Marketing & PR: Campaign Helps Research Firm to Double Turnover

Article excerpt

Byline: Graham Sidwell

A Birmingham-based company has nearly doubled its turnover and workforce with the help of an innovative marketing campaign devised by Business Link Birmingham.

MEL Research, which specialises in research and consultancy for public service organisations, has seen annual turnover rise from pounds 480,000 in 1998 to pounds 860,000 in 2001 and staff increase from nine to 18 in the same period.

Dr Robert Pocock, founder and chief executive, said: 'Along with two colleagues from Aston University, we started the business in 1985 and our marketing focused on the technical validity and statistical strength of the research.

'If we were to expand, I knew that the business needed to be much more commerciallyminded, but wasn't sure how to achieve that.'

Business Link Birmingham, which is part of Birmingham and Solihull Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has supported specialist assistance from marketing consultant Keith O'Sullivan to develop a strategy and action plan to reposition MEL Research from a business that provided surveys to one that also provides solutions.

Mr O'Sullivan said: 'After considering the market and the competition, we designed a contemporary corporate identity, devised a direct marketing campaign targeting newly identified sectors and followed that up with high quality corporate materials, seminars and workshops.

'This approach was a radical departure from MEL's market sector and the response has been overwhelming.' Further marketing consultancy has built a web site and focused on customer relationship management.

MEL is currently working on a wide range of projects for organisations across the UK ranging from major corporates such as Corus (formerly British Steel) and SmithKlineBeecham, to government departments, health authorities, local councils, voluntary organisations and community-centred regeneration agencies. …