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Up close with Nick Clark

As one of the industry’s leading B2B & Tech agencies, we have been at the forefront of driving brand reputation for over thirty years and last week we announced further growth as we welcomed leading agency DirectionGroup into the fold. Overseeing our Pillar’s ambition is long serving MD & now B2B & Tech CEO, Nick Clark, who shares his outlook for the year ahead & what the Group’s latest acquisition means for the agency.

Below is an interview by the PR manager of the Unlimited Group. 

The Tech & B2B Pillar has grown significantly over the last few years Nick, what’s driven this client demand?

We’ve always had a great reputation as a comms specialist agency who are equally comfortable running busy press office accounts – but also market leaders when it comes to building compelling stories for ambitious brands at the forefront of technology.

In recent years, clients have asked us to translate this experience into more integrated comms and marketing campaigns, and always with culturally relevant storytelling and content at the heart.

Over time, we’ve built a team of specialists which span brand development, reputation management, PR and social, content marketing, performance campaigns and sales and partner enablement. By offering specialists in an integrated, client-focused model, we can easily flex to the demands of our clients & always with a keen nose for what makes a story as our key driver.

How will DirectionGroup fit into the B2B/Technology fold alongside Nelson Bostock & First Base?

We acquired First Base a year ago to help build out our content marketing and lead generation capabilities for technology and B2B businesses. The addition of DirectionGroup enables us to add significant creative/ATL capabilities as well as supercharging our digital marketing and sales enablement offerings.

The three agencies will operate under our ‘connected specialists’ proposition and together we’ll work across clients that are looking for an integrated campaign approach.

What will the addition of DirectionGroup to the B2B/Tech pillar mean for clients, and for the agency’s talent?

The acquisition is hugely exciting from an internal people development point of view as well as for our clients.

One of our core values encourages our employees to be ‘ambitious’. We want everyone who works for us to own their career and this acquisition is the perfect illustration of how you can do that. If you want to remain as a PR specialist, helping brands protect and manage their reputation, that’s fine. Equally, if you want to learn new skills, maybe in digital marketing or account-based marketing, we make it easy for you to do that.

For clients, it’s simple – we offer a team of specialists who work in a completely integrated structure, meaning we can solve individual challenges or help businesses meet more complicated business objectives.

What are shaping up to be the key trends in the Tech & B2B sector in 2019?

B2B marketing is complex, that’s not going to change. And with the ever-evolving media and digital marketing landscape, change in customer needs and advancements in marketing tech, a Marketing Director’s role is never going to be easier than it is today, implying that it’s only getting more difficult. 

The term ‘business transformation’ has become obsolete as the concept of transformation has now become a constant state for modern day brands. As agencies we’re mirroring what our clients’ technologies are delivering for their clients – flexibility, connectivity and improved return on investment. This agility & commitment to business evolution is something that needs to be present across our talent, and the way we solve business problems for our clients.

As technology around voice search and interface progresses we’re seeing even greater emphasis placed on personalization at every touch point, with brands given so much access to customer data there is now huge opportunity to provide an end to end personalised experience for customers.

It’s our job as agencies to make these things simple – simplicity in what we offer our clients and how we help our clients communicate with their customers.