Industry awards help attract London talent, says CEO of Suffolk digital marketing agency Crafted.

UK Search Awards, Winners Best Use of Search B2B, Crafted & Workspace Group. From left to right, Jim

UK Search Awards, Winners Best Use of Search B2B, Crafted & Workspace Group. From left to right, Jimmy Carr (presenter), Ian Miller (CEO, Crafted), Lorna Goodwin (account director, Crafted), Rosie Hill (digital marketing manager, Workspace Group plc), Russell Morling (senior search strategist, Crafted), Jon Myers (chief growth officer, DeepCrawl) - Credit: Archant

It is often said that creative businesses in East Anglia struggle to attract talented employees who are instead enticed by the pull of nearby London and the opportunities that exist there for ambitious people wishing to develop a career.

But one Suffolk firm is bucking this trend and has seen a number of new recruits join the business who previously worked in the capital.

Digital marketing agency Crafted, a EDP/EADT Future 50 business, added 16 employees in 2017 on the back of healthy 30% year-on-year revenue growth and an impressive level of industry recognition.

Last year, the company picked up awards at The Drum DADI Awards and the coveted UK Search Awards. These followed Crafted’s inclusion in September’s Top 100 UK Digital Agencies Report 2017, compiled by Econsultancy, as well as the agency’s attainment of ISO certification for quality control and environmental standards.

If that wasn’t enough, this year two Crafted employees were also praised at the DevelopHer awards, an initiative that celebrates the achievements of women in tech throughout East Anglia. The awards saw Crafted’s Zhanna Askarova win the Digital Marketer award, while Catherine King was awarded Best Newcomer.

The company’s CEO, Ian Miller, believes the award wins and industry certifications have helped boost Crafted’s reputation, and thus its ability to attract a higher calibre of candidate.

“We’re increasingly attracting talented people who either previously commuted into London or were in London and wanted to move out,” he said.

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“Becoming a Top 100 Agency and winning a host of other industry accolades shows that people in tech can pursue a rewarding career in East Anglia, without needing to focus on the capital.

“By definition marketing is selling, so rather than just selling how good we are behind buzzwords, these awards and commitment to ISO certifications show emphatically how good we are, and so the conversations flow from there.

“On the recruitment side they show potential joiners the kind of agency we are, and differentiate us from the industry stereotype of a smaller provincial agency, working on smaller projects. We’ve attracted people based on the demonstrable quality of work we do, our culture and our clients.

“They get to work on exciting projects and clients with interesting challenges to solve, where we do bring to bear the latest technologies and techniques, keeping us fresh and ahead.”

And Mr Miller says this influx of talent helps broaden the agency’s capabilities.

“I’m always looking for ways to add to the agency and our team, so anyone joining us adds something to the mix. Whether it’s new experience, familiarity with new industries or accounts or additional layers of skills, the larger and more diverse our team, the stronger we are.

He added; “Attracting talent from further afield helps in several ways. It brings in new ideas and inputs that just might not be available locally, or experience with projects of a certain size and complexity. We’ve had people join us from some of the largest agencies and agency groups in the country, and that experience helps us learn.”