Catalyst client base up 250% since January

Catalyst client base up 250% since January

Catalyst in the press: Birmingham-based digital marketing agency Catalyst has more than trebled its client base following a management takeover by two industry heavyweights earlier this year.

Experienced marketer Sarah Groves and sales specialist Paul Houston have transformed both the approach and culture at the city centre agency since becoming co-owners and directors of Catalyst in January.

The pair’s philosophy of ‘Growth Driven Marketing’ (GDM) helps to shape businesses for growth by aligning their operations, sales and marketing strategies. 

With a 250% increase in clients just 6 months after the pair arrived, Paul told us that the fresh approach at the HubSpot Gold partner agency is proving incredibly popular:

“Sarah and I have worked together for a long time and have shared a vision to start something new, something from the ground up that would allow us to own a profitable agency because we made our clients more profitable.

“Our unique approach ensures clients have the right foundations in place, sell what they can deliver and most importantly their marketing strategy drives leads they can close.”

When asked about the business model, Sarah told us: “We only take on clients we know we can help grow. Most of them are on a long-term contract, and instead of talking hours, we talk results. Our team is financially incentivised on the tangible value they deliver to clients, not how many hours they bill, which is a big difference from other agencies.”

“So staff now think above and beyond their task list, which is helping to improve the level of client work we’re putting out there” added Paul.

Ollie Roddy, who started at Catalyst before Paul and Sarah arrived said: “Rather than having a ‘this is how we’ve always done it’ mentality, Paul and Sarah are always willing to listen to ideas from anyone in the team. This keeps motivation high which always has a positive benefit for the client.”

“We’ve doubled the number of staff in the last six months, recruiting a good mix of experienced sales and marketing professionals, as well as new talent with fresh ideas” added Paul.

“Our central location is so important when we’re hiring locally, and we’re also taking on an apprentice to help nurture grass roots talent in the Midlands.”

The latest addition to the accounts team is Alice Jackson, who has a wealth of experience in Midlands agencies: “I worked at Catalyst a number of years ago and rejoined the team this year. Having consulted for a number of different agencies over the last few years, it was the Growth Driven Marketing offering that attracted me back. There’s a real gap in the market for an agency that looks beyond tactics and pretty pictures. I love being part of a team that makes a difference to our clients.”

While the new directors are delighted with the rapid progress at Catalyst in the first half of 2018, Paul is determined to keep the team grounded:

“We want to continue to build upon the success but never forget our initial vision. Sarah and I love what we do and never want to get so big, we don’t get to be hands-on anymore. We certainly have no desire to be the next Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce from Mad Men.”

Based on the impressive feedback from clients, it’s clear that Catalyst have quickly become the ones to watch.

“I had one key objective: generate more sales from my existing client portfolio. Catalyst worked alongside myself and the commercial team to devise a campaign – the result was a 32% increase in business from my existing clients. We’ve now appointed Catalyst as our ongoing agency.”

Carl Trimble, Bespoke Facilities Management

“In a competitive and aggressive market, Catalyst has helped us to win new business. Their methodical approach to marketing has ensured these are the right kind of leads – so we have both quality and quantity!”

Mark Andrews, WF Financial Solutions

“The Growth Audit gave us the insight into the business, we were too close to see ourselves. We have just appointed Catalyst as our marketing agency to build a new website, roll out the new brand and implement a targeted marketing strategy. We do so with full confidence they will help us to grow our business.”

Barry Doherty, EnvirometalTech (Soon to be Metavate)

About the author

Sarah Groves has worked in marketing for over 20 years. 

She’s worked across a wide range of B2B and B2C sectors, both big blue chips and SMEs. As co-owner of Catalyst, Sarah draws on her broad experience to oversee the delivery team and help input into client strategies. She’s built a curated team from the best talent across copy, design, SEO, PPC and strategy, providing you with the most cost-efficient way to grow your business and thrive. 

When Sarah’s not working, you’ll find her spending time with her young family, or taking the dog for a long walk while listening to a podcast. 


Sarah Groves