From zero commercial strategy to achieving ambitious growth targets in year one

Arjan van Hartesveldt is Director of Client Services at Inspired Thinking Group (ITG), a technology-led marketing business providing marketing technology and services to major brands. He joined ITG when they acquired Netherlands-based e-Village, a leading email marketing technology company.

Arjan says, “My remit was to develop an email marketing services agency in Europe to support customers of the Clang marketing automation platform and related CRM services, and deliver growth plans. But we had little past-performance insight to underpin those plans. With financial targets in place, we needed to act quickly and structure the agency for success from the off.

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Now we’re on track with our financial goals and growth plans.quote mark

“From working with The Agency Works (TAW) in implementing Synergist, it was clear they were agency management experts. So I reached out to Jay (TAW’s Managing Director) for strategic guidance too,” says Arjan. “Setting up what was essentially a new agency, meant doing things differently to how we’d done them in the past. Our aims demanded a different business model and more commercial rigour.”

Having a go-to expert for advice on strategic direction and the general running of the agency has helped us avoid the usual mistakes agencies can make. Now I’m confident about our charging structures, job margins, ideal utilisation, etc. Ultimately, he’s given me a more thorough understanding of how a business makes money.”

“A year on, and we’re on track with our financial goals and growth plans,” says Arjan. “We have a business model that works perfectly, underpinned by a robust commercial strategy that’s driven by the information that matters. The agency is organised to be more profitable. We’re clear which levers we need to pull to affect turnover, and this approach is driving the entire team to get us to where we want to be.

“Jay’s knowledge has been fundamental to shaping the agency for success. He’s very clear that an agency has to deliver around profit, and the commercial rigour he helped create set the business on solid foundations for growth.”

Arjan says, “Jay pushes us to achieve more, to reach our potential. He’s clear about what we can achieve and in his advice to help us get there. Working with Jay really is the kickstart that sets your agency up for success.”

"His guidance on commercial management frameworks and support to put the right KPIs in place helped me get the business to where it should be."

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