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What can we learn from 2018’s FastTrack 100 companies?

What can we learn from 2018’s FastTrack 100 companies?

Posted 28th March, 2019 by Aidan

Every week on the tsoHost blog we try to serve up the latest insights and news in the realms of marketing, business, content, digital innovation and leadership.

Our blogs are full of the latest research, stats and studies to try and help our customers – from the start-ups to the established – thrive online.

In this article, however, we go beyond the stats labs to see what some of the UK’s most successful businesses are doing to stay at the top of their game. After nosing around in their business and marketing operations we’ve compiled a list of tips for best practice. The businesses that inspired these tips all belong to The Sunday Times’ Fast Track 100 – a list of the top 100 private businesses in Britain, ranked by which ones have had the fastest growing sales over the course of the past three years.

The businesses that inspired these tips all belong to The Sunday Times’ Fast Track 100 – a list of the top 100 private businesses in Britain, ranked by which ones have had the fastest growing sales over the course of the past three years.

Allow your customers to look through the keyhole of your business

This tip is inspired by demi-fine contemporary jewellery brand Missoma. The company is an open book when it comes to showing customers what goes on behind the scenes of the brand. On its blog, you’ll find all sorts of heart-on-sleeve insights, from candid un-photoshopped photos from the Christmas party (where staff are wearing strategically placed Missoma jewellery) to an article on Mother’s Day in which the Missoma founder discusses her relationship with her mum.

So why does this approach make for business success? It’s all to do with storytelling. In February, the tsoHost blog team ran an article on storytelling that explained how beneficial telling your brand story could be for marketing.

Missed the article? Recap here.

The long and short of it, though, is that sharing honest and emotional stories with your customers can help them feel more connected and engaged with your brand and more inclined to buy from you as a result.

Foster the ‘mate’ in teammate

Taking the fifth spot in the Sunday Times’ list of Fast Track 100 companies, Mission Mars is a restaurant, bar and entertainment brand with various premises around the UK. It’s currently in the process of expanding even further.

There’s one thing that really makes this company stand out from the crowd and that’s the culture it creates for its employees. When asked what they liked most about working for Mission Mars, staff almost always came back with the phrase ‘the people’.

The staff interviewed said they had ‘real friendships and not just co-workers’ at work and enthused that they had a great team spirit. Again, why is this important? Research by Gallup has found that close work friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50 per cent and that people with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to engage fully in their work.

Think about the social good

Have a browse of articles on the internet that predict consumer trends for 2019 and you’ll find the words ‘social good’ crop up quite a bit. Research suggests that buyers in all sectors are becoming increasingly concerned about the ethics of companies and their products.

In fact, a recent study by Unilever concluded that a third of consumers in the UK actively choose to buy from brands they see as doing environmental or social good.

In his book, Who Cares Wins: Why Good Business Is Better Business, David Jones, suggests that the millennial generation is ‘the most socially responsible generation that has ever existed’, coining the term ‘prosumers’ to describe their approach to buying.

Gin distillery Warner Edwards – number six in the list of Fast Track 100 companies – hits the social good nail right on the head. In its news section, you’ll find articles that show customers how to do things like upcycle their wooden gin presentation boxes into bird boxes or how to build a bee hotel using leftover gin packaging.

Harness happiness

Writing for Google’s Think With Google blog at the start of 2019, Jeremy Hull, VP of Innovation at digital marketing agency iProspect, predicted that 2019 would be the year when businesses would have to focus more on making customers feel happier and healthier through their marketing.

Gymshark – number 12 in the list of Fast Track 100 companies – does this with bells on, which could go part way to explaining why the brand is making such a success of itself.

January saw the brand launch its Gymshark66 – Weight of the World campaign. Utilising the strapline ‘We can lift the weight of the world off our shoulders by putting a little weight on our backs’, it encourages people of all abilities, shapes, sizes and persuasions to set a fitness goal for themselves at the start of 2019, to stick to that goal, and document their progress using the hashtag #gymshark66.

Never mind king, content is the whole royal flush

In Forbes’ 11 Trends That Will Shape Marketing In 2019, Brandon Stapper from Nonstop Signs was quoted as making the following comment on the increasing value of quality content for businesses:

“In 2019, I believe we will get more discerning and choose low-volume, high-quality content instead of high-volume, low-quality.”

Cult Beauty - number 13 in the list of Fast Track 100 companies – does quality content pretty well. Granted, some of its posts could be a little longer wordcount-wise. However, the blog covers a range of topics from ‘midday me time’ to beauty sleep and features everything from how to’s to reviews and interviews. This is a brand that has committed to its content.

Commit to vid

In tsoHost’s recent Beginner’s Guide to Video Marketing blog, we listed five different and compelling stats that revealed how beneficial video marketing could be for businesses.

Here’s just one stat from the list:

Experiments by Eye View Digital suggest that embedding videos in landing pages can increase conversion rates by up to 80 per cent.

Mowgli Street Food - number 17 in the list of Fast Track 100 companies – embraces video. The videos on the company’s YouTube channel clock up as many as 45,00 views a time.

The great news is that the videos on the site are a little rustic. There’s a hand-held camera shake on one or two and a bit of bad lighting on another few.

There’s no denying that this YouTube channel contributes to the success of the brand and the good news for small business owners is that it shows that you don’t need a Hollywood budget to be able to produce video content successfully.

Categories: Tips, Marketing, Small Businesses

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