Best Value Award

RARawards2012-finalist-Marketing-communications-agencyOfficially recognised as the best value for money marketing communications agency in Kent and the South East…

When times are tough and there is constant talk of recession, business owners and Marketing Directors want to be sure they are maximising the value of their investment with a communications agency.

Canterbury-based branding, print and digital design agency, Creative Heads, was been nominated as a finalist in the prestigious RAR Awards Category of ‘Best Value for Money’ agency in the UK.  There are thousands of agencies on the RAR Register but Creative Heads is the only one in Kent – in fact the whole of South East England, to be nominated for this category.  The outright winner will be announced April at an award ceremony in London.

This recognition reflects a business model designed specifically to provide value without compromising on quality or service.  The Recommended Agency Register (RAR) is like the ‘TripAdvisor.com’ or the ‘RatedPeople.com’ for the creative industries – identifying the best marketing, advertising, digital and design agencies based on feedback from clients.  Surveys are conducted independently and confidentially between clients and RAR to ensure a true reflection of an agency’s effectiveness.

Founder and Creative Director Paul Duckworth comments – “This nomination is fantastic news for us and underpins our core business objective. In 2011 we had already been awarded a ‘Recommended’ status with RAR, so receiving this nomination gives reassurance to clients that when they work with the Creative Heads team they are working with some of the best in the industry and at a sensible price.”

With over 20 years experience in large and small agencies, both as a freelance designer in the early years and at Director level for the last 15 years, he has seen many different strengths and weaknesses of agency structures.  So in 2008 it was time for a new approach. It has always been clear that value for money was a top priority for many clients, especially during a recession, but not at the expense of quality.  Creative Heads was specifically tailored to address the needs of the client rather than what agencies thought a client needed.  Paul brought together a core team of hand picked associates from the marketing communications industry that have worked with him at numerous agencies throughout his career – they are a highly skilled team of dedicated, trusted and reliable individuals.

Paul continues – “A few years ago I was talking to the marketing director of a very high profile business and I asked him why he commissioned so much work to my team.  And he said he was frequently up against tight timescales and he liked the fact that he could talk direct to our creative team who could quickly understand the brief and then take the initiative by grabbing the ball and running with it.”

Creative Heads has created a bespoke flexible business model to consistently deliver quality and service but at a sensible value.  They remove the things clients say they don’t need, give them what they expect and charge them only for the expertise they are using.  Clients have direct access to everyone that works on their account or they can have a single point of contact – either way the choice is theirs.  So there are no account teams, no big agency offices and everyone at Creative Heads has to achieve a certain level of expertise before joining to ensure that quality remains high and consistent throughout. Some of the associates work from small satellite or home offices throughout the South East to keep overheads down, but are all connected via an online network to ensure efficient workflow.  This enables the client to work with an Associate that is geographically closer and able to respond more quickly if required to attend a meeting at short notice.  And it also means Creative Heads are not limited to employing people who are only within a commuter distance of their office.

Paul says – “Back in 2008 the recession was biting hard, small agencies were going bust and larger ones were shedding staff.  It seemed an odd time to start a new business but there was clearly an opportunity to create something that could survive the typical peaks and troughs in our industry.  A recession helps to focus your mind, sharpen your pencil and look at the world differently – enabling us to successfully meet the challenges of the downturn by innovating a new business model that creates a win-win scenario for both client and agency.  Being short-listed as a finalist for the RAR Awards ‘Best Value for Money’ category is an important step in our growth and a clear indication that clients approve of our approach.

“Our business model enables us to provide the same level of service regardless of size – we currently work for a leading global technology client in the US, handling their branding, brochures and advertising campaigns in ten languages – but we also maintain a website for a small local health and safety consultancy.

“Of course the key to this strategy working is the quality of our people, careful financial management and understanding the clients’ needs.  If you fail to get these right then you will always come up short.”