Red Cow Media

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Red Cow Media's best practice article

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 Red Cow Media is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett, MP
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP

www.redcowmedia.co.uk

BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
16 | THE SPECIALIST WORKS
The one thing that unites all our clients
is a growth mindset. Like us, they
believe the sky’s the limit and aren’t
constrained by conventions.
Our data capability is built on advanced
technology. [mint] is our marketing
intelligence platform where campaign
results are unified, connected, analysed
and acted upon. [mint]AV is the area
of [mint] that identifies the effects TV
and video ads have on website visits
and conversions. We also have a data
management platform that feeds into
[mint] and gives our clients a complete
view of their customers. First-party
data allows our clients to deliver more
relevant and timely content, products
and services to their customers. Our
data scientists and analysts work
alongside our planners and specialists
to bake insight and measurement into
every campaign.
This is one of the reasons we’re so
valued by clients – we don’t believe
in one-size-fits-all solutions. We take
on our clients’ problems and create
an evidence-based solution that gets
them to where they need to be. We
work hard to interrogate the detail
and deliver an approach that is truly
tailored and most effective for the task
at hand. Our clients’ business goals are
at the heart of every decision wemake.
We welcomed the introduction of
GDPR. We’ve always championed
using high quality audience data, as
we know this means more engaged
audiences for our clients. Our
experience is that this approach drives
more sustainable business results.
We also look forward to seeing the
Competition and Markets Authority’s
report on the digital advertising market
post-Brexit.
We’re fortunate to have some
brilliant household names as clients,
including boohoo.com, Auto Trader,
Alibaba Group and 23andme, and
our international capabilities continue
to expand from year to year. The
future’s exciting for us and our clients.
The growth in all kinds of direct to
consumer models, and the talent in
our passionate and specialist teams,
makes me enormously excited about
the future. We’re dedicated to creating
solutions that deliver better business
outcomes for our clients. It’s this drive
that sets us apart.
The one thing
that unites all
our clients is a
growth
mindset
A still from our client
Auto Trader’s latest TV
campaign
17RED COW MEDIA |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
Inside the Red Cow office
Red Cow Media boardroom
High-end, boutique digital marketing agency Red Cow Media
was founded in 2013 on the belief that serving hundreds
of clients with a one-size-fits-all approach is incompatible
with the modern marketplace. Based in Manchester, it provides
a comprehensive digital marketing service – everything from SEO
and pay-per-click advertising through to retargeting, social media
and internationalisation. Stephen McCance, Red Cow’s operations
director, has been with the company since it was a freelance
project with no physical office, and tells
The Parliamentary Review
about how it operates differently to other agencies.
The way we operate is fundamentally different to most other agencies. At an
early stage, we took the decision to eradicate areas of needless wastage that
many agencies have – the use of account managers, for instance. We found this
simplified the process significantly; clients speak directly to the people doing
the work on a day-to-day basis, and with an account lead in place to simplify
communication further, results are far better as a result.
This ties into our straightforward, no-nonsense company culture. Before founding
Red Cow, we had all spent our lives and careers to this point in digital marketing
and had worked in large agencies.
Observing their working practices in the early days, we noticed a lot of areas
where processes could be streamlined – and a lot of companies that mystified and
confused clients by overusing jargon. We wanted to bring things back to a purely
business-based mindset: providing a return on investment and ensuring that digital
marketing remains viable for our clients.
FACTS ABOUT
RED COW MEDIA
»Directors: Stephen McCance,
Kelly White, Matthew McCarthy
»Established in 2012
»Based in Manchester
»Services: SEO, Google Ads,
Google Shopping, social media,
retargeting, Facebook and
Instagram advertising, UX, CRO
»No. of employees: 15
»We have won 5 awards in
6 years including Best SEO
Agency, Best Digital Business
and Best Digital Marketing
Agency
Red Cow Media
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
18 | RED COW MEDIA
Another key difference was that, while
we offer a full suite of digital marketing
services, we decided back in our first
year to stay away from areas we aren’t
experts in, such as graphic and web
design. We wanted to remain specialists
in digital marketing alone, rather than
falling into the trap that many other
agencies encounter by trying to take
any work that comes along.
Finally, we do not employ any
salespeople whatsoever – in practising
what we preach, all of our clients come
from inbound enquiries or referrals.
Our digital marketing expertise is
what brings in new business. We
have always grown organically and
sustainably rather than taking needless
investment to force the issue; by doing
this, we have ensured the quality of
our work remains constant.
The early days
Originally a business that capitalised
on the three founders’ spare time and
willingness to freelance, Red Cow was
formally established in 2013 when we
quit our jobs and rented a small office
to give the business a proper go.
For each of the first three years, we
tripled in size, and our growth started
to stabilise around 2016. It was around
the same time that we started to
