In this regular item we catch up with one of our members...
Stewart Hilton and Robert White, founders of ZEAL Creative in Manchester tell us what
they’ve been up to over the past few months, their thoughts on the IPM Awards and what they’d say to a senior
new business target if they had 30 seconds with them in a lift.
Stew and Rob, thanks for talking to us. How are things going at ZEAL Creative
at the moment?
SH: The biggest thing for us at the
moment is the launch of our London office.
We’ve set up in Farringdon by building a team under the leadership of
former ‘IPM 30 Under 30’ member Andrew Thatcher. Andrew’s team have moved fast and they are already
working with Nescafé, SMA, Florette and Barr Soft Drinks. It’s a big challenge for ZEAL but it’s a lot
of fun and the constant trips to London definitely makes the Christmas shopping
IPM: How is your business developing and evolving – any
interesting plans for 2019 you can share with us?!
RW: We’re five years old in April and we are currently in the process of
creating our strategic plan for the next 5 years. In truth, we’ve grown much faster than we
ever thought possible; thanks largely to recommendations and referrals from
amazing clients like Nestlé, Pringles, Kellogg’s, PZ Cussons and Quorn.
We have 40 people now across 2 offices but as we continue to grow we
need to evolve our business to best serve our clients. We are looking at bringing in some more
senior talent across the agency to help us manage growth and to further
increase our expertise in key areas that matter most to our clients such as
insight, digital and shopper strategy.
We are also very proud to be launching the ZEAL Academy in 2019. A
unique long-term programme that will be run by our new Talent Development
Director, John Saxon. This initiative ‘bakes’
training into our business and will super-charge the professional development and
day-to-day coaching of all staff.
One key part of this is a ZEAL only intake of the IPM Diploma in January
which will see 11 of our team take on the Diploma all at once. It’s a big investment for ZEAL but it’s one that
we are sure will deliver many benefits in the years ahead.
IPM: How important
are Awards to Zeal Creative, and what value do they add to the business?
SH: There seem to be an endless list of awards that marketing agencies can
enter these days but we have always prioritised the IPM Awards as they focus so
heavily on results and effectiveness as well as creative brilliance.
We think they are very important as they allow you to show clients that
your campaigns actually work. In
practice it’s up to you to then turn your award wins into strong case studies
that you can then use to get the attention of potential clients looking for the
same end results or to attract other superstar talent that wants to come on
The fact that our KitKat Personalised Pack campaign from last year won
more IPM Golds than any other campaign and then went on to triumph in Europe
has definitely opened doors for us with other big fmcg companies.
It’s also great for the team to enjoy an important moment of well-deserved
recognition for all their hard work. For
us the IPM event is just the start for the celebrations and by the time we
finish everyone feels part of the success.
find yourself in a lift with a new business target, you've got 30 seconds to
make an impression on behalf of ZEAL Creative - what would you say and do?
RW: That’s actually happened to Stew
and I quite a few times. We always use the chance to ask some burning
question we have about their business or to pass comment on something great
that we’d seen them do recently. They’d
instantly get a feel for our ZEAL but we’d have no interest in trying to ‘sell’
so much for your time guys – have a great day!
SH: You too!
If you’d like to get in touch with Zeal Creative,
drop them a note at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com