Turn-key working to unlock success


Turn-key working to unlock success

In the world of business time is money – a concept in which Zulu prides itself on dealing with. Our whole ethos is based on turn-key working, in understanding the business need and applying it to what we do. As we all know only too well, from the start of the working day the pressure is on to deliver bottom-line results.

Management time is too valuable to be wasted, which is why when Zulu starts working with a business the turn-key approach gets under its skin and the markets they operate in and ensures that what we deliver is what they need.

Where I think Zulu is different is that we have people with MBAs and PhDs, people who can read due diligence / strategic business plans and understand what’s going on and where to go. We really do understand the business-speak and can put this into focused marketing action points which we then feedback and develop a brief that defines the critical requirements of a company. But don’t just take my word for it. Jackie Arthur is the managing director of the Happy Days Nursery group, which operates nearly 20 children’s nurseries across the south west of England. Zulu assessed the Happy Days operation and identified areas for strengthening as part of a multi-million investment by equity group Isis. This included completely overhauling the Happy Days website, a crucial component of any business. Jackie said Happy Days was delighted with the outcome - just three weeks after the site went live they saw online enquiries leap to 50 compared with 12 in the equivalent period.

“Zulu have done a tremendous job.  We set a high specification and requirement and they more than matched it,” she said. “Our parents deserve quality from the first moment they come into contact with us and our website does this.”

Jackie said investment in online provision was a big decision and getting the right partner to work with was key.

“Zulu understood our requirements quickly and were there to provide useful advice in terms of usability and optimisation,” she said. “The site had to be manageable by a business of our size but also meet our future needs and where we will be in five years time. We are confident that our new website will not just be a shop window but also a key business tool as we develop.”

Kind words from Jackie, but she is not alone - we have loads of recommendations from high quality business professionals, the kind of people who don’t normally endorse an agency, and why I feel the Zulu turn-key approach comes into its own. In the case of Happy Days what we did was look at its whole ethos and build a community around the Happy Days brand, such as days out for parents, discounts and offers. Key amongst this was developing a new website that involved the parents. It now provides a log-in access area where mums and dads can check on their child’s progress throughout the day. We also worked with Happy Days to build a social media and advertising strategy which I am delighted has resulted in a rise in enquiries and children being placed in the various nurseries in the Happy Days group.

I offer up the case of Happy Days because it is a classic example of Zulu’s turn-key approach in action. It works best for companies that do not have an existing marketing department, or maybe an underpowered one When private equity comes in there is often a need for a stronger brand and marketing presence, a need which costs money.

Zulu can do all the necessary work for a much smaller amount to achieve the same results and much more quickly. We provide a menu of marketing requirements, capabilities and advice and options for the business to consider. This ensures the business is in control, but importantly it allows for fresh thinking that challenges the status quo. Once we have agreed what needs to be done and how/who is going to do it, Zulu’s management team get on with delivering all aspects of the programme. We manage the whole process from end to end – freeing up valuable management time and taking away the hassle of dealing with a number of providers. The benefits of this are multiple:  

  • We are accountable and measurable
  • We are flexible
  • We save management time
  • We reduce complexity
  • We provide high-quality work at reduced costs

Let me give you an example: money is saved by reducing the need for internal marketing headcount. Let’s say the marketing manager is £50,000. They then spend time reviewing and developing the approach and require a budget for agency/s and a programme of around £200,000. That’s £250,000 already! Zulu negates the need for all this, meaning the client can spend that £250,000 elsewhere on the business. I am delighted to report that my book From Battlefield To Boardroom is to feature in the next edition of the KPMG Alumni magazine. I spent several happy years there before leaving in 2002 to start Zulu.