The Specialist Works

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by The Specialist Works'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 The Specialist Works 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
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.thespecialistworks.com

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
14 | THE SPECIALIST WORKS
CEO Martin Woolley
We created a series of short films to hero Alibaba Cloud’s
#techforchange campaign. Featuring Mariéme Jamme,
founder of #iamtheCODE
Boldness, energy and creativity – these are the values that
CEO Martin Woolley says motivate The Specialist Works,
an independent media and marketing services agency.
Their goal is to unlock more possibilities for growth-minded
brands. Media, data, creative and partnerships are the four
pillars that underpin their offering to give their clients the best
business outcomes. Working around the world, with their
people spread across the UK, Ireland, China and the United
States, the company has won wide recognition, not least in the
form of the “Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies to Work
For” award. Martin tells
The Parliamentary Review
more about
this multimarket enterprise.
We do the specialist work that unlocks more possibilities for growth-minded
brands. We offer our clients tailored solutions, including media planning and
buying, data analytics, content solutions, and brand partnerships. The principle
that unites all of these is encompassed in our “Now, New and What’s Possible?”
planning approach. This approach balances short-term sales goals with long-term
brand-building ones. “Now” is about maximising value in the channels that already
perform well for a client. “New” is about finding new avenues to deliver growth,
by testing new audiences, channels, propositions and markets. “What’s Possible?”
is about bigger, braver and more creative thinking. Our goal is to provide solutions
that unlock more possibilities for our clients. In short, they come to us with business
goals, and we create a plan to achieve them.
FACTS ABOUT
THE SPECIALIST WORKS
»CEO: Martin Woolley
»Founded in 2003
»Located in London, Bristol,
Kent, Dublin, New York, Los
Angeles, Atlanta and Beijing
»Services: Media planning and
buying, data analytics, content
solutions, brand partnerships
»No. of employees: 175
»No. of clients: 60
»Accredited IPA CPD Gold 2019
The Specialist Works
15THE SPECIALIST WORKS |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
Flexing for our clients and our
people
One of the keys to our success has
been the ethos of always challenging
the norm. Our model is also successful
because we listen to our clients,
anticipate their needs and build
our capabilities to meet them. But,
ultimately, we believe that if we hire
PICK people – who are Passionate,
Inquisitive, Caring and Knowledgeable
– then we have the foundations
forsuccess.
One of the ways we retain talent is
through our commitment to helping
employees fit work around life (and
not the other way around). Roughly
30 per cent of our people are on
flexible arrangements. As well as being
the right thing to do, it also makes
business sense. It’s especially valued by
parents, who can work remotely and
effectively balance home and work life.
It’s great for our clients too; research
has shown it boosts productivity –
which means they get access to our
people at their best. This is the future.
Alongside this, our flexible FOF scheme
gives everyone an extra 30 hours off
every year (in addition to holiday).
It works however it suits individuals
– whether that’s taking advantage
of good weather, doing last-minute
Christmas shopping, avoiding rush
hour or just surprising the kids by
getting home early.
Everyone has the ability to work
remotely as standard. We’ve invested
in the tools and tech to enable
seamless working from anywhere in
the world. Employees are trusted and
empowered to manage their own time
and workload.
Working to our strengths
Critical to our success is understanding
who our clients are and who they
aren’t. This might sound trivial, but
it’s important. For instance, our
capabilities aren’t built for CPG brands,
but work really well for digitally native
vertical brands (which make up a lot of
our clients). These are brands that are
maniacally focused on the customer
experience, and they interact, transact,
and story-tell to consumers primarily
on the web. The nature of these
businesses means that our aim is often
to drive people to a website, app or
store. To do this, we employ all kinds
of advertising, from TV to direct mail
and everything inbetween.
Our top CPD performers
collecting the IPA Gold
Certificate earlier thisyear
One of the
keys to our
success has
been the ethos
of always
challenging
the norm
