for new ways to approach their paid advertising saw the launch of PromoMedia in July 2016.
Since then the small independent teams that make us up have gone from strength to strength, supporting and booking advertising campaigns for everything from small local start-ups and chip-shops through to gym chains, storage companies, national restaurants, major hotel chains, sports clubs and international brands. However, our ethos will continue to be the same; to offer cost-effective advertising at The Right Time, Right Place and Right Price to all who come to us, using a top team of hand-picked media planners, media buyers and smaller agencies who are highly experienced and passionate about what they do. We don't have big fancy offices and loads of staff, I suppose we are in many ways a virtual advertising agency, connecting the best media experts to people who require their services. That’s what makes us different.
At PromoMedia we are keen on a personal approach. This is why when we get your advertising enquiry as explained above, a bespoke media planner is selected and matched to the job. They will then call you to chat about what you are looking to gain from advertising and find out more about your marketing aims and company ambitions. Having chatted and listened to you they will then recommend the best forms of advertising so you get the best return on investment.
We often find that people enquire about one form of advertising e.g. billboards, before realising a different media option may be more effective e.g. bus ads.
We can also send you examples of previous similar work to help you make a balanced decision before you book anything.
Obviously, the advice and marketing recommendations we give at PromoMedia is free – you only pay for any advertising you want to go ahead with and this is done under the terms and conditions of that media planner or organisation.
Here are a few of the most popular questions we get asked:
A tough question, the typical marketing budget we work with at PromoMedia is around £10,000 but we do work with much larger and smaller advertising budgets and we always try to make any amount work.
I personally think it’s important for companies to see marketing not as a cost but as an investment. It’s an old adage to “put your money where your mouth is” but I believe this is true. If you don’t believe and invest in your company why should potential customers? I’ve seen so many individuals with good business ideas fail because they aren’t willing to invest in proper marketing.
It’s not enough to simply create a good company or product and expect people to happen upon it, you have to tell them, and business advertising is the best way to do this.
Again, a tricky question. All media owners think that their media platform is the best and most effective form of advertising and they will all have industry facts and figures to prove it!
If you put billboard suppliers, TV ad bookers, SEO experts, bus ad specialists etc. all in one room they would argue with each other for hours that their form of advertising is the best.
But the truth is the best form of advertising depends on the product or service and what is the most effective way to show this off is. For example, if you are selling a visual product e.g. a holiday, the best way to do this is with visual marketing, so billboards or TV advertising would be brilliant. If you are selling a music gig, radio ads are great. Our job at PromoMedia is to help advise you on what will the most effective marketing platform for your company, based on what you are promoting and where this is.
Often a balanced “pick and mix” of a few types of media is very effective and something our media planners may recommend to you.
You are all different and advertising for new business and customers is tricky – it’s a sad fact that most companies fail in the first year. There is no simple answer about the best place to advertise a business and once again it totally depends on your product or service.
At PromoMedia we always believe that outdoor advertising is a great starting point if you are looking to raise your company profile, it’s impactful and can hit a large number of people relatively cheaply in targeted and high-footfall areas. In terms of specific locations, we find that train stations, roadside 48 sheets and shopping centres are especially effective.
We often get asked for some free advertising tips. As mentioned we think investing in paid advertising is important but our free marketing tips would be – a clean and user-friendly website, positive social media interaction, a decent logo and hard work!
Check out our advertising blog for lots of weekly tips, news and views.
Many people expect instant results from advertising but that isn’t always the case. You have to think realistically about how you interact with marketing as a human being.
For example, if you saw a poster billboard for a new restaurant in the morning on the way to work you don’t instantly call up and book or go straight over there for a meal. However, a few weeks or months later when you are thinking of somewhere new to eat you may decide to head over.
The same applies to a service; if you see a new dentist being advertised you may log that mentally and the next time you are due a check-up decide to go to them – again this could be days, weeks or months after.
People are complex, not robots, and marketing is a balance of art and science meaning results are not instant.
Successful marketing plants a seed that grows into customers further down the line. Also, too many advertisers and businesses try to overanalyse results and focus on things not working - we call this paralysis by analysis - basically you over-think things and end up not moving forward.
At PromoMedia we know that business and product marketing takes a leap of faith, it’s an expensive investment for most companies but we believe it’s the only way to move forward and fulfil your business ambitions.
If you want to or sustain your marketplace or grow, we confidently believe the way to do this is with effective and well-placed advertiisng, and at PromoMedia we are here to help you every step of the way.