IMA marks 30 successful years
By IMA on Nov 13, 2018
Leading full service creative agency Intermarketing Agency is celebrating its 30th year.
Founded in Leeds in 1988, the agency is recognised by the industry as a leading light in the marketing communications world. Intermarketing was recently named marketing agency of the year by the UK Agency awards, ranked first in The Drum’s annual agency census and third by marketing community Prolific North plus contributes millions to the local Leeds economy, which is arguably the UK’s biggest financial and business centre outside London.
Intermarketing’s 225-strong team is based across six offices in Leeds, London, Manchester, New York, Amsterdam and Sydney. The agency is comprised of creatives, strategists, marketers, digital specialists, designers, producers and analysts working for leading UK and global brands including adidas, Reebok, Bupa, Thomas Cook and the NSPCC.
Client adidas has been with the agency for an industry-bucking 20+ years.
Intermarketing first opened for business as a direct marketing agency working for the mail order giants of the north, such as Grattan and Next Directory. As the marketing communications landscape changed and the agency grew, print, brand development, retail and packaging design and digital, 3D and animation capabilities were added to the agency’s offering.
In 2011, Client Services Director Steve Sowden and Head of Media Jamie Allan along with Creative Directors Paul Mountford and Michael Harris and Financial Director Andrew Watson, went through a management buy out. The team grew the business from 40 to 220+ people over the following six years before becoming part of Advantage Smollan, a European-based group of sales and marketing companies in 2017.
The agency is proud of the ‘Making it Happen’ ethos which underpins its creatively-led, service-driven, ROI-focussed reputation. Together with it entrepreneurial, ‘can do’ spirit (summed up quite literally in its recent Can Do beer launch and own brand, Imaginarium gin), this reputation is in part responsible for Intermarketing’s unusually long staff and client tenure, with client relationships lasting on average 10 years and many team members clocking up 10 year+ through the office doors.
Managing Partner Nickii Gray, who joined the agency as a client services exec back in 2006 before heading up operations in 2015, comments: “Celebrating your 30th anniversary is an achievement in any industry – but especially one where riding the waves of change is a given. Our industry is cyclical. When we started out, the agency focused on direct marketing. Brands moved away from that channel in its purest sense but with the proliferation of data and the need for increased relevancy, intelligently targeted communications are a must and we are reimagining direct response for our clients. The trend for specialists versus the requirement for integrated services has fluctuated over the years too, but we have always stayed true to being full service – to being able to offer our clients the right blend of products and expertise that solve their problems in the most successful of ways, at any given time. And we’ll continue to build the agency in that way over the next 30 years.”
Joint Chief Executive Partner Jamie Allan said: “We’re proud of not only navigating but also helping to lead that massive communications shift in the marketing industry – especially in the retail sector which is undergoing its own seismic challenges. The innovation we deliver for global brands such as adidas and Reebok, combining digital brand engagement with pioneering instore customer experience, demonstrates our ambition, intelligent thinking, exceptional creativity and brilliant delivery.”
Steve Sowden, Joint Chief Executive Partner continues: “We’ve built our success on clear ambition, amazing people, hard work and integrity. Our future will be focussed on continuing to develop our integrated agency proposition and with a clear focus on our retail specialism and frictionless creative production on a global scale. We will continue to expand our geographies, opening in markets where our clients are and need us to be. Ultimately, our long held ambition is to be the best agency in the world, and the best place to work, and we love continuing to crack on, on that path, everyday.”