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Sharp Ahead Highlights of 2017

By John Woods  |  January 2, 2018

I’m writing this in that quiet time between Christmas and New Year. It’s a great time for reflection. It has been a busy year for us at Sharp Ahead with some significant achievements of which I’m really proud.

Here are some of my personal highlights for this year.

Digital marketing driving expansion at the Fareham Innovation Centre

The launch of the Fareham Innovation Centre was one of our first lead generation projects in the commercial property sector. Using a mix of paid media and conversion-optimised landing pages we helped the new centre build its community of local entrepreneurs and growing businesses in specialist sectors such as advanced engineering, marine technology and aerospace. As a result the building was fully subscribed within a year of opening – two years ahead of schedule.

In 2017 we learned that the spectacular success of the launch has led to a second phase of investment. Construction is now well under way to double the size of the centre, and the new space will be opening in Spring 2018.

The results of B2B marketing are often intangible, so it’s really satisfying to see the real-world impact of our work in the form of a brand-new building!

Ultra-modern lead generation for a long-established business

CLEAN Linen Services can trace its history to a single family-run laundry established in 1886. Today it is a market leader in textile and workwear laundry services, serving over 5,500 customers across the UK. CLEAN has invested in modern technology to deliver its services, including RFID tagging for inventory control and highly efficient new laundry facilities to reduce environmental impacts.

So perhaps it is not surprising that this highly innovative “traditional” business has also been willing to invest in the latest digital marketing techniques. Our work with CLEAN has seen its online lead generation accelerate by 50%.

It’s great to be part of a project that proves how even businesses in “traditional” industries can benefit enormously from modern digital marketing techniques if – like CLEAN – they have the confidence and vision to embrace new approaches.

New market segments for YPO

Another Sharp Ahead client with a somewhat “traditional” history is YPO, a procurement specialist providing over 30,000 products to schools, local authorities and other customers – mostly in the public sector.

Our work with YPO has focussed on cost-effective strategies for new client acquisition. The results have been excellent in their traditional market segments, with in excess of £1M incremental profit attributable to the campaigns. A particular highlight for me is that our work has allowed YPO to identify new market segments (such as childrens’ centres and prisons) that offer opportunities for strategic growth outside their traditional core sectors.

Other highlights in brief

Many of our projects are confidential, so some of our most exciting projects have to stay under wraps. Amongst the highlights I can’t describe in detail: this year we’ve helped a major global manufacturer enter the UK market with a new B2B ecommerce product; we’ve worked on a massively successful long-term lead generation for one of the UK’s fastest-growing professional services companies; and we’ve developed a super-efficient tactical lead generation campaign for a niche B2B consultancy company that uses some of the most precise targeting for digital marketing that I’ve ever seen.

It has been a great year where our clients’ successes have really shown the value of the work we do as an agency.

Are you thinking about how to drive increased B2B business success in 2018? If so, get in touch to explore how Sharp Ahead could help you.


Digital Transformation Event 2016 – Oxford

By Jennifer Esty  |  November 15, 2016

We still have places available for our free digital transformation event in Oxford on November 24, 2016 from 6pm.

Join us for an evening with industry experts from Google, Act-On, and Sharp Ahead to:

  • Understand the digital transformation opportunities available for your business
  • See how paid search can quickly enhance your digital presence
  • Explore the impact marketing automation software has on efficiency
  • Hear first-hand how Oxford Innovation digitally transformed their organisation

(Not to mention networking, nibbles and drinks.)

Designed for B2B marketing and sales decision makers, this digital transformation event will take place in Oxford on Thursday November 24.

The event will begin at 6pm.

More about the digital transformation events speakers:

Google Logo

Hear directly from the experts at Google how digital marketing can quickly and effectively drive awareness, influence purchase consideration and increase sales.

Act-On Logo

Marketing Automation experts Act-On will take you through the new buyer’s journey, focusing on the stages of modern marketing and how to turn your customers into advocates for your products and brand. They provide top tips for content marketing, email marketing, lead nurturing, marketing automation and more.

Oxford Innovation Logo

Find out how Oxford Innovation achieved a 90% reduction in client acquisition costs, a 400% increase in qualified sales leads and are 110% ahead of target for sales.

Sharp Ahead Logo

We surveyed the digital presence of over 500 UK B2B companies. Based on this we think most B2B digital marketing in the UK is broken – that is, poorly done and hurting sales. Dr John Woods will present the survey findings along with quick fixes that B2B digital marketers need to know.

Contact us to book your place or download the 2016 Broken Report.

Fareham in Greyscale

Increase qualified sales leads by 600% with Digital Transformation?

By Jennifer Esty  |  March 3, 2016

Digital Transformation

Sound too good to be true? That is exactly what Oxford Innovation achieved as part of their strategic digital transformation work with Sharp Ahead.

Oh, and they also saw a 90% reduction in client acquisition costs and were 120% ahead of their sales targets for the launch of their Fareham Innovation Centre.

Don’t take our word for it

Come hear Oxford Innovation’s Marketing & Business Development Director, Jo Willet, share her experience of digital transformation at this year’s B2B Marketing Summit.

Jo will give a detailed case study of the digital strategy that started with a single centre launch and has since transformed the way OI market their centres around the UK.

Outlining the specific challenges and marketing strategies design to overcome them, Jo will discuss geo-targeted search marketing, Google My Business, paid search for both branded and generic keywords, mobile, retargeting and more.

To secure your place to see Jo, register today.

Can’t wait for June? Get in touch with us directly and find out how Sharp Ahead’s team of B2B digital marketing experts can help you.

About Oxford Innovation

OI manages a network of business and innovation centres across the UK, providing a supportive home for a community of growing businesses. Visit their website or Google them and check out their Google My Business listing.

About the B2B Marketing Summit

Held this year on June 22 in London, the B2B Marketing Summit is an extravaganza of the great and good in B2B and a chance to refresh the way you look at your marketing.

The event is designed for those marketers at the sharp end of B2B – those leading the charge within their organisation and always eager to keep ahead of the curve.

Find out more or register here.

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