New website for Pavey Group

Screenshot of Pavey Group Website Team PageEarlier this year we were delighted to be appointed by Pavey Group to redesign and develop their website. The Group, which specialise in Insurance, Risk Management, Claims Management and Financial Services, was established in 1971 and are today recognised as one of the Top 100 Independent Insurance Brokers in the UK.

The new site went live in May 2013 and is powered by our bespoke content management solution, allowing their Marketing Department to update their site as and when required.

Other features include:

  • An intuitive navigation, which helps both prospective and existing customers find the information they require quickly and easily
  • Gallery of key personnel – with links to full profile details on each to include professional qualifications, an area Pavey Group were keen to highlight
  • Recommend us form – allowing existing customers to easily recommend the group to their friends and associates
  • Case studies – sharing stories of how they have helped some of their Customers
  • Blog – for sharing the latest company news and adding value to their clients

It has been an absolute pleasure working with the team at Pavey Group on this project, which we hope marks the start of a long term working relationship.

For more information on the Pavey Group please visit: www.paveygroup.co.uk.

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Thomas Haynes joins Optix Digital Marketing Team

This week we’re extremely excited to be welcoming Thomas Haynes to the Optix Digital Marketing stable.

Thomas has been working in the search marketing industry for over six years and the portfolio of companies he’s worked with reads like a who’s who in blue-chip names. Amongst others, Thomas has worked with the likes of HSBC, Disney, M&S, Tesco, Bentley and Oxfam. We’re extremely excited to have Thomas bringing his knowledge to our already exciting and growing digital team. The experience he has in this field will benefit our client’s enormously.

For more information on how our digital marketing team can help your business grow, give them a buzz on 01392 667766

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Alastair Banks asked to consult with the University of Exeter on their use of Social Media

Optix Solutions' Directors Alastair Banks and James Dawkins at Exeter University in 1999

In the year 2000 Alastair Banks and James Dawkins, directors of Exeter Web Design & Online Marketing Company Optix Solutions, graduated from the University of Exeter with degrees in Computer Science. Almost 11 years on, their company has grown to be one of the largest and most successful in the area, last year being included in the South West’s top 100 creative agencies – a wonderful accolade for the company and the city of Exeter.

In the last couple of years Alastair, James and their team at Optix have been making a name for themselves in the world of Social Media and are now recognised as one of the thought leaders in this part of the country and beyond.

With the advent of Like Minds in Exeter in 2009, the city has become a hub of Social Media knowledge. This twice yearly conference has attracted some of the leading speakers on the subject from around the world. Many of the delegates that travel to the county from the larger cities, and other parts of the world, are now citing Exeter as one of the most important cities in the UK when it comes to Social Media.

[caption id="attachment_1190" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Alastair and James at Exeter University today[/caption]

A few months ago Alastair was invited back to the University of Exeter to present to the Marketing and Communications team on the topic of Social Media and has now been formally invited to consult to the University on their use of Social Media. They are looking to reach new audiences and get their message out whilst using ‘best practice’.

Stuart Franklin, Director of communications for the University of Exeter has said, “Social Media provides a wonderful opportunity to engage both internally and externally with people and organisations globally. We’re looking forward to working with Alastair over the coming months to develop this area of our marketing and communications.”

Exeter University was recently included in the top 25 fastest growing companies in the UK and the top 100 in Europe – a list compiled by Dun and Bradstreet. This is a great acclaim for Exeter and everyone that is involved with the University in any way.

Alastair Banks has said, “To be asked back into the University that gave me three of the best years of my life, to consult on something I feel so passionate about is simply fantastic. Social Media will provide a wonderful channel to disseminate information, listen for opportunities to connect with other thought leaders and push the Uni forward in its bid to get even bigger and better. I’m delighted to be working with the central communications team, who have some amazing stories to tell and opportunities to promote”

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A day in the life of an office wall

The wall at the back of our office was just a wall, like any other wall, until we introduced it to Bristol Street Artist Richt.

In the space of a day, he transformed a plain white space into something amazing.

Whilst we continued about our daily work, admittedly with a few breaks to admire the transformation, Richt set to work with his paints. Based upon a few rough sketches and a whole lot of imagination Richt created the Optix Mural.

We were all overwhelmed by the result and in awe of his talent.

We now have a wall to shout about (and not a duck in sight)!

Find out more here, including how you can come along and see our Mural for yourself.

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ANOTHER MONTH, ANOTHER NEW RECRUIT

As regular readers might know we have had some amazing hires already this year and we haven’t slowed down yet. With an ever-increasing workload we put the call out again for a new team member. No experience was necessary, we just needed someone with genuine enthusiasm, an aptitude for learning and, most importantly, someone who is the right fit for the Optix family.

Well, the call was answered and we are pleased to announce that Samuel Skinner has now joined us as our new Digital Executive.

Hiring with a willingness to train the successful applicant is a great way of broadening the talent pool we can pull our next team member from while also giving us the chance to find someone with useful supporting skills for the team.

