Life & Culture

How our advertising business coped when Tesco checked out


Advertisers have to be prepared change or face closure, says a man who should know.

Matt Davis’s advertising agency The Red Brick Road, once relied on Tesco for the bulk of the business.

But when the supermarket giant went elsewhere, he was forced to swiftly change course to stay afloat.

He turned away from the more traditional TV advertising for digital technology, social media and creative campaigns.

“We relaunched in a totally new way,” says Davis, from south London.

“Unlike other agencies, our focus hasn’t been on size. We’ve focused on growing our client relationships.”

He says success lies in being selective with clients and offering unique services — from the latest technology to social media advertising and public relations.

While big client budgets do help, Davis says a shared vision is imperative.

“Budgets are incidental, he says. “We work with clients who share our faith in the power of creativity to transform a business.”

The Soho-based company now counts Suzuki, ADT and Magners among its 18 clients. And developments in technology are ongoing. Davis believes that smartphones and tablets have revolutionised advertising.

“Mobile devices are going to get even more prolific,” he predicts.

“Everything from HD film, to the cleverest of apps can happen on a mobile which is going to be critical.”

Since he started working with other brands, there has been a 32 per cent increase in sales for ADT, 6 per cent for Magners and 15 per cent for Experian global information services, he claims.

With over 10 years experience, Davis has watched the industry transform. “The industry use to be obsessed with the different mediums that you would advertise through, and the hierarchy of them,” he adds.

“There was a lot of snobbery but today, every channel of advertising matters equally, and advertisers need to be masters of them all, to be truly effective.

“The relationship between consumers and products is now social and two-way. It is no longer direct and one-dimensional.”

The father of two, who married at the New West End United Synagogue, believes “consumers have become part of the campaign and have much more power than they ever used to” — as they are now able to click on a button and leave feedback.

“We make sure that we adapt and stay up to date with the consumers. It helps us and our clients.”

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