Managing Director, Breckenridge - The Growth Agency
Taking the reins of a family business established in the early 80’s by his parents, Ross Breckenridge is steering the agency into a new era of marketing.
Breckenridge, The Growth Agency, harnesses an ever-evolving range of creative tools, to achieve augmented results for clients.
Here, Ross discusses the nuances of continuing the legacy of a family business, whilst retaining the core values that have underpinned it for nearly four decades.Connect on LinkedIn
What is unique about running a family business?
From the beginning, my parents gave me a great insight into how hard they have worked to build a business over the years.
It's not all sweetness and light, but there are some big, powerful advantages to working with family. We have trust in making decisions and doing the right thing and a culture to really look after each other. We foster a family feeling within the business, we really look after our people.
You’ve got a great then and now photo on your website. What’s changed between then and now in the business?
The difference is the toolset that is available to us. How we do things has changed completely. Originally, the team was sitting at drawing boards putting together artwork and obviously, now we're fully digital.
It’s a completely different business, but actually, there's a continuous thread of helping our clients connect with their customers.
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"One trend we’ve seen is the transitioning from face-to-face events, into creating those experiences digitally."
When coming up with new concepts, what’s your creative process?
We keep our finger on the pulse for new communications channels, ways of putting creative together and getting messaging across. But ultimately, it comes back down to really understanding the audience.
In terms of idea generation, we start with: “If you had all the money in the world, and all the time in the world, what crazy things could you do to get this message to the right people in an engaging way?” Then, we roll back from that and shape ideas to budgets, and timescales.
You’re a huge believer in the inbound methodology, can you tell us a bit more about that?
In a traditional sense, we provide marketing services, but actually the proposition of our business is how we help clients to grow.
Inbound marketing is about taking strangers through a process so that they end up as promoters of your business. Attracting people to your business, engaging with those people, and once they become customers, moving them from customers into promoters of your business. It’s a circular methodology; if you have happy customers, you’re more likely to get good rotation and referrals.
Do you have a campaign that you are particularly proud of?
We’ve got a campaign with a technology client that is going really great. They were a spin out of Southampton University and we’ve done quite a lot of video content for them. The target market is blue-chip technology companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon Web Services. The traction that those campaigns got was fantastic. It’s generated a lot of leads, which has helped them grow. Our reason for being, is to get to those points and celebrate those wins with our clients.
How do you think COVID is affecting marketing trends?
One trend we’ve seen is the transitioning from face-to-face events, into creating those experiences digitally. People have got a big hole in their marketing mix and they’re moving towards compelling digital customer journeys.
We’re also finding businesses are thinking about what it means strategically. We’ve worked with people who are looking at diversifying into different markets or creating different products or services that are more digital in nature, or likely to sustain them more moving forward.
"It's great to have a nice brand and values but I find it really interesting when companies really live it; they have a culture code and they will make business decisions based on their brand."
What’s something that not many people would know about you?
I once rode my bike from Land’s End to John O’Groats covering about 105 miles a day for nine days. It was pretty cool to not have anything else to think about. It was a pretty epic experience and I would highly recommend it.
Which brand do you most admire?
We work with a brand called HubSpot for our inbound marketing. They talk, the talk, but they absolutely follow through on it. The amount of advice and support that they always have available is amazing.
I admire brands like Innocent. It’s great to have a nice brand and values but I find it really interesting when companies really live it; they have a culture code and they will make business decisions based on their brand.
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