Magic first year for digital marketing and video agency

One of Birmingham’s newest digital marketing and video agencies is on course for a bumper first year.

Pull The Pin, founded by digital expert Sam Hufton and celebrity illusionist and magician Ben Hanlin, is expecting fees to hit more than £700,000 by the end of July after picking up a string of new wins.

Located on Newhall Street in the heart of the city, the company has already created 15 jobs and has plans to take on four more as it expects to double the size of the business by 2023.

Friends for more than 25 years, the duo say they have built their business on the ethos that all brands, no matter how big or small, should focus on what they do best and leave their digital strategy to the experts.

They say they achieve this by streamlining the agency’s approach to creative, video and digital marketing work, so that industry experts effectively connect clients to their audiences, delivering tangible results in the process.

It is an approach that is already paying dividends, with global professional services firm PwC, restaurant chain Leon, recruitment specialists IDEX Consulting, the English Golf Union, Mazars and The Mirror all tapping into services that include digital strategy, marketing automation, social consultancy, SEO, video creation and TikTok strategies.

“We’ve always talked about doing something together and then Covid-19 happened, which accelerated our thinking,” said Hanlin, who made the semi-final on hit TV show Dancing on Ice just before the pandemic broke.

“Some people thought we were nuts starting a business during such difficult times, but it’s something we had kicked around for long enough. The added increase in online use, and especially video, meant it just felt like the right time and the right opportunity.

“Sam is an unbelievable operator in the digital space and very well known throughout the sector, whilst my job meant I was used to creating lots of content that gets millions of organic views – that’s the key to Pull The Pin.”

He added: “All of my bookings and tours vanished overnight, so I started to focus on building a massive online following and thought… ‘why don’t we help companies to do just that, especially those that may not have the in-house capability or are wasting thousands of pounds on polished content that few people view’.”

Pull The Pin has been recruiting experienced specialists in their individual disciplines and 15 staff have been brought in to head up its Birmingham and overseas operations.

Many have been attracted by the founders’ desire to create an agency that people want to work for and a culture that encourages working hard, creativity and autonomy to execute strong campaigns.

This has seen PTP introduce 30 days holiday as standard, regular early finishes to celebrate milestones and the impending prospect of being able to work anywhere from the world for four weeks per year.

Hufton, who has previously held senior roles at M3.Agency and Found, said: “We want to attract the best talent and the best creative minds, so we have to reflect this in our working environment and the culture we are trying to build.

“The plan is working, and we’ve been able to recruit outstanding specialists in digital marketing, web, SEO, content creation, paid for social and video production, whether it is polished films or more ‘in the moment’ footage.

“What this means is that we deliver what we promise, and this is seeing us win high profile accounts and attract growing businesses who are looking for innovative ways to connect with their audiences.”

He concluded: “Putting power in the hands of creators and showing them how to maximise it is the way forward and we want PTP to help Birmingham compete and overtake Bristol, Leeds and Manchester as a hotspot for digital talent.”

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