When starting a business from scratch, it is often a slow, if steady, climb to a summit before reaching a tipping point of growth. Aaccelerate, one part of the Advertising Association’s response to the government’s Industrial Strategy, focuses on growing businesses through the power of multi-channel advertising. From a policy perspective, it’s a national campaign – business growth is as important in East Anglia as it is in Anglesey. But from a practical perspective, we decided to see if our research, which already shows the significant impact of multi-channel advertising on smaller businesses, could help to grow existing successful SMEs in Scotland and the West Midlands.
Why these locations? Scotland because it is a country with a rich cultural heritage, a hugely creative advertising industry and some great SMEs with collaboration at its heart. The West Midlands is home to the fastest number of startups across the UK and it is also a key part of UK industry.
We are handpicking 10 SMEs in each area to experience the benefits of multichannel advertising through 20 bespoke campaigns, each lasting between four and six weeks. As this is the first time this has ever been done, it has been important to enable our members in Scotland and the West Midlands to work in ways appropriate to them.
In Scotland, we announced our first five SMEs in October. They are a compelling line-up of SMEs larger and small, but with one thing in common: growth. Vets Now, Green Tourism, OOni, Fleming Homes and Appointedd are working with different advertising agencies to launch new products, work in new regions and raise brand awareness. The agencies are reaching out to commercial media owners and creating campaigns that will have real impact on the SMEs’ bottom line.
In the West Midlands, having started our work a bit later, we are currently recruiting SMEs to be part of our first 10. The three advertising agency members involved will work together to produce the best campaigns again with the help of commercial media owners.
We will evaluate all the campaigns and results will be shared with the SMEs. For our part, we will use the evaluation results to scale into 2019. We are planning for Scotland to lead the way and hope to recruit a whopping 50 businesses to the scheme next year. We have an agreed governance structure, a team of willing agencies and media owners and some great SMEs that will grow and benefit from the expertise of our team.