In the face of economic uncertainty, it is important for retailers to re-evaluate and update how they engage customers. Team ITG is a company helping major retailers, such as Currys, ASOS, and PUMA do just that, using technology to inspire and lead high-impact creative campaigns.
Sue Mountford, CEO of Team ITG, had the pleasure of speaking with Modern Retail about how technology is driving marketing campaigns for the biggest retail brands and the challenges that 2023 will bring.
1. Tell Us About ITG?
I suppose I’d better start at the beginning! I’ve been here since our Group CEO, Simon Ward, founded the company in 2009, with the lofty ambition of transforming the way brands do marketing. Back then the so-called ‘dark arts’ of the industry were pretty commonplace – agencies knew they could charge big money performing repetitive manual tasks for clients, and so they wouldn’t look to address the inefficiencies.
We wanted to do things differently, adopting an innovative, tech-led approach that drives efficiencies across our clients’ marketing operations and introduces automation where possible, freeing marketers to do the creative tasks that they actually enjoy and not only, driving efficiencies and reducing costs but producing work that actually increases sales. Our unique combination of world-class talent playing in the right positions as a world beating team, end-to-end services, and award-winning marketing technology is a big reason why so many globally renowned brands choose ITG – including the likes of Currys, Heineken, PUMA, ASOS and Sky. Rather than a ‘one-size-fits-all’ mindset, we’re able to tailor bespoke marketing solutions for all of our clients depending on their specific requirements.
2. What’s Been Happening At The Company?
2022 was a pretty monumental year for ITG and marked a significant shift in the identity of our business. Bridgepoint are back as majority shareholders, and their return has enabled us to complete two significant acquisitions – Brand Machine (a New Zealand-based tech reseller) and Emerald Thinking (a data-driven customer experience agency), bolstering our reach in new territories and the service we offer to clients.
Bridgepoint’s investment also sparked a repositioning of ITG’s business model, as we split our innovative, end-to-end marketing services (Team ITG) from our award-winning marketing technology (rebranded from CanopyCloud to Storyteq, Deployteq and Configteq). I took on the role as CEO of Team ITG, with the aim of expanding the scope of our services, and the technology side is now led by Lennard Kooy. The two arms of our business still work very closely together – it’s very much one vision, driven by two engines. This repositioning culminated in our groupwide rebrand in November, with a fresh identity across the business.
We’ve also opened ITG Capture – a 30,000 sq ft photography, video and TV facility in the heart of the West Midlands, that’s already revolutionising the way our clients such as M&S, Hotel Chocolat, Dwell, Greene King and Whitbread create their content. With Extended Reality studios, automated cameras, a soundproof recording booth, fully equipped development and lifestyle kitchens (and loads more), you can now shoot, save and share everything you need from a single location – and it’s all plugged directly into our Storyteq technology!
3. What Are Your Proudest Achievements/Client Campaigns?
It’s been great to see our business achieve some outstanding industry recognition this year, with Storyteq winning the ‘Excellence in MarComm Technology’ prize at the Gartner Communications Awards, while we also came out on top in three categories at the Marketing Week Awards (including the prestigious ‘Grand Prix’) for our service offering.
We’ve always been a people-first business, and it would be remiss of me not to mention the fantastic culture that’s such a key pillar of everything we do. We’re continually growing our family with new partners, acquisitions and 1,200+ employees around the world, but being able to keep people at the heart of it all is absolutely integral to our identity.
4. How Is The Economic Climate Affecting The Way Retailers Approach Campaigns?
It’s a challenging time with costs rising and customer spend under more pressure than ever. Campaigns need to engage and deliver against objectives, while content has to be truly omnichannel, creative, engaging and hyper-relevant to cut through the noise. Campaigns also need to land quickly and be easily adaptable to retain their relevance, responding to shifting customer needs and business goals. We are obsessed with delivering ‘work that works’ not lofty creative thinking that lives in decks but doesn’t deliver results. This drives long term loyalty with our retail clients without a doubt.
5. What Are Your Predictions For 2023?
Budgets are under the spotlight, even more so than usual. It’s not all about being cheaper – it’s about working in a new way to deliver more/better content across all channels for the same cost (or less). Work that is anchored to a truly omnichannel strategy that tangibly delivers results and increased sales.
I’m really excited by the challenge as will force marketers to step back and evaluate how they work. It’s something we’ve championed for the past decade and more with our ‘simplify, automate, create’ mantra, and those brands who adopted these new ways of working early are now way ahead of the curve.
Marketing automation has been a huge driver of our Storyteq platform, empowering brands to boost content production by automating previously manual tasks. Our tech works hand in hand with our services, and we’re simplifying processes for our clients with specialist teams working together across all aspects of their campaigns.
6. Where Do You See ITG In 5 Years?
We’ll be a lot further ahead in our mission to liberate marketers!
We’ll be much more active in America and APAC, bringing our services and tech to a truly global audience while collaborating with agencies and clients alike to transform the way brands do marketing.
What we’ve done brilliantly in our history to date is stay ahead of the rest of the industry by anticipating changes before they happen. You can see that with the current move towards marketing automation and the shift in how content is created (and how quickly it’s produced) – we helped our clients embrace these new ways of working early, and now they’re seen as an absolute necessity.
Our ambition is to be the go-to marketing agency who truly answer our clients business challenges by delivering the right blend of both services and technology, providing bespoke solutions as one powerful team while helping them to embrace new innovations. The journey’s already well underway, and we’re excited for our next evolution!
Ready to give your marketing a boost with our innovative, end-to-end services? Contact email@example.com