Agency round-up: WILD and Appeal

A new boutique creative marketing agency, WILD, has been launched this month to boost rural businesses in Yorkshire and beyond.

Founded and directed by creative marketing strategist, Jenni Tulip, WILD focuses on supporting regional and local businesses with a connection to Yorkshire’s great outdoors, nature and rural ways of life.

Over the last five years, Tulip has headed creative marketing agency, Social Rocks, and takes with her a selection of clients already firmly in this rural niche.

Prior to that, she worked in marketing and promotions both in-house and agency-side across Yorkshire, and at leading wildlife conservation charity, the RSPB.

In 2014, Tulip co-founded Outdoor Bloggers; a network of bloggers who share the same passion for adventure and the outdoors. This now has more than 350 members and facilitates blogger outreach campaigns with outdoor brands and start-ups.

Tulip said: “We are huge advocates of rural living and rural businesses, especially in our home county of Yorkshire, which we are incredibly proud of.

“WILD has been a growing concept for some time, but with the turbulence of the past few months, and the impact this has had on rural businesses and communities all around us, it feels like now is the time to help them recover and flourish.

“As well as having a negative impact, for many rural organisations across the UK, the Covid-19 pandemic has actually created the immense potential for businesses to adapt and diversify to meet the change in demands of customers.

“The response to lockdown unleashed a newfound love for the outdoors across the nation, quickly followed by the rural tourism sector springing back into action as soon as the 4 July easing of restrictions were announced.

“With staycations and support for British brands on the rise, the time has never been better to celebrate rural businesses in Yorkshire, the heart of Britain, and to help them thrive once again.”

Alongside Tulip at WILD are art director and graphic designer, Sheryl Cookson, and IT architect, David MacKarill, who bring with them 40 years of experience combined.

WILD’s extended team of specialists includes photographers, filmmakers, copywriters and developers. The team aim to give rural, agricultural, outdoors & nature-inspired businesses a strong identity and a competitive edge.


The Appeal team, working remotely

Harrogate-based Appeal has seen a run of new digital marketing contracts, won entirely by video call, from new clients in the US, the UK and Europe, shoring up revenues during a tough time under lockdown.

A total of eight new business wins, secured in partnership with international lead generation specialist sister-agency GBM, has replaced a number of UK clients that fell away as lockdown and furloughing hit revenues in April.

Paul Snape, managing director of Appeal and GBM, said: “We’ve been lucky to have established a growing reputation in digital marketing and lead generation in both the US and the UK.

“With digital engagement rocketing due to remote working, the lead generation techniques we’ve developed over the last few years have been able to replace the lost fees from other Covid-impacted PR clients.

“It was a first for us to win a pitch purely by video in March, but by June we’ve now won seven more clients without any physical meetings, so we’re getting quite used to the move from doing business face to face to virtually, and its opening up markets we’ve never been in before.”

The five-strong team, based in Harrogate and Boston, has won competitive pitches remotely across many sectors including private equity, software and technology, oil and gas, IT provision and financial services.

Snape added: “We’ve been blending our media relations with paid social and lead generation for a few years, and already had around 20% of our work internationally and in digital lead generation.

“With cancelled trade shows and networking events post-Covid, more and more firms are keen to get in front of B2B customers digitally.

“We have seen a steady flow of new clients come on board after some initial hard work and using our own digital lead generation techniques to win work in Germany, Rhode Island, the Netherlands and the UK.”

The firm expects to hire a Harrogate-based digital executive and administrator in the second half of 2020, with further growth as “paused” clients open their doors again in quarter three.

Snape said: “Like all businesses, we aren’t sure what the rest of the year looks like. When lockdown struck, we lost around 50% of our PR revenue in a month.

“We’ve recovered from that and hope these clients come back on board as they staff up again and resume operations.

“We’ve seen a huge contrast in fortunes between some clients who have actually benefited from increased trade during this period, and some who may never recover.

“After 22 years in business, we’ve been through some challenging times – we’re determined to make sure we bounce back from this global crisis, especially through continued growth of the lead generation and digital side of the business.”