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
14 | THE SPECIALIST WORKS
CEO Martin Woolley
We created a series of short films to hero Alibaba Cloud’s
#techforchange campaign. Featuring Mariéme Jamme,
founder of #iamtheCODE
Boldness, energy and creativity – these are the values that
CEO Martin Woolley says motivate The Specialist Works,
an independent media and marketing services agency.
Their goal is to unlock more possibilities for growth-minded
brands. Media, data, creative and partnerships are the four
pillars that underpin their offering to give their clients the best
business outcomes. Working around the world, with their
people spread across the UK, Ireland, China and the United
States, the company has won wide recognition, not least in the
form of the “Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies to Work
For” award. Martin tells
The Parliamentary Review
more about
this multimarket enterprise.
We do the specialist work that unlocks more possibilities for growth-minded
brands. We offer our clients tailored solutions, including media planning and
buying, data analytics, content solutions, and brand partnerships. The principle
that unites all of these is encompassed in our “Now, New and What’s Possible?”
planning approach. This approach balances short-term sales goals with long-term
brand-building ones. “Now” is about maximising value in the channels that already
perform well for a client. “New” is about finding new avenues to deliver growth,
by testing new audiences, channels, propositions and markets. “What’s Possible?”
is about bigger, braver and more creative thinking. Our goal is to provide solutions
that unlock more possibilities for our clients. In short, they come to us with business
goals, and we create a plan to achieve them.
FACTS ABOUT
THE SPECIALIST WORKS
»CEO: Martin Woolley
»Founded in 2003
»Located in London, Bristol,
Kent, Dublin, New York, Los
Angeles, Atlanta and Beijing
»Services: Media planning and
buying, data analytics, content
solutions, brand partnerships
»No. of employees: 175
»No. of clients: 60
»Accredited IPA CPD Gold 2019
The Specialist Works
15THE SPECIALIST WORKS |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
Flexing for our clients and our
people
One of the keys to our success has
been the ethos of always challenging
the norm. Our model is also successful
because we listen to our clients,
anticipate their needs and build
our capabilities to meet them. But,
ultimately, we believe that if we hire
PICK people – who are Passionate,
Inquisitive, Caring and Knowledgeable
– then we have the foundations
forsuccess.
One of the ways we retain talent is
through our commitment to helping
employees fit work around life (and
not the other way around). Roughly
30 per cent of our people are on
flexible arrangements. As well as being
the right thing to do, it also makes
business sense. It’s especially valued by
parents, who can work remotely and
effectively balance home and work life.
It’s great for our clients too; research
has shown it boosts productivity –
which means they get access to our
people at their best. This is the future.
Alongside this, our flexible FOF scheme
gives everyone an extra 30 hours off
every year (in addition to holiday).
It works however it suits individuals
– whether that’s taking advantage
of good weather, doing last-minute
Christmas shopping, avoiding rush
hour or just surprising the kids by
getting home early.
Everyone has the ability to work
remotely as standard. We’ve invested
in the tools and tech to enable
seamless working from anywhere in
the world. Employees are trusted and
empowered to manage their own time
and workload.
Working to our strengths
Critical to our success is understanding
who our clients are and who they
aren’t. This might sound trivial, but
it’s important. For instance, our
capabilities aren’t built for CPG brands,
but work really well for digitally native
vertical brands (which make up a lot of
our clients). These are brands that are
maniacally focused on the customer
experience, and they interact, transact,
and story-tell to consumers primarily
on the web. The nature of these
businesses means that our aim is often
to drive people to a website, app or
store. To do this, we employ all kinds
of advertising, from TV to direct mail
and everything inbetween.
Our top CPD performers
collecting the IPA Gold
Certificate earlier thisyear
One of the
keys to our
success has
been the ethos
of always
challenging
the norm
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
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
»www.redcowmedia.co.uk
Red Cow Media

www.thespecialistworks.com

This article was sponsored by The Specialist Works. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The 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