As a self-declared creative Samuel has over five years’ experience offering freelance graphic design and illustration services at www.samueltskinner.co.uk while also working for a software company in Somerset and boarding trainee guide dogs at his home in Devon. With an educational background in film and photography too Samuel has a broad skillset that we will enjoy putting to the test while also helping him to learn and develop in his new role (We think those dog-training skills might be especially useful for the office dogs).

We thought we would give the final word to the man himself, over to you Samuel:

“After spending the last year contemplating, deciding on and searching for my career move in marketing I’m absolutely thrilled to have got my chance to break into the sector and very thankful to Optix for the opportunity. I’m looking forward to throwing myself into new role. Please don’t get your hopes up about the dogs though, I’m fairly sure all the guide dogs that graduated did so despite my help rather than because of it!”

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Optix Solutions Announces Sponsorship of Likeminds Festival

Back in 2009 something pretty incredible happened in Exeter. A new business community was born. The brainchild of two innovative and extremely 'digitally connected' entrepreneurs created the brand which got the rest of the country looking at Exeter and admiring its ability to put on such a show. 

For that year I’m sure I remember the various headlines about ‘London descending on Exeter’ and ‘the silicon valley of the UK’. The community that I’m talking about is Like Minds and their Ideas Festival is back to stay in Devon! 

In September this year the Like Minds Ideas Festival is going to hit the town again. Miss it and I guarantee you’ll miss out. 

As I write this post there are "2 4 1" tickets going until the end of the month – you can book those here: http://bit.ly/LMXOptix

A little bit about #LikeMinds

The first topic they covered was social media (it was all pretty new 2009) the event has adapted and evolved over the years and is a Global Ideas Festival this years topic is “From Startup to Scaleup” but you can rest assured that its deep seated roots are in digital communication and if you therefore have any interest in that area you need to make sure you’re there. All the speakers will be impressive and thought provoking from a broad range of businesses and digital brands such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Microsoft. 

One of their previous speakers Robert Bean says: 

“Like Minds is an intellectual playground where thinkers, strategists, agents provocateurs, innovators, challengers and mavericks can open up, share ideas and be inspired in a warm, welcoming and world-wide environment. If you haven’t been, go. You’ll see the future there; most likely, yours."

And the press confirm it: 

“Like Minds is Brain Food” The Financial Times

“Like Minds is a Global Top 10 Ideas Festival” The Guardian.

I’m very proud to announce that Optix is sponsoring the event this year as we did eight years ago. Our brand is synonymous with the digital industry both locally and growing nationally (see our recent expansion to Bristol) and we feel its only right to align ourselves with this event and show the country that you don’t just need to look to big cities to find good digital agencies. They exist in Devon too! 

So we’ll be there, many of our friends and clients will be there. The question is will you be there?

Book Now…. http://bit.ly/LMXOptix

Check out @wearelikeminds on Twitter and their group on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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WE LOVE LUCY – CALLING ALL MARKETING MANAGERS, ASSISTANTS AND EXECS

One of the things we know at Optix is our client personas. We know them well. They underpin everything we do in the way of sales and marketing. We focus on creating content that will appeal to them and not wasting our time marketing to everyone. 

One of our personas is fondly named Lucy. Let me tell you about Lucy. 

  • Lucy can be male or female. 
  • Lucy works in marketing. He or She is usually in their second or third role. 
  • They usually have the title of marketing manager, sometimes exec or assistant.
  • They are working their way up the career ladder and one day will almost certainly be a marketing director. 
  • They are hungry for knowledge, they thrive on being the best they can and they love their craft. 
  • They are usually fall into the millennial category or very close to it.
  • Lucy drives a Golf and listens to spotify, sometimes they sing along to their music when they are alone
  • Lucy is a often a member of the CIM
  • Lucy likes a glass of prosecco or a cheeky beer with their friends. 
  • Lucy reads marketing week occasionally
  • Lucy is active on most social media platforms but they're probably not on snapchat
  • Lucy reads a lot and likes to use social media to learn
  • When it comes to working with people like us they love to know the mechanics of how we work

We love Lucys

Hopefully you get it, we know Lucy so well and inside almost every client of ours there is a Lucy. So we thought why not get them together. The more we thought of it, the more we liked it. Similar people, doing the same role, just in different businesses. How they could share stories and learn from one another we mused. So thats what this is. The inaugural “We Love Lucy" event. Where this will go we don’t know yet but we know we’re going to give it a try and we hope you’ll come along for the journey. 

So here are the details. The first event will be a casual affair, a safe space to come together, have a drink and a few nibbles and meet likeminded folk. We’ll host the event at Optix HQ and we’ll judge from the feedback if people think its a good idea and want to do more. There won’t be a format for this first event but we can talk about that on the night. We will be partnered by Katie Brook from one our lovely clients BCR Associates – A Lucy herself. 

The first event will be the 20th of July from 6pm to 7:30pm at Optix on Marsh Barton. Please book here: http://bit.ly/optixlucy

 

 

 

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Optix Solutions Becomes Official Google Partner

The Digital Marketing team at Optix Solutions are very pleased to announce that we are now official Google Partners.

As an agency we are now recognized by Google for the quality of the Search and Display Advertising we run on behalf of our clients.

