Q&A with Matt Wheatcroft, Managing Director of Purpose Media

In our latest Q&A with business leaders across the region we sit down with Matt Wheatcroft, Managing Director of Purpose Media in Derbyshire, to discuss the changing marketing landscape and how he, and his team, are guiding their clients to success in a turbulent market place.

Can you tell us a little about Purpose Media?

We’re a full-service marketing agency, with multi-disciplined teams in house including website development, design, video and animation, digital marketing, content creation and social media. We work with mostly SMEs from a variety of sectors, but our clients also include some global brands.

For our customers working with us allows them to access a massive marketing team on the scale of big players, but for a fraction of the cost. We’re all about making brilliant marketing accessible to businesses so they can grow and thrive.

You talk a lot about bringing marketing more together, what does that mean?

When we started Purpose Media 10 years ago it was just 3 of us. We’ve grown that to a team of 30 and a lot of that is down to heavily investing in marketing, with people who really knew what they were doing, from the start. Because of that background we know how hard it can be to get your marketing right when you’re trying to grow your business, it can be isolating and frustrating when you’ve not got all of the tools you need.

Our ‘more, together’ approach is about giving the people we work with more control. They can focus on the things they’re good at and we can come in and fill the gaps in their skills and knowledge, so they get the best value from where they spend their time.

You started purely in developing ecommerce websites, why the move to marketing?

We were really successful in our first 5 years of trading focused purely on ecommerce, but we could see opportunities to help our clients really boost their revenue, and we wanted to ensure their success as much as our own.

Often our clients would be working with us and then potentially 2 or 3 other smaller businesses doing different bits of work for them, from design to digital marketing to video. It was really stressful for them to try and manage it all, and difficult for us to know where our responsibilities began and ended. That’s why we grew the team to include the full marketing mix, so now our customers can have one point of contact, and we can easily link everything together with our team. It saves a lot of wasted time, cost and hassle.

What changes have you seen in the way businesses do their marketing?

In our early days the internet, and especially internet shopping, was quite a new thing. Development tools were pretty basic and search engines were still developing their functionality. We often found our clients were among the first in their sector to trade online and do it in a way that was intuitive, because we built our own platform to work in that way.

Now there is much greater competition, so it’s harder for people to stand out. Lots of businesses all say the same thing, we see similar messages and images all the time when people start working with us, and customers are savvier than ever, they’ll choose the brands that ‘speak’ to them. The biggest change we’ve seen is the way businesses communicate across lots of channels. The ones who do it best target their customers well and speak to them in a language they understand.

With those changes, have you noticed a change in the market in general?

The uncertainty surrounding Brexit, and the wider global economy, has certainly had an impact. There seems to be two schools of thought, one camp is holding on to wait and see, another is pushing forward and investing heavily now. The latter seems to be the better option for our clients, we’ve seen people massively bucking the downward trend where they’ve got a plan and they’re sticking to it – in spite of what the financial forecast might look like.

We started Purpose Media back in 2008 and speaking from experience I can certainly vouch that pushing forward is the best course of action. We help our customers to make that happen.

How does Purpose Media give back to the local community, and why is it important to you?

Part of our work is with professional sports clubs, so we see the massive benefit sport can have on local communities. This is something we’re passionate about sharing and something that’s very personal to me. My two eldest daughters, and probably my youngest when she’s old enough, all play football. I even took an FA coaching qualification to support them!

We realised that the teams they played for were finding decent training facilities difficult to come by, so we worked to merge a number of smaller children’s clubs to create Sleetmoor United. We then helped them to secure funding to build state of the art playing, changing and social facilities.

All teams get involved with an annual ‘play on the pitch’ event. This year they’ll be playing at Rotherham United’s New York Stadium. It’s a fantastic opportunity for the team from Purpose Media to get together and have a kick around against the dads of children who play for Sleetmoor United and raise money that is invested in more training kit and facilities. It’s something we’re all really proud of that benefits hundreds of local children.

To find our more about Purpose Media, visit www.purposemedia.co.uk, email info@purposemedia.co.uk, or call 01773 864500.