Practice makes perfect choice

The Marketing Practice is a highly successful, specialist, full service B2B agency established in 2002. The company now employs 55 people and is based just south of Oxford, in a small village called East Hendred. Their new offices are in a beautifully converted barn in the grounds of a manor house. Services range from data sourcing and management, through to creative development and digital campaigning, as well as event management and intelligent telemarketing services. Everything they do is built around the challenges faced by business marketers, and has a real connection to sales targets and business strategies, which is why the company has grown so quickly.

As with any business that thrives on selling its marketing skills and capabilities, the Marketing Practice relies on software and systems to manage and record all its business activities.

Agency Management System

David van Shaick is Operations Director at the Marketing Practice, “When we set up the business our initial management systems were very much a home-grown affair. We employed the usual Excel spreadsheets for time recording and job information and tried to extract deeper management information from the composite results. This clearly had its downsides, the least of them being the time it actually took to bring together all the data. In a very short timeframe it became very obvious that we needed a ‘proper’ agency management system. We did become involved in a new system development project, but it proved to be unwieldy and far too complex for our needs.”

An obvious choice

David went on to say, “The decision was taken to put our agency management system requirements out to tender and unsurprisingly we received numerous responses. This list was quickly narrowed down to three, of which one clearly stood out as the obvious and immediate choice for a B2B agency. This was Synergist supplied and supported by Express Systems.

Time and cost management

Synergist was selected primarily for its time management and job costing capabilities, which, when combined with its powerful reporting system, enabled us to clearly identify areas where time had been spent and use the information to improve productivity. The extreme flexibility of the reporting system and its convenient front end dashboard has enabled us to see far more detail and to make many highly beneficial adjustments to the way in which the agency operates. The direct link to our Sage Accounts package makes life simpler still”

Understanding the business

David said, “Synergist and Express Systems have both played a big part in our sustained growth. Jason Neale really understood our business and what we were trying to achieve. His grasp of the commercial logic behind The Marketing Practice adopted Synergist for job costing and time management running an agency ensured we got the intricate detail and processes absolutely right from the outset when the system was initially set up for the company.

Positive results in three months

David revealed, “I can confidently say that within just three months of use we were able to identify key areas in the business which needed attention, and to make positive changes which impacted both on profitability and increased client satisfaction. Synergist was installed by Express Systems and all our users were trained by their team over a six week period. This allowed ample time to understand the system and to run sample projects to ensure everything was absolutely right for the business. With the help of Express Systems staff the entire process proved to be completely painless, and our agency users were very happy to adopt the simple to use, online package for job costing and time management. The key to success has been the fact that it is so easy to use, therefore people actually use it rather than put off filling in their activities to another day. This means we have significantly better, more accurate information available far earlier in the job cycle than ever before and we can forecast and plan our business far more effectively.”

Best Investment

David van Shaick concluded, “Synergist is the best IT investment we have made as an agency, and I would absolutely recommend it to any marketing services business that wants to understand exactly what is making them money, and where all the time is being spent. The software is perfect for a multi discipline B2B agency.”

Further information

For further information on how Synergist can make an impact on your business please contact us .

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