The Wonderland is very proud of our very own feature in The Parliamentary Review! Celebrating 10 years of big ideas by canny creatives, it’s a great endorsement of what we’ve achieved.
A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by The Wonderland’s best practice article
The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from The Wonderland is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.
The Wonderland was established in 2009 during the financial crisis. Currently an all-female marketing and creative agency, it was formed after its three future directors had been made redundant. Two large clients followed them and in the same year, they won an award for marketing effectiveness in retail for their work with Thornton’s Chocolates. With an array of skills, years of experience and proven results, The Wonderland provides effective, omni-channel solutions. With client customer journeys at the heart of all their work, the entire team understands the importance of adding value, driving sales and challenging the thinking of others.
We are a creative and marketing agency that specialises in a “complete customer journey”, helping clients with omni-channel branding, from strategy through to execution. No one day is the same for us; we are creatives and purveyors of solutions that our clients perhaps don’t know they need. From brainstorming and client meetings through to art directing and simply making the tea the right colour, everyone contributes; this philosophy fuels our growing team.
FACTS ABOUT THE WONDERLAND
- Directors: Julie Hayes, Inge de Gooijer, Lynsey Cooper
- Established in 2009
- Based in Nottingham
- Services: Marketing and creative agency
- No. of employees: 7
- Won a recent RAR award for effectiveness
- Trade internationally and are a multilingual agency
Welcoming change while remaining open and honest…
Our ethos is based on treating people fairly, the way we want to be treated ourselves and choosing the right partners and brands to work with. Empowerment, autonomy and employing those that have new skills are all key traits for any agile, creative business. We know that we won’t grow if we don’t embrace change and recognise emerging trends; our culture is fun and creative, but that’s leveraged appropriately with grit, determination and a true thirst for knowledge.
Everything is discussed in the office; we have an open and honest policy, and this environment supports our team well.
“From brainstorming and client meetings through to art directing and simply making the tea the right colour, everyone contributes.”
Ten wonderful years of success…
Our first year was a runaway success; we had so much work to do that defining the type of agency we wanted to be fell by the wayside. In year two, we started looking at both what we were good at and what our clients needed.
We soon discovered the three key pillars of what we could deliver for clients: creativity, strategy and analytics, all underpinned by outstanding customer service. In 2010, we started to develop our social offering – now 25 to 30 per cent of our work – and embarked on more projects covering content marketing, an area where we’ve seen huge growth.
From year two, we only continued to expand and diversify; in 2011, we started trading in Europe and the US. We now have a team that supports our directors well, and after ten challenging yet successful years of The Wonderland, we’re ready for our next growth phase, all this while maintaining the culture and values that have been there since the very beginning.
We have matured, evolved and are embracing the future…
The digital side of marketing is advancing rapidly, and as a boutique agency we constantly have to review and decide which new technologies to engage with and which skills to further develop. To expand our services to clients, we are currently looking at augmented reality and further social media development, as well as increased video and advertising production. Our size makes us inherently agile and we have the motivation and zest to embrace constant change.
When it comes to business development, we have found that it can be easy to get too focused on client work and subsequently become distracted from our own growth. We set up our business to market and maximise growth of our clients; we realise we have to achieve a better balance and look after our own agency too. Marketing The Wonderland when busy comes with its challenges, but most businesses face the same balancing acts as we do.
Our policy with regard to pitching for business for example, which is a time-consuming and costly process not just for our agency but for potential clients also, means we won’t always agree to pitch.
Like many industries, actual opportunities can be about who you know and, to a degree. that still applies; half of our new clients come through personal recommendation. The other half, however, is more attracted to what you know. Knowing our stuff and communicating it effectively is the new pitching and this is where we try to focus our efforts.
We’d like to see more companies adopt a co-operative agency model, where the environment for agencies to work together productively without trying to land-grab is fostered. All agencies should be working toward what is best for the client, not themselves. While we can and do work autonomously, we are not afraid to work with other agencies; we’ve done it for ten years and we’re confident about our ability to produce and execute effective ideas within this model.
Our thriving creative industry has its challenges…
As any other growing business, we’ve had to face continued challenges along the way.
One of them is Brexit. We have seen some effect from it already – we do have international clients and have seen the amount of available work in these areas decrease.
Some clients have restructured to take more in-house or work with companies in their own regions. To accommodate for this shifting global landscape, we have focused on being proactive and adaptable.
The impact of GDPR has been substantial, too; we solidified our client agreements, and put new policies in place internally and with our suppliers and partners. Now, a year on, these policies are ingrained.
Making Tax Digital is another great example of a challenge – preparing for that meant spending more time implementing changes to our finance processes without an in-house accountant or bookkeeper.
Luckily, our team of WonderGirls has pulled together to help us address these challenges alongside our core business efficiently.
“Creativity, strategy and analytics, all underpinned but outstanding customer service.”
The journey continues…
Since 2009, we have learnt and developed with every step we’ve taken and are all the stronger for it. The future looks bright, and we’re excited for what it holds; after all, the last ten years have been pretty mind-blowing at times.
We look forward to delivering more outstanding creative work for clients new and old. We’ve always delivered added value and truly made a difference for our clients by being agile, innovative and focused on the right things.
We are determined to do the same for the next ten years and beyond.
You can read the original article here: https://www.theparliamentaryreview.co.uk/organisations/the-wonderland