In the words of Google "The Google Partner badge shows the world that Google trusts your company and that potential clients can too." Google Partner Badge

In order to achieve Google Partner status we had to fulfil the following requirements:

Best Practises

Google reviewed our client accounts to make sure they are getting excellent service, including the type and frequency of the changes we make to their campaigns. They also made sure we are making the most of our clients' budgets.

Spend

For this requirement an agency must have at least $10,000 worth of advertising spend across client accounts within the previous 90 days.

Certifications

For this requirement we needed to have at least one member of staff certified in AdWords after having passed at least two Google exams.

There are three individual certification exams:

  • AdWords Fundamentals
  • Search Advanced
  • Display Advanced

At Optix we run Google AdWords PPC (Pay-Per Click) campaigns for a range of clients in Devon and elsewhere in the country. Using AdWords we are able to provide our clients with high value traffic by placing adverts in the search results when users search for certain keywords. As these adverts are charged on a Pay Per Click basis our clients only pay when someone clicks on an Ad and visits their website. 

Our clients are able to see a measurable ROI (return on investment) for their AdWords campaigns – a recent campaign saw a 230%  ROI in the first three months. If you would like to find out more about how Optix Solutions can help your business to achieve its aims using AdWords PPC or Display Advertising then get in touch today.

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March 2016 Go-Lives

We’ve had an incredibly busy month with lots of our clients ‘going-live’ with new shiny websites, not to mention our own of course!

The Devon Air Ambulance Trust

Before and After – http://www.daat.org/

DAAT’s original website wasn’t designed with a large digital marketing influence and as time went on, we realised we could improve the general interface of the site whilst incorporating user experience backed data to improve conversion rates and reduce bounce rates. 
We also repurposed a lot of the content, stripped back the navigation and tidied up the event pages to ensure great usability and hopefully a lot more user interaction – watch this space!

The Royal Marine’s Commando Challenge

Before and After – https://www.commandochallenge.co.uk/

After being recommended to the The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity by DAAT, we carried out a complete reconstruction of the Royal Marines Commando Challenge Website. 
We built the site from scratch, focussing on creating a military feel and encouraging signups. Although the site as a whole was a fairly basic one to produce, the signup form was one of the most complicated we had to build, pushing development to spend days on testing the form to ensure it all worked smoothly and signups were suitably reflected in the CMS. 

Hospiscare

Before and After – http://www.hospiscare.co.uk/

Hospiscare needed a full site revamp having had their old one for some time. This site was particurlarly large and required quite complicated funcionality. The redesign included a module which allows you to create micro-sites for any flagship events. Each of these microsites can include a signup form, photo gallery and a contact form, as well as the usual event information sections. This site was also required to be highly accessable for those with sight difficulties; through the click of a button you can put the whole site into high-contrast mode.

Exeter Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Before and After – https://www.exeterchamber.co.uk/

The Exeter Chamber of Commerce and Industry required a complete overhaul of their website. This site was very complicated and pushed the development team to work all hours and carry out extra training to make sure the site was kept at its highest possible standard. We were tasked to create an event booking system which needed complex options for each member which also incorporated an array of payment taking systems. The complication lay in the multiple existing members and ensuring no data was lost in transition. The new system again required intense testing which incorporated several extra members of staff. 

So, as you can see it’s been a busy month for us all here at Optix. A massive thank you to our Development Team –  Dean and Rich, Robin – our Head of Design, and James our Project Manager and everyone else who has been involved. 

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Digital Marketing Work Experience at Optix

Last week we had Brad Croasdell join us for a week of work experience after he asked Al what qualities were needed from a digital marketer at our seminar in February! We asked Brad a few questions about his time with Optix Solutions. 

Who are you?

I hail from Cumbria in a little town called Appleby-in-Westmorland. I began studying Marketing Management in 2013 at De Montfort University, Leicester where I’ve been playing rugby for the university. I’m currently on my placement year and I’ll be returning to graduate in 2017. 

Why digital?

I have a deep passion for all things digital. I am enthralled by the way consumers think and interact with brands digitally. I believe I have found an industry that matches my energy, creativity and enthusiasm.

What is your specific area of interest?

Everything Search. I find search engine optimisation as well as paid search advertising to be the most fascinating part of digital marketing. 

 Any future predictions?

I believe Google will continue to put the user before businesses and as digital marketers we will have to continue ethical work to get great results. Likewise I believe advances in technology will continue the age of digital disruption in more and more industries and as digital marketers we have to always ask “what next?".

What did you learn @ Optix?

Even after a near year in the industry I’m still learning new tools and methods. I really enjoyed the client aspect working at Optix and it was an amazing experience to build relationships with a range of clients and deliver great results. I can’t thank the team at Optix enough for this opportunity. 

What next?

Well, first I’ll be returning to Leicester to finish my degree and graduate then I'll be looking for a challenging role in a digital marketing agency for 2017. 

Everyone at Optix was really impressed with Brad’s work ethic and hope to get in touch with him once he’s completed his degree. Good work Brad!

If you’re looking to gain more experience in an established, digital marketing environment get in touch by emailing hanna@optixsolutions.co.uk or call us on 01392 667766 and we’ll see what we can do.

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