take on larger and more high-profile
clients and found ourselves winning
larger and more valuable national
contracts, including projects with
healthcare provider BUPA and fashion
brandboohoo.
In 2017, we expanded further to offer
international work. With an established
presence in the UK, we pushed on
to deliver our expertise in countries
including the USA, Australia, China,
Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
Pushing the reputation of
digital marketing
There is a reputational issue when it
comes to the digital marketing sector.
There are those agencies out there
who promise the world, take clients’
money and deliver minimal returns. It’s
unfortunate that a trend has emerged
in this regard, but we want to do our
part by educating, raising awareness
and spreading the word about digital.
To this end, we have set about
establishing the Red Cow Academy.
It’s been in the pipeline for some time,
The Red Cow Academy
is set to launch in
autumn 2019
The way we
operate is
fundamentally
different to
most other
agencies
»TAX PRESSURE
A great deal of pressure is placed on businesses when it comes to
paying various taxes and levies, and it seems likely with every passing
year the government will be adding more.
The pressure this places on businesses is substantial, and there is
shockingly little in the way of support from HMRC or the government,
which is amazing considering SMEs are largely responsible for
generating growth and money for the country, contributing significantly
to the budgets for public services to function.
We are often referred to as the heartbeat of the economy, yet we
feel completely ignored, unsupported and taken advantage of.
Furthermore, if you ever find yourself in a tough spot with HMRC, as
most SMEs do at some point during early years of trading, there is
next to no assistance or leniency.
Rather than assisting those who are trying to work with them to
overcome short-term issues, you can expect them toaggressively add
hefty penalties to the sums you’re already struggling to meet, and
set phenomenally high payment plans that make you feel as though
they’re actively trying to put you out of business. Unfortunately, alot
appears to depend on whether the person you speak to at HMRC
that day is in a good or bad mood – such is the level of consistency
we’ve come to expect.
19RED COW MEDIA |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
and the sentiment emerged after
we observed a significant shortage
of highly skilled and well-trained
individuals in the sector.
The academy will target not only
those who work within the sector
but also communications teams and
marketing managers within other
companies – a large national fashion
retailer, for example, approached us
about upskilling their social media
department before the academy was
even fully established.
There are a lot of false preconceptions
out there surrounding digital
marketing, most of which stem from
a lack of understanding – if we can
educate and demystify, people will be
better positioned than ever to take on
a new agency or commission work.
Alongside trying to push and expand
the reputation of the sector, we are
also using our skills and expertise to
diversify and widen our own portfolio.
We have correspondingly established
two in-house ecommerce businesses,
one in gymwear and the other in
cosmetics, as well as a bridging loans
lead generation website.
Workforce concerns – attitude
and skills
The workforce remains a principal
concern, not just for us, but for the
digital marketing sector as a whole.
Many organisations cite a skills shortage
as a big issue for the future – but I think
the problem lies in attitude, too.
Finding people w ho have the right
mindset is a real difficulty. I think
there’s been a large change in
the culture of those entering the
workforce in the past few years – a
lot of people expect special treatment
just for putting in standard hours
and often don’t actually have the
appropriate skill levels to support
themselvesindependently.
The presence of a number of lower-
quality agencies in digital marketing
doesn’t help the recruitment situation
– there are hundreds of agencies in
Manchester alone, and they have a
massive demand for people. It thus
quickly becomes a case of quantity
over quality, meaning that the
workforce is becoming less skilled as
a whole and that more clients feel let
down as a result of poor service.
Expanding our reach and
changing the sector
There are a lot of agencies out there,
and we would like to see the sector
start to stabilise and self-regulate. It’s
very much the case that if you’ve got
a couple of people and a computer,
you can appear to be a large digital
marketing agency through creative
use of pictures and wording on
your website – the numbers need to
come down and we need to work on
improving our reputation as a sector.
With the right team and the right
attitude, we are confident our success
will only continue. For Red Cow,
the future is simple: we want to
keep delivering the digital marketing
expertise we’ve become renowned for,
continue pushing our academy and
look at expanding into other countries
with English-speaking companies, such
as the UAE.
We want to
keep delivering
the digital
marketing
expertise we’ve
become
renowned for
Rooftop garden and
meeting area
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
18 | RED COW MEDIA
Another key difference was that, while
we offer a full suite of digital marketing
services, we decided back in our first
year to stay away from areas we aren’t
experts in, such as graphic and web
design. We wanted to remain specialists
in digital marketing alone, rather than
falling into the trap that many other
agencies encounter by trying to take
any work that comes along.
Finally, we do not employ any
salespeople whatsoever – in practising
what we preach, all of our clients come
from inbound enquiries or referrals.
Our digital marketing expertise is
what brings in new business. We
have always grown organically and
