Preston based marketing agency Invoke Media and Chorley based ‘Just Write By Lucy B’ are calling for business owners to come together to support the local business community under a new initiative spearheaded by the Invoke team.
Invoke Media launched its Coronavirus Business Assistance Scheme at the end of March in response to the current crisis, currently providing free marketing services to over 80 independently-owned businesses. The services are provided without charge, obligation or ulterior motive – a promise backed by a signed guarantee.
The Invoke Media team were approached by Lucy Bullough of Just Write By Lucy B, with an offer of support for the generous scheme and the two businesses have been working together on a number of projects, supporting the businesses most affected by the crisis.
The scheme has been a great success but is approaching workload capacity and requires assistance from other businesses who may have an in-house team of marketers who can help service those in need of support.
Jack Barron, Director of Invoke Media said:
“The scheme has been a victim of its own success, with us quickly approaching a point where we can no longer accept any more applications. Whilst there seems to be some sense of normality returning and the light is at the end of the tunnel, the effects of COVID-19 on small and independently-run businesses will last considerably longer.
I would like to continue the great work we’ve been doing and extend that to as many businesses as possible, but in order to do so, we need the support of other businesses. I am simply not in a position to hire more staff at this time and I know there are businesses out there that can help who either have the capacity to do so, or have furloughed members of their marketing team who could help.”
Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, furloughed staff can conduct voluntary work or seek alternative employment for their furlough period. Under this local business support initiative, a marketer that is furloughed could conduct work that both helps other local businesses and gives them new skills.
Volunteer marketers are asked to not be currently under the employment of a marketing agency and they must have the consent of their employer before partaking in the support scheme.
Jack Barron continued:
“The reason we are asking for in-house marketers only is because we can not guarantee that those currently in an agency role would not seek to engage the supported business as a client, an in-house marketer is far less likely to be in a position to do so. As it is myself that is signing a guarantee that there will be no attempt to sell services, it would put us in a very difficult position and could undermine all of the good work we are doing. It just doesn’t seem like a good gamble to me when there are a sufficient number of in-house marketers ready to help.
Aside from protecting my business, I think we can add the most value to an in-house marketer, with the training provided and the insight into alternative industries providing skills they can take back to their employer.”
Lucy Bullough, Director of Just Write By Lucy B said:
“This is a great opportunity for the local business community to come together in difficult times and provide support for those most in need.
Employers that have furloughed their marketing teams and are willing to participate will benefit from keeping their marketers engaged as well as learning new skills that will be brought back to the business.
It is important now more than ever to keep your team engaged and their mind’s active. It also has the added benefit of helping the local economy get back on its feet.”
Volunteers can expect to be trained on the Invoke Media developed 250-point marketing health check, a system of diagnosing and triaging areas of concern and opportunity for businesses. They will also be trained on the COSTEM-AP method of developing marketing strategy, a proprietary framework for developing fast and efficient marketing plans.
Those currently in employment under furlough are asked to seek the consent of their employers before engaging in any voluntary work to ensure there are no misunderstandings or issues. Employers wishing to commit resources should contact Invoke Media to arrange an initial call.
Commitment to the scheme can be as little as 3 hours per week and all volunteers would be bound under non-disclosure agreements to protect those being supported. Anyone wanting to volunteer or wishing to find out more should email firstname.lastname@example.org at the earliest opportunity.
Kirsty Doyle, Marketing Executive
01772 921 109