The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from BMAS Agency is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.
Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles
23BMAS AGENCY |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2018
The founding team: Marcus,
BMAS Agency Ltd is a London-based digital marketing
agency, focusing on delivering tailor-made digital solutions
allowing clients to achieve their online goals. Over a five-
year period, co-founders Jojo Regan, Alexander Hawkings-Byass
and Marcus John Edgworth have established a strong foothold
in one of the UK’s most competitive industries and expanded
their brand across the world.
Building a business from the ground up
I co-founded BMAS in 2012 with two close friends, Alexander and Marcus. In a
commercial world fuelled by choice, clients require additional magnetism to be
enticed into choosing BMAS as their digital supplier. The odds were against us,
considering that London has a high density of digital agencies. Additionally, we
were young founders with a combined average age of 22. How was a tiny start-
up consisting of 20-year-olds going to establish itself as a competitor in this highly
We had to find our edge. Our premise was to provide slick web solutions to start-
ups who were short on time and capital. It was clear there was space in the market
for a small business to make some quick inroads. At this point, accessible web tools
were still in their infancy and to get a decent-looking site for your business took
either £5,000+ or 500 hours with cumbersome template tools.
We swiftly built up a network of clients and word spread. The team’s mantra
revolved around over-delivering for the client, ensuring each new job resulted in
further recommendations. Our pricing model made us an investor in the client’s
»CEO: Jojo Regan
»CFO Marcus John Edgworth,
»CTO: Alexander Hawkings-
»Established in 2012
»Based in Fulham, west London
»Services: Digital marketing
agency, specialising in tailored
»No. of employees: Project-
dependent, 14 at most
»Shortlisted for Forbes 30
under 30 in 2017
»Award-nominated web design
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
24 | BMAS AGENCY
business – we had as much on the line
as they did, and this commitment paid
dividends. Obviously, this is not a wise
long-term strategy as it’s high-risk, but
our strict reinvestment methodology
saw us outperform annual targets,
with revenue growth over 100 per cent
year on year.
BMAS’s primary fee-earning service was
initially web design and development.
Under Alexander’s guardianship,
BMAS invested heavily in this core
offering. We complemented our
existing knowledge base with highly
skilled developers and spent a great
deal of time refining our workflows,
ensuring optimum output and delivery
on any scope of project. Keeping
abreast of new technologies, practices
and regulations ensured we met our
clients’ ever-adapting demands and
kept pace with the industry.
We adopted an “agile methodology”
to compress our capacity into
manageable weekly “sprints”.
Development makes up the bulk of our
projects’ budgets and staying on top of
this has had the biggest impact on our
business’s operating margins.
At the early stages project budgets
ranged from £2,000 to £5,000,
and as our capabilities grew so did
our reputation – BMAS now stands
shoulder to shoulder with well-
established agencies pitching on
£100,000+ projects. When you are
involved in these high-stakes tender
processes, technical due diligence gets
extremely granular and we had to
ensure our technical recommendations
withstood scrutiny while ensuring
long-term client value.
Once we had the boilerplate in
position, we began to understand how
to acquire international business. The
beauty of our service is that anyone
with an internet connection has
access to one of our clients’ websites.
Enquiries rolled in from Dubai, USA,
Australia, Malaysia and the Netherlands
businesses from these countries seeing
the UK as a gold standard in terms of
the online revolution and of our strong
portfolio and close client relationships,
making us distinctive. To this day,
some of our biggest clients are located
abroad, and thanks to platforms like
Slack and Skype, we haven’t even met
some of them in person!
Working beyond our domestic territory
has had a big impact post-Brexit. It
created uncertainty, meaning non-
essential business investments were
quarantined. Within a week of the
referendum two major domestic
projects pulled out. But as the sterling
depreciated against the US dollar
an arbitrage opportunity presented
itself. We focused all marketing
efforts outside of the UK and filled
the gap with US businesses looking
to exploit the pound’s value. In the
months following Brexit we signed
four new international clients, with
the revenue generated exceeding that
of the two contracts lost domestically.
It illustrated how our investment in
going global paid dividends and with
our refined process in place the team
had the ability to cater to this influx of
We focused all
of the UK and
filled the gap
An example of our
The BMAS logo has
gone over 200mph
25BMAS AGENCY |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2018
Being young founders
London is a haven for young
innovation. Our timing in founding
BMAS couldn’t have been better,
entering the market as the UK’s
start-up culture was beginning to
thrive. Businesses bought into our
enthusiasm and youth – this became
our edge. Not only is our solution
priced competitively, but it’s innovative
and backed by intensive research.
We’re not saying it is equivalent to
20 years of on-the-job experience but
in a relatively new industry subject to
regular reinvention, experience can
inhibit how far you push the digital
boundaries. It’s essential that you
allow yourself to adapt with market
undulations. To succeed in our
industry, we are constantly adapting
to market fluctuations and challenges
that inevitably arise.
Adapt, overcome, improvise
BMAS has never fundraised, due
to which we three retain 100 per
cent of the company’s equity. With
this comes the flexibility to make
executive decisions quickly, making us
reactive and versatile. A memorable
moment was in 2010, which saw the
huge shift in businesses’ marketing
strategy from traditional PR to digital.
Services like social media marketing,
influencer marketing and digital
advertisement, if done correctly, could
While BMAS’s core service was still
web design and development, it was
not long before we expanded into
these markets, identifying early on that
there was strong revenue potential.
Putting aside a large portion of capital,
we agreed to invest into our digital
strategy team and focus more of our
marketing efforts towards social media
projects. It paid off!
In 2014, digital marketing accounted
for only 20 per cent of our revenue,
but by the start of 2018 it accounted
for almost 45 per cent. This is
considering that total revenues had
increased by almost 700 per cent
over the four-year period. It’s now a
large part of our business offering –
withoutthe forethought to pivot part
of our service, the business would
never have experienced this level of
It is our intention to remain boutique;
we look to work with fewer clients
who want to push digital boundaries.
Our ethos never wavered, and it still
resonates within everything we do.
Having started with a team of three
founders, we have flexed between 9
and 14 staff, project-dependent. The
agency has moved away from small-
scale web projects, now providing
clients with a full service turnkey
solution, ranging from website design,
web development, e-commerce
consulting, branding, social media
marketing and digital strategy.
Our ethos never
wavered, and it
»James Purdey & Sons
»The Four Seasons
The BMAS team posing
for our Christmas photo
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review
This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.
In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.
We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.
With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.
And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.
As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.