How effective is your creative strategy?

Simon Bollon, Managing Director at independent marketing agency Boutique, shares an insight into the importance of a creative strategy and why they are the go-to agency in the home furnishings space.

Simon Bollon, MD at Boutique

Implementing a marketing strategy is key to all businesses. Implementing an effective marketing strategy is even more paramount. The line between having a strategy in place and actually having the ‘right’ strategy is pretty much invisible – unless you know what you’re looking for. This is where Boutique comes in. The marketing agency specialises in media, digital and PR to help businesses plan, produce and implement an effective marketing strategy. What’s more, their core focus – and speciality – is the home furnishings industry.

With the ever-increasing demand for online, which comes with the battle to drive and secure consumers to your website, there’s never been a better time to understand and invest in the world of digital marketing. Simon Bollon, Managing Director at Boutique, said their industry knowledge and technical know-how puts them in the front line, ready to meet this growing demand head on. “We’re a strategic marketing agency, specialising in the home, where we guide clients on where to invest in marketing to achieve growth. We work across a range of specialisms from media buying and planning to PR and digital marketing, helping build iconic brands and driving ROI from marketing investment – we unify brand and performance.

“We’ve a plethora of clients in the furniture space, from large national retailers such as Hammonds Fitted Furniture, to smaller ecommerce brands such as The French Bedroom Company. Our experience has created expertise in the space. We understand consumers route to purchase, sector trends, audience profiles and the right marketing channels to drive ROI. At the crux of what we do is work at board level, strategically guiding businesses on how to use marketing to fulfil their business growth targets. Our bespoke D.I.S.C.O model puts data and insight at the heart of investment strategies and our data science team provide clarity on the return of investment of our clients spend.”

As Simon says, their model has proved concept with a variety of success stories. For Hammonds, a new brand proposition was required to ensure a better, more cohesive and consumer focused approach. Following its implementation, the retailer saw 13% growth year-on-year, which was 6% above target with 18% less spend. “In addition, we support a variety of home brands in driving ecommerce growth. From doubling French Bedroom revenue in 12 months to taking Best Heating from £25m to £70m turnover in three years. Ultimately, it’s our knowledge of where and how to invest that has helped home brands grow,” Simon added.

“Knowing who and where your customers are, and understanding their route to purchase is the first piece of insight and data work we do.”

So, what are the key factors behind an effective creative strategy?

“Customer knowledge is key,” said Simon. “Knowing who and where your customers are, and understanding their route to purchase is the first piece of insight and data work we do. This fuels rich strategies and helps identify gaps and opportunities for growth. We have a range of inhouse tools that develop rich insight that is unrivalled and all brands should start with this knowledge.

“Our recent home report is another key tool for us. It helps us identify key trends for the year ahead, and whilst that report has great depth, there are clear macro trends around changing consumer behaviours tied to the economy and global changes that will impact all home brands. But demographic changes (did you know there will be 3m 100-year-olds in 2050!), DIY, sustainability space and individualisation are key trends we’re guiding our clients on.”

Simon added that the process to begin a partnership with Boutique is simple. Their Head of Partnerships gets “under the skin of potential clients” to understand their needs and desires, as well as guiding clients through a working partnership with the agency. “Generally, the work we do is focused on helping clients do one of two things; drive better return on investment from marketing spend, or drive increased brand growth in terms of awareness, understanding and sentiment. Having said that, a lot of our work wraps around strategic guidance; of market opportunity, gap analysis, customer knowledge and segmenting and modelling investment return.”

Boutique has big ambitions for the future too. Already armed with a plethora of furnishing industry knowledge and projects, the agency aims to be the “go-to for home brands”, as Simon explained: “With 30 clients and over 65% of our clients in this space, we’re pretty much there, but there’s still a lot of brands we don’t work with. We want a brand for every element of the home. It’s in the home, one of our clients sells it.

“Right now, we’ve a couple of gaps. We’ve doubled in the last two years and have plans to open offices in Manchester and London to better serve new and existing clients, as well as further developing our data unit to help clients better understand their business, their customers and their investments. If you’re looking to implement an effective marketing strategy, Boutique are here for you.”

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