10 years of what I love doing…

For majority of us March marks the end of the winter months and the end of chilly days, standing in the morning having to defrost our cars before we can go to work or do the school run. For us, the team, at GottaBe!, March means anniversary time – a special one this year as it’s our 10th birthday! (yay!) As a founder and Managing Director of GottaBe!, I wanted to share with you some of the key lessons my team and I have learnt! Come on a little journey with me as I take you through the last decade… 

The beginning… 

According to SmallBusiness.co.uk, small business survival rates are as high as 91 per cent after one year of trading but after 5 years just 4 in 10 small business will still be trading. Opening a business during global recession when all businesses are slashing their marketing and PR spend to the minimum is not going to be easy – I knew when starting GottaBe! that I am going to face rather a big challenge. Even bigger as I am not a native Brit (for those that don’t know, I am come from Poland) nor I was very old (I was only 17) or experienced at the time, when I founded the business. Despite all of this, I was very determined to succeed and prove to myself I can do it. Initially the business was only meant to be a ‘little’ project whilst I am reading for my marketing degree – it soon proved to be different and juggling university work and campaign planning required extra help. I started to build a team around me.  I wanted a team that would follow my motto; “quality over quantity”.

Go and get your hands dirty…

As someone who is very passionate about field and experiential marketing, I wanted to ensure that from the outset we focus on delivering the quality over the quantity. That as a team, we actually get our hands dirty and be part of every project that we run – whether that’s simple leafleting in the High Streets, sampling at a shopping centre’s or experiential tour. We continue to do so, and all of our Head Office staff are required to work at least 2 days a month in the field, getting (literally) their hands dirty. I love being out and about as it’s not only great opportunity for me to learnt first-hand about any issues or challenges our field team might be facing but I am also there to share their successes with them. At the same time, during live demo days, I also get to learn more about our Client’s products and services, people’ perception of their brand and etc. As I write this, I would like to encourage all of my fellow entrepreneurs as well as marketers to do the same – you will find this experience to be priceless.

Quality over quantity

You may have noticed that I already have referred once to ‘quality over quantity’ – it’s by far one of my favorite saying and let me tell you why. A few years ago now, I received a call from a telemarketer who was trying to sell me some data and arrange meetings with potential new customers on my behalf – I said ‘no thanks’ and was ready to put the phone down, before she asked me, ‘would you not want to grow your business like your competitors do? We can get you X number of customers for X’ (here goes rather large amount of money). I politely responded ‘no’ and she was shocked! I explained that at GottaBe!, we would rather work with a handful of customers and ensure we deliver 110% of the promise then work with 200 businesses at one point and only deliver 10% for each.

As a business that is 10 years old today, I am delighted to say that we have managed to maintain a large proportion of our Clients for many years now. In fact 75% of our Clients tend to work with us for more than 5 years, whilst our first 5 Clients continue to do business with us for 10 years now. We might not be as big as some of our competitors but hey, we are still in the business and we continue to grow year-on-year and work with more and more brands.

Ethnic marketing vs mainstream marketing 

Another thing that makes GottaBe! different from your traditional field and experiential marketing agency is the fact that we can deliver our services not only in English but more than 45 languages! Whether you’re looking to target Albanians, Bulgarians, Chinese, Nigerians, Polish, Romanians, Spanish, Thai or Vietnamese, GottaBe! can help to design and deliver a bespoke campaign for each one of those communities. It’s thanks to our diverse team of hand-picked Brand Ambassadors who not only got understanding of the cultural differences but also can communicate your message in the native languages of these groups. It’s a very powerful tool to use and despite the recent Brexit vote, we continue to see bigger and greater demand for these services.

Agency = ROI 

Before I pop the champagne and start enjoying some lovely cake, I wanted to tackle of the stereotypes – there are still many businesses, entrepreneurs and leaders who believe that hiring a marketing agency is a huge expense and will not necessarily deliver a Return on Investment! Let me reassure you that there are number of our Clients who have not only seen greater ROI, gained brand exposure, new connections and business opportunities but also saved thousands of pounds since they hired an agency to handle their marketing.

There are many advantages to work with an agency, for example economies of scales, access to experienced experts in many areas and channels of marketing, fresh thinking and so on. Some agencies more than others tend to invest a lot of their retained profits into personal developments of their team members to ensure they continue delivering cool, quirky, unique ideas that get people talking.

Over the last 10 years, our team successfully led many collaborations between two or more of our Clients who have worked together and delivered co-branded projects – for example; Lebara Mobile and DFDS Seaways (see their case study for more info).

Coffee, tea or G&T…

Typically, if it’s your birthday, you tend to get the presents – not on this occasion! I would like to offer you a present from my myself – a free consultation / catch up over a coffee, tea (mine is Earl Grey) or G&T (preferred!) where we can discuss how your marketing is working at the moment, review your current spend and ROI you’re getting, chat about ethnic marketing and see if it’s something you can benefit from and the rest… sport, music, books, wines, travels and etc. To take me up on this offer and to experience the “quality over quantity” service then just drop me a line to tomasz.dyl@gottabemarketing.co.uk.

Lastly, I couldn’t forget to say a few ‘thank you’ – firstly to my parents for bringing me to the UK and giving me the opportunity of being here, my sister – Olga for always being there for me when I needed a chat, my amazing team – both past and present – Sam, Nick, James, Monika, Kit, Holly, Shanice, Scott, Callum, Dave, Ryan, Alex, Jake, Jasmine, Patrycja, Radek, Jennie, Shannon, John, Chris, Adam, Bradley and every single one of our field team (there is over 5,000 of you and it would take me another 10 years to name each one of you…), Partners and Suppliers for supporting and delivering everything we have asked you to do to the highest standard, neighbours for putting up with the constant big deliveries turning up at our offices and warehouses, Clients without whom we wouldn’t have been where we are today and… myself for having the balls to get this started and what seemed like a dream and a little uni project turned into something bigger!

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