Following our rebrand this month, we conducted an interview with Fruitful Marketing Managing Director James Wright to learn how the company started and more about ‘the man behind the marketing’!
Q) Before setting up Fruitful Marketing, what other jobs have you had?
“My first job was as a collections agent, for a debt collection agency…I would describe this as ‘character building’! I always wanted to work in Marketing and I earnt the opportunity at Bisley Office Furniture, Europe’s largest manufacturer of steel storage equipment. At the time they turned over £80m annually and boasted over 1000 employees so it was a great experience. Following this, I worked for Gerstaeker UK, Europe’s largest art materials supplier and then Swift Industrial Supplies.”
Q) Why did you set up Fruitful Marketing Ltd?
“During my 10-year Marketing career, I worked with many Marketing Agencies, noticing a reoccurring theme. After an impressive pitch and initial excitement, the support we received would soon deteriorate. These agencies did not receive renewals at the end of their contracts, as they were never results orientated and were viewed as an expense rather than an investment by the Directors. As a result, I saw a gap in the market and Fruitful Marketing Ltd was born in May 2015, with a focus on understanding customer requirements and delivering excellence in importantly Customer Service and results.”
Q) What is your vision for the Fruitful Marketing?
“My vision is to create one of the South East’s leading and award-winning Marketing Agencies, with a fine reputation for consistent service and results, by building strong relationships with our clients.”
Q) What changes in Marketing have you seen during your career?
“I have seen many changes and I think today Marketing is changing and evolving quicker than ever. Unless companies are willing to adapt and adopt change quickly they can soon lose ground on their competitors. The most significant change has been the evolution of Digital Marketing and the reduction of printed marketing material as a result. Look at how the size of the Argos catalogue and Yellow Pages directory reduced and this is similar to most companies printed marketing collateral. I am still a big fan of printed Marketing by the way and with such a change I feel there is a real opportunity to be noticed using it correctly in your Marketing Strategy. Also, the power of social influence and reviews is a huge change. Poor customer service is just not acceptable anymore and the power is with the customer/client. With Facebook, Twitter, TripAdvisor, etc everyone has a voice now and companies of all sizes are under a magnifying glass, all of the time, creating a consumer lead market.”
Q) Starting Fruitful Marketing at just 29, do you feel your age was a disadvantage?
“Not at all, I felt the time was right for me. I had gained experience across a range of industries, constantly overachieving and overperforming for my employers, bringing great success. I wanted to apply this skill set, work with more companies and industries and also to create a great work environment for both myself and the team as Fruitful Marketing evolves. When I look at my personal peers and influencers many started far younger than me. Andrew Brittain of Advantec, for instance, started his agency 10 years ago at the age of 27, it now turns over £1 million+ per year and employees over 15 people. Ben Towers is 18 and this year signed an agency merger in London, making him one of the UK’s youngest self-made millionaires…perhaps I started a little late if anything!”
Q) Have you had any other businesses in the past and if so were they successful?
“Not officially as such…but I did run a ‘sideline’ at school, suggesting Entrepreneurial spirit from a young age! I ran a rival food offering to the school tuck shop from my rucksack, selling KitKats, doughnuts, candy sticks, etc. This soon became very popular and I had a larger queue than the school tuck shop! As the company grew the profits were then reinvested into buying and selling computer consoles and games (N64 was big in those days!) and I put quite a bit away in an ISA!”
Q) What is your proudest moment from Fruitful Marketing?
“It is definitely the customer feedback. We work hard and the clients appreciate it. Every time a client takes the time to write and I read a positive review or testimonial about the company or myself I am filled with great pride and satisfaction, which is so motivating”
Q) What are your thoughts on the future generation?
“We must understand that the youth are the future and we need to support and encourage them wherever we can. At Fruitful Marketing, we have provided work experience or internships to 4 students already and I am keen for this trend to continue. I have also been asked to speak at local colleges, advising students which I am always happy to do as this is so beneficial for them when making huge life choices.”
Q) We appear to be in turbulent times, are you concerned about the impact of Brexit on business?
“I think the reality is Brexit has happened and whilst that will be unpopular with many, remember nearly 50% voted remain, it is a reality and it is going to happen. I feel it is important for people and businesses to move forward positively and seek the opportunities. The pound is currently weaker, so exports are cheaper. If free movement from the EU is removed, are their easier opportunities for worldwide talent to immigrate/gain work visas? Only time will tell as to the positives and negatives surrounding this decision but like everything I do in life, I will see a half-full glass.”
Q) What does the future hold for Fruitful Marketing
“We have just launched our rebrand and a new website, which is very exciting. We are organising Thought Leadership and Seminar Events – details here, are producing valuable marketing advice and material, which will be available in our blog section and have some exciting new clients and projects in the pipeline!”