New premises, an increasing international client base and a growing team are just a few indicators of a thriving company.
Meet Joanna Stephenson, managing director of PHD Marketing; a marketing and communications company providing services to manufacturing, distribution, science and technology businesses across the UK, America, Australia, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
The Pontefract-based company has been appointed by seven businesses since the beginning of 2017, taking its client tally to 20 – a notable achievement in the two years since it opened in October 2014 when there was just one client on the books.
PHD has also grown from three members of staff to nine and Joanna has just taken larger office space to accommodate the growing team.
PHD was created when Joanna noticed there were a lot of generic marketing agencies about but none that were speaking the language of her industry – print, plastics and packaging.
She believed PHD could accelerate the speed to market for customers compared with other companies, and save clients time by not having to be educated in their technical language.
Following a career in the chemical industry and latterly working as the marketing and innovation director at LINPAC group, Joanna successfully pitched to the then Board of LINPAC to outsource the marketing department – and so PHD Marketing Ltd was born.
Joanna claims delivering change at organisations is the most satisfying part of her job.
“Marketing really helps employees engage with their business,” said Joanna.
“It’s not just about the external communications role.
“We get real satisfaction from being part of our client's business - part of the team - and making a difference to their brand image and most importantly growth.”
And the most challenging part?
“Managing the balance between investment in resources and growing the business,” said Joanna.
“You try to grow, then invest in people and services.
“However, it’s never aligned.
“We recently grew significantly and new hires and billing took an age to catch up.”
One of PHD’s success stories to date is DataLase, a small yet revolutionary digital printing company.
Thanks to an integrated marketing approach, PHD elevated the DataLase status in a large market, helping to demonstrate the unique, patented capability of its ground-breaking technology.
Global leader SATO GROUP now owns DataLase having bought the company in 2016 for over £50M; an outstanding success story directly attributable to much of the work PHD completed in 2015 and 2016 to support the organisation.
PHD has been a client of Ellis & Co’s since the company first began, tax manager Peter Way-Rider handled Joanne’s private tax affairs for several years previous so she felt it right to approach Peter for support when her business plans were coming together.
“They're the A Team!,” said Joanna.
“Peter recommended a lawyer and a bank to work with too and is always on the end of the phone when there are challenges, along with Alison and Robert.
“Ellis & Co handle the PHD payroll, accounts and my tax (which is never fun) I recognise that my strength is in marketing not accounting, so Ellis & Co are simply PHD's finance department,” she added.
“Despite the ups and downs of business, Ellis & Co make me feel secure in running my business, providing ongoing advice and support and educate me along the way.”
Want to know more about PHD Marketing click here