In Profile: The Wood McKeever Group, design, marketing and PR experts

By Anita Jaynes on April 04, 2016

Exciting changes are happening behind the doors of Gable House in Malmesbury where Front Room Marketing & Design are pushing new boundaries with their business model, meeting the demand for creative agencies to provide clients with a full range of services. A new shareholder and team members are on board and what better time for a re-brand.

Started by husband and wife Lesley and David Wood in 2012, the business has gone from strength to strength and now has an impressive client list which includes companies such as Swindon based Honda Logistics, Hills Waste and Swindon Wildcats; South West based Nexus Computing, Odyssey CX, Bowood House, The Retailer Group, training & coaching business True North, many town councils, schools and more. Larger clients include Waitrose, Hilditch Group, Infinity Oilfields and a number of organisations with global footprints.

With the backing of such great clients the team are practising what they preach to client businesses and have come up with a whole new concept to ignite future growth.

TBE met with marketing strategy director Lesley Wood and new shareholder Dermot McKeever to find out more about this business transformation and plans for the future.

We must begin by unveiling the new company identity, what’s the idea behind the new name?

Lesley: It’s the Wood McKeever Group, fusing our names to create a new identity that’s more fitting. We don’t want the ‘group’ part to concern our smaller clients or prospects. We’re passionate about supporting SMEs and start-ups, but we needed a brand identity and strategy to position us well for our growth plans.

Dermot: Lesley, the team and I gel together as we are all committed to helping companies gain the confidence they need to get recognised. We ask key questions such as: What are you doing that’s different? Why would I choose you and not the competition? We help clients tell their story and challenge them if they don’t sound unique.
Marketing is a business expense. If you spend money you’ve got to make money. If it’s not selling, it’s simply not working. PR, marketing and websites have to work – they’re assets. The commercial world is really busy and you need to stand out.

What’s the most important thing to remember when building a brand?

Lesley: Your brand identity needs to echo throughout your marketing collateral from the logo design, to the website and in the language used to articulate your image.
Even more importantly, your internal culture – led by your leadership behaviours, should be reflected and visible through all your routes to market.

Authenticity is the essence of building a brand. You can’t force people to engage with you in the long term if the initial engagement is based on an illusion.

Dermot: Authenticity is the true currency of the Twenty First Century. Consumers want to see who you really are.

What’s the biggest mistake you’ve seen a business make?

Dermot: I think there are two. Companies who spend a lot of money on website design and the whole user journey, but don’t then invest the marketing time and energy telling people it’s there. It’s like opening a shop and not having any signage. The second is not making the proposition simple. I believe the true ‘cost ‘of many products will be seen as the time it takes to use them as much as the monetary cost of purchasing them.

What are your goals for 2016 and beyond?

Lesley: To establish our new brand with our existing clients, so they know we still understand them and launch at least two of our planned complementary businesses.

We’re committed to building the business and attracting more household names to work with us nationally and internationally and also remain committed to Malmesbury and Wiltshire as a whole. Our team is made up of incredibly talented people who choose to live and work in Wiltshire and we have a real love for the region.

We’re thrilled to manage the PR and marketing for Malmesbury on behalf of the Malmesbury Town Team, promoting the vibrant and historic town on a global scale and it’s really exciting to see the town being put on the map. www.discovermalmesbury.life

Tell us about the other strings you’re adding to your bow

Dermot: Under the Wood McKeever Group banner we’re first launching a new website called miemoney.com. This will offer simple, straightforward financial information all in one place. I’ve worked in the financial marketplace for years and it’s ripe for change. People need accessible information rather than financial jargon to make important decisions about their money. The website will marry up the brand and content marketing sides of our creative and marketing agency to present content in an understandable and info-graphical way with the functionality to introduce consumers to the right industry experts if required. www.miemoney.com

How important is it for you to be recognised as an ethical business?

Lesley: Building a business with core ethical values has always been important to us. We support many local charities and organisations and are members of Business against Poverty. We enjoy being immersed in the local community giving back to organisations, schools and colleges through work experience and projects.

Dermot: In the future we plan to launch our own Foundation promoting and protecting the role of women in society, particularly business. As a father of twins, one of whom is a girl, I already know my daughter is likely to have 50% more hurdles to overcome than her brother, just because of her gender and we need to break down these barriers. Female representation on FTSE boards is still not there and much more importantly society has an inbuilt and unthinking bias which we need to remove so the most talented people are recruited.
Our Foundation won’t be a lobbying group, it will just offer much needed support. Watch this space.

You’ve always been keen supporters of local business events, will you be exhibiting any time soon?
We’ve just taken part in the International Women’s Day celebrations at Bowood House and the Corsham Means Business Show. The next event planned is the South West Expo at STEAM on June 20. If you’re coming along, be sure to visit our stand and say hi.

Visit The Wood McKeever Group online at: www.wmcagency.com

Pictured above: Lesley Wood and Dermot McKeever

WMC group logo