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The Independent UK
The Independent UK

A client-first culture that puts brands at the centre, without all the complication


The Maverick Group is a Business Reporter client.

Business Reporter - Maverick

The world of marketing and communications has changed so significantly in the past two decades that it can be difficult to follow. The days of focusing on traditional big-budget TV ads, standout double-page print spreads and billboards are long gone, replaced with a multitude of new, fragmented channels, myriad ways to reach consumers, hugely changed preferences on how content and brands are consumed and newfound abilities to analyse data and measure impact.

However, the marketing and advertising agency industry, while it’s tackled many of these changes, still grapples with an existential problem: selling an existing skillset rather than building those skills to meet their clients’ needs. Many agencies still have one or two specialisms and, regardless of what client brief comes in the door, those specialisms are the only solution.

That’s where independent agency leader The Maverick Group, has sought to turn the age-old issue on its head. Founded 20 years ago with a “maverick” approach and a “different” mindset, the company has sought to move away from the agency-first model, with a deep-seated belief that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for a client. That it’s about starting with the strategy and working out what brands need, rather than what the agency can deliver.

Today the company – recently recognised by The Drum as the top independent agency of its size in the UK – boasts 10 specialist business units, each focused on different customer requirements. However, the difference is that – unlike the traditional network agencies many big brands tend to work with – it uses one centralised, cross-discipline strategy, client and project management team, The Hub, to connect the origination and delivery.

Why would this matter to brands? Well, unlike the network players, Maverick is one agency and one family rather than a number of competing propositions. With only one profit and loss statement, there isn’t an internal battle to capture business, and customers are offered the right solution to their challenge, saving them time, money and political headaches in the process. Not to mention significantly enhanced impact, accountability and measurability.

“We believe this gives our clients far better results,” says Carron Edmonds, Chairwoman and Co-Founder of The Maverick Group. “Our only interest is your outcome – plain and simple. We adapt to you, and we build something bespoke for you, and that’s the true difference.”

A little-talked about but somewhat controversial topic in the industry is people. Most agencies won’t talk too broadly about their talent, but marketing is a relationship-led business and so relies on having the best creative and strategic people. When winning awards for a piece of work agencies often take the accolade, when the work is usually the result of a few talented individuals who tend to move within the industry.

When looking for a true marketing partner, brands and companies should look for agencies that have the right blend of talent people who are motivated to deliver, can work cross-discipline and are adaptable. Plus, it should be clear that they are part of a team that collaborates at an enhanced level.

"We’re incredibly proud that our employees, on average, have a tenure of at least twice the industry average. We look to retain our brightest stars, having often nurtured them from the early stages of their career, and we believe they stay because they connect with our culture and have truly great relationships with our clients," says Chris Tedman, TMG Managing Director.

The truth is, it’s about delivering excellence that is long-term for customers, not brief-by-brief as many in the industry might prefer. The greatest and most fruitful relationships in the industry have always been built on that mutual trust, respect and alliance around a common goal that a partnership of many years creates.

So, what should you look for in your next agency partner, or when you’re refreshing your marketing mix? According to TMG, it’s not about agencies that chase the fame. “Ask your prospective agencies not about their awards and accolades, but about how long they’ve worked with their clients,” says CEO Owen Rees. “Ask them not just for creative executions but what impact they’ve had – on the customers’ financial performance, their visibility, their sales or their brand and market perception. Agencies need to be relentlessly interested and proactive in their approach to helping clients build better businesses. If they are not side-by-side with their clients and invested in them, those brands in turn will not be invested in the agency.”

Are you in need of a new marketing agency, or a strategic partner to meet some of your business goals? The Maverick Group offers a unique proposition for those in search of a new agency of record.

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