Being the best, not the biggest agency for our sectors

Paul Crabtree 13th July 2020 Industrial, Professional Services, Technology

Over the past decade, the Velo team has changed in size and shape to be unrecognisable from where we started.

In the beginning, the team worked from home and comprised young parents looking to enjoy the perks of a better work-life balance alongside the challenge of diverse and wide-ranging work, team and clients. And all from their spare rooms in the suburbs. It was a team of talented generalists, able to turn their hand to multiple marketing skills and lean on their many years of experience.

But this came with challenges; building camaraderie over Skype is hard. 

Collaboration only happens when the people involved know they need to collaborate. Serendipity doesn’t exist and there are never those moments that come from just walking past someone’s desk or overhearing a conversation. And jokes can fall flat too (as I found out!)

And as we grew and the projects we worked on become more integrated, the people we worked with were different and the brands grew bigger, we knew things needed to change.

We invested in our team and our facilities, taking larger and larger offices across Farringdon and London Bridge. The journey culminated in April 2019 with our present office; 90 seconds from London Bridge train station and fully kitted out to our spec – a great place to host our clients and partners.

It’s an enjoyable and creative space for our team to do what they do best – create value for clients.

We now all work together in one open-plan room with separate break-out areas for thinking, client calls and wider collaboration.

We’ve continued this open-plan working style throughout COVID, making time to speak to each other socially and with a series of fun challenges to recreate that creativity.

From regular quizzes celebrating our people, designing backdrops to celebrate our award wins or our “miles of smiles” charity initiatives where every member of the team undertakes physical challenges in pursuit of a team goal. We’ve invented many ways of being together! This wraps around our more formal information sharing, including management briefings every Friday and supportive daily stand-ups.

We’ve learnt that being a generalist is the enemy of being the best. 

So, like all good marketers, we decided to focus on international B2B companies in technology, industrial, professional services – playing to our strengths.  We help our clients in these to be seen, be understood and be successful – just as we have from March 2010.

But we’ve built sector expertise on the challenges facing these brands, we’ve continued to invest in the marketing and communication techniques that work best for these markets and we’ve made sure the team we have brought together is excited and passionate about these sectors.

On the way and as it has grown, our team has changed.  We now number well over 20, we’re now comprised specialist creative, technical and content talent working closely with an experienced Client Services team.

With one of the largest training budgets of any agency, we know not to sit still. But what’s key to this is having a team of hungry self-learners who take responsibility for their own development. Our team are all looking to evolve and advance their skills, and those of the agency.  It’s one of the most important elements that shape our culture – along with the attitude and fit of everyone within the team.

But one thing won’t change – our ambition is to be the best, not the biggest agency in our sectors. 

This is deliberate – we’re a small but mighty agency that is big enough to work with the largest B2B brands, but small enough so everyone’s voice is heard.  Grow past this, and we’ll lose one of the most important reasons why the best talent works here.

And we know we’re doing it right when we listen to our clients. It’s best summed up by a quote in our last client feedback survey carried out by The Drum:

I have found Velo to be a great agency to work with. Their size and personality mean that you feel that you are working with a team who cares about more than just delivering on your brief. Velo go above and beyond this to try and understand both your business challenges as well as the wider challenges being faced in your industry and I now regard them as a key partner for us.”

Paul Crabtree

Paul Crabtree

Managing Director
Leads the strategic services for the agency, PC is a hands-on agency owner working directly with Velo clients day-in, day-out!