sustainably rather than taking needless
investment to force the issue; by doing
this, we have ensured the quality of
our work remains constant.
The early days
Originally a business that capitalised
on the three founders’ spare time and
willingness to freelance, Red Cow was
formally established in 2013 when we
quit our jobs and rented a small office
to give the business a proper go.
For each of the first three years, we
tripled in size, and our growth started
to stabilise around 2016. It was around
the same time that we started to
take on larger and more high-profile
clients and found ourselves winning
larger and more valuable national
contracts, including projects with
healthcare provider BUPA and fashion
brandboohoo.
In 2017, we expanded further to offer
international work. With an established
presence in the UK, we pushed on
to deliver our expertise in countries
including the USA, Australia, China,
Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
Pushing the reputation of
digital marketing
There is a reputational issue when it
comes to the digital marketing sector.
There are those agencies out there
who promise the world, take clients’
money and deliver minimal returns. It’s
unfortunate that a trend has emerged
in this regard, but we want to do our
part by educating, raising awareness
and spreading the word about digital.
To this end, we have set about
establishing the Red Cow Academy.
It’s been in the pipeline for some time,
The Red Cow Academy
is set to launch in
autumn 2019
The way we
operate is
fundamentally
different to
most other
agencies
»TAX PRESSURE
A great deal of pressure is placed on businesses when it comes to
paying various taxes and levies, and it seems likely with every passing
year the government will be adding more.
The pressure this places on businesses is substantial, and there is
shockingly little in the way of support from HMRC or the government,
which is amazing considering SMEs are largely responsible for
generating growth and money for the country, contributing significantly
to the budgets for public services to function.
We are often referred to as the heartbeat of the economy, yet we
feel completely ignored, unsupported and taken advantage of.
Furthermore, if you ever find yourself in a tough spot with HMRC, as
most SMEs do at some point during early years of trading, there is
next to no assistance or leniency.
Rather than assisting those who are trying to work with them to
overcome short-term issues, you can expect them toaggressively add
hefty penalties to the sums you’re already struggling to meet, and
set phenomenally high payment plans that make you feel as though
they’re actively trying to put you out of business. Unfortunately, alot
appears to depend on whether the person you speak to at HMRC
that day is in a good or bad mood – such is the level of consistency
we’ve come to expect.
19RED COW MEDIA |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
and the sentiment emerged after
we observed a significant shortage
of highly skilled and well-trained
individuals in the sector.
The academy will target not only
those who work within the sector
but also communications teams and
marketing managers within other
companies – a large national fashion
retailer, for example, approached us
about upskilling their social media
department before the academy was
even fully established.
There are a lot of false preconceptions
out there surrounding digital
marketing, most of which stem from
a lack of understanding – if we can
educate and demystify, people will be
better positioned than ever to take on
a new agency or commission work.
Alongside trying to push and expand
the reputation of the sector, we are
also using our skills and expertise to
diversify and widen our own portfolio.
We have correspondingly established
two in-house ecommerce businesses,
one in gymwear and the other in
cosmetics, as well as a bridging loans
lead generation website.
Workforce concerns – attitude
and skills
The workforce remains a principal
concern, not just for us, but for the
digital marketing sector as a whole.
Many organisations cite a skills shortage
as a big issue for the future – but I think
the problem lies in attitude, too.
Finding people w ho have the right
mindset is a real difficulty. I think
there’s been a large change in
the culture of those entering the
workforce in the past few years – a
lot of people expect special treatment
just for putting in standard hours
and often don’t actually have the
appropriate skill levels to support
themselvesindependently.
The presence of a number of lower-
quality agencies in digital marketing
doesn’t help the recruitment situation
– there are hundreds of agencies in
Manchester alone, and they have a
massive demand for people. It thus
quickly becomes a case of quantity
over quality, meaning that the
workforce is becoming less skilled as
a whole and that more clients feel let
down as a result of poor service.
Expanding our reach and
changing the sector
There are a lot of agencies out there,
and we would like to see the sector
start to stabilise and self-regulate. It’s
very much the case that if you’ve got
a couple of people and a computer,
you can appear to be a large digital
marketing agency through creative
use of pictures and wording on
your website – the numbers need to
come down and we need to work on
improving our reputation as a sector.
With the right team and the right
attitude, we are confident our success
will only continue. For Red Cow,
the future is simple: we want to
keep delivering the digital marketing
expertise we’ve become renowned for,
continue pushing our academy and
look at expanding into other countries
with English-speaking companies, such
as the UAE.
We want to
keep delivering
the digital
marketing
expertise we’ve
become
renowned for
Rooftop garden and
meeting area

www.redcowmedia.co.uk

The Parliamentary Review Publication, in which this article originally appeared, contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster