Author Archives: Tim Newton

Get The Balance Right


Accountants and statisticians look back at the numbers and draw conclusions, marketeers look forward and have visions.

A bold statement maybe, but if we’d listened to the predictions of the statisticians we’d have had faster horses rather than cars and CDs with more space.

It’s the marketing guys that need to be the visionaries in the business