Marketing agency invests £1 million

Andrew Scott, owner and MD of marketing agency Purplex, talks about his company’s recent growth and a recently announced £1 million investment across the Ascot Group,.

I have been in the window industry for 30 years, starting as a computer programmer for a glass company before taking over as production manager. I made the move into sales and marketing working with Ian Harrison (Saturn Windows and Speedframe) and was marketing director of companies such as The Omega Group and Cambrian Windows, which was later acquired by Masco.

I studied Business and later Corporate Finance at Cranfield, and have acquired, built and sold several companies across the industry before moving into marketing.

Over the years, I worked with many marketing and PR agencies and was always frustrated. Either they lacked industry knowledge, didn’t have the relevant skills or resources, or charged a great deal of money without delivering the results I wanted.

In 2004 I took the plunge and launched my own marketing agency, Purplex, with the aim of doing things very differently.

Most PR, digital or design agencies are small lifestyle businesses with 5 or 10 staff and almost no business strategy or investment plan. I wanted to make a difference, to really help companies build strong brands and create sustainable growth, so I took the decision early-on to invest.

The name Purplex itself is an acronym for my philosophy; it stands for purpose, planning and execution. And it certainly seems to have paid off; today the company employs 65 staff, making it by far the largest agency in the glazing and construction industry.

In 12 years, the company has moved four times, the most recent being the purchase of a major HQ just outside of Bristol. We plan to scale from 65 to 200 staff over the next few years and we needed new facilities to support each stage. The new HQ doubles our existing office space to 10,000ft2 and the building, fit-out and new facilities are part of a £1 million investment.

The new HQ spans three floors and includes a creative studio with design, video and photography, a high tech digital hub for web design and extensive device testing, digital marketing and social media. It also houses a media and PR office, customer services and a support team, along with three video-enabled meeting/training rooms and great staff facilities, from the ‘live lounge’ to gourmet coffee on tap and arcade machines.

Training is an integral part of the Purplex success story with both a graduate development and an apprenticeship scheme, as well as hosting regular in-house skills training in specialist subjects as diverse as Facebook advertising and telephone call tracking. We recently made the news when we flew one of the world’s leading Google experts to the UK for exclusive training with the Purplex SEO, PPC and Analytics team.

Creating the right environment for our team is essential; a motivated, passionate and highly skilled team delivers much better results. That’s why our clients grow faster than their competitors and had 15,000 sales leads last month.

This focus on results and client satisfaction has given Purplex one of the highest customer retention rates in the marketing industry, while Google recently announced Purplex as one of its fastest growing Partner agencies both in revenue spend and performance against other agencies. It was no surprise then that we were nominated ‘marketing agency of the year’ the first time it entered the Construction Marketing Awards in 2015, and again in 2016.

More recently, Purplex was recognised by the Institute of Directors, winning the ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ Award while I was nominated ‘Director of the Year’.

The agency partners with companies throughout the supply chain and across trade, commercial and retail sectors, either as an extension of a client’s in-house marketing team or as a completely outsourced marketing department. Some clients appoint Purplex purely to manage individual channels, such as PR or social media, while others use the full breadth of marketing skills within the agency. Either way, they benefit from deep industry knowledge and a highly-experienced account management team.

Some agencies sell on the idea that you only deal with the top team, but this is nonsense. You want your agency director or account manager working on your strategy, not circulating a press release or managing your Twitter account. Let the experts do their job, and the account management team work on strategy with the clients. Your business grows faster, and your marketing costs are lower.

I believe marketing is changing at its fastest rate in history and new technologies, media and shifting consumer behaviour means organisations and agencies need to constantly evolve their marketing strategy.

Purplex is well placed for the changes ahead and the company is firmly set on employing 200+ staff within a few years. The agency is part of the Ascot Group, which already includes several media and tech businesses, a property portfolio and a seed capital/investment arm.

Future growth for Purplex will come both organically and through acquisition, as I plan to add other marketing agencies and services to the group.

Purplex Marketing
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