Business Insights:
An Interview We Did With Charter Life

By Matt Partridge

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I had the pleasure of talking to one of our clients, Charter Life about our business. They were keen to interview us to find out a bit more about what we do, who we are and how are finding working in a different world to what we are used to. Here's the interview I did with Henry Stone of Charter Life.

“ Hi everyone, welcome to our Business Insights Edition 420. Today we are joined by the owner of Abstraction Marketing, Matthew Partridge, welcome to the show Matthew”

“ (Thank you Henry, it’s great to be here). "

“We wanted to speak with you today about the importance of business development and how companies need to do businesses with other like-minded companies when selecting the range of service providers that we need to work with.

Obviously, our company Charter Life has been working very closely with your company, Abstraction Marketing recently, and we thank you for all you have done for us so far.

Now, when we were initially looking for a digital marketing company to work with, you can see that there are hundreds of service providers out there, and I’m sure that many of them do provide a good service and at a fair price. You can also easily find that there are companies that charge significantly more for certain services than others, and it can sometimes be hard to know who to go with.

There are many companies out there offering the same services for the same or different prices. One of our main principles is to work with worth good people and to build partnerships that are compatible for long into the future.

After liaising with several companies, we were particularly impressed with the focus that you displayed towards the business development interests of Charter Life, and how you could help to build our brand so we can communicate more effectively with our customers.

We found that many agencies out there were simply just providing us with quotes for certain services, there was no real consultation or interest displayed in who we were as a business or what we were looking to achieve. But Abstraction, you showed a particular focus on finding out who were, what we stood for and what we were looking to achieve in the long term. So, let me start with asking you a few questions:”

What is it that Abstraction Marketing does?

We are a marketing agency based in the West Midlands that specialises in website design /development, UX design and e-commerce solutions. We often help companies improve their online presence too, anyone with a badly performing website or one where sales are down, we can provide an audit and analyse what’s going on and come up with a plan on how we can fix things. These tend to be larger companies with high traffic volumes. To sum it up, we help companies succeed and stay successful online.

We also provide logo and branding services, business card design along with flyer and banner design services. We offer copywriting services too.

Can you tell me more about your approach here – what are the core principles of Abstraction and what are the most important things for you to understand about your clients when working with them?

Our core principle is to always deliver a professional service. With regards to our main business, this includes designing a fantastic looking website that’s easy to use and adds value to our client’s business. We also ensure we go above and beyond what our clients expect.

It’s really important to listen to your client at every step of the way whilst also offering professional guidance at decisions you feel might not be the best for them and their business. The end goal is to always add value to our client’s business.

How would you describe your company?

We are a friendly, very approachable business that provides excellent digital design services to companies across the UK and Europe. We like to think when people mention Abstraction Marketing the reaction is ‘oh they make amazing websites’.

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We like to think when people mention Abstraction Marketing the reaction is ‘oh they make amazing websites’

What kind of companies do you tent to work with?

With regards to the size of the companies we work with, they can range from small businesses with only a few employees up to medium and larger-sized companies that are national and sometimes multi-national. As I mentioned earlier, we do a fair amount of work with companies with high levels of traffic, we help them improve their conversion rates and sales with our knowledge of marketing techniques and our web design and development skillset.

At the end of the day, we are an agency that loves to help and add value to any business. If you see the value in what we offer and want to hire us to help improve your online presence in any way, we are more than happy to help.

If you mean what kind of industries do we work with, they can be absolutely anything. You never know who is going to 'walk through that digital door'.

The last few months have been a testing time for everyone, how has Abstraction dealt with the coronavirus?

It's been really tough for a lot of businesses out there, especially in the hospitality and services trade. When was it now? I think back in February we thought it would best if we all worked from home. We are lucky in the sense that we can produce most of our work at home and we quite often do work at home. If we need to catch up on a certain project or have a scheduled meeting then we have the likes of Zoom or Microsoft teams. These apps are especially useful when you need to discuss things with a client whilst also self-isolating. We are typical of any business that provides online services.

I think that a lot of companies out there are going to be re-assessing their current setups and questioning whether they need to be spending so much on rent and large premises. People are realising that the same work can be carried out at home, the savings can be potentially huge. Another positive out of this is the effect it's having on the environment, so many cars are not commuting to an office back and forth!

What drives the way you work?

I would have to say seeing the end results, especially building a brand new website for a new client. I will never tire of seeing the fruits of our labour. I also love getting involved in improving the performance of a website. Setting up A/B tests and adapting a website to suit the winning variation is a great feeling when you see conversion rates go up and up.

Do you feel that you are different from a lot of your competitors?

We try not to focus too much on our competition, of course, we do have a look to see what is going on around us. We just ensure we offer our clients the best service possible! One great advantage we have is our wealth of knowledge and experience, we can pretty much do anything thrown at us! (as long as the budgets there hahaha).

What are the most important factors when you are working with a new company?

The most important factor is to deliver on time what they are paying for. We will then go above and beyond what they are expecting. Several other factors are that we build a solid working relationship together and also hope that they recommend us to their contacts and connections, we find that word of mouth is probably the best way for us to generate new business.

What are your main objectives when developing a companies website?

It can depend on whether they have a current website in place and want it improving or are just starting and don’t have any website at all. If we are hired to improve their current site (increase sales, conversion rates or maybe it’s just really really slow) then it’s a bit more scientific and with our experience, we will map out a development plan on what needs to be done to improve the website.

If it’s a brand new site we will want to ensure it looks great, it’s easy to use and it performs well.

great web design service

You know the famous saying “You think good design is expensive, you should see the cost of bad design”!

How important is social media nowadays and how can we get an edge over other users of social media?

It’s very important, so much of a marketing agencies budget will go on advertising on social media. It’s also very important to get the content right, try not to upset anyone and always ensure you know what you are talking about, stay professional.

What would you say are some benefits to hiring a marketing agency like yourselves?

Firstly, you will get a professional service. Your website is going to look brilliant, there are going to be so many things done in the background that you don’t see that make up a website that performs well. You know the famous saying “You think good design is expensive, you should see the cost of bad design”!

We work with a lot of companies and the owners of these companies are not superheroes. They cannot do absolutely everything and dedicate the time required to design, develop and run their online presence. We are here to take all of the pressure off, build a beautiful online presence and make sure their business keeps on growing.

And lastly what advice would you give anybody that wants to set up their own business, particularly a marketing agency?

Hhmmm, let me think about that!... I would say go for it! Do not expect to work 9-5 though! Like setting up any business, you need to put in a lot of time and effort to get the thing off the ground. Naturally, you would start out as a freelancer, build up a strong portfolio of work and let word of mouth spread the reputation you’ve started to build. From there, try and keep costs as low as possible, you don’t need to spend a lot on expensive premises and equipment and staff straight.

I would also say, never stop learning, especially when it comes to web design and development, things change so quickly.

" Well thank you for your time today Matthew, it was great to discuss your business with you, I wish you all the best and hope to catch up with you again soon. "

" It's been a pleasure. Thank you, Henry "

Web Design Blog Author

Article Written by Matt Partridge
Web Developer & Digital Marketing Specialist
[email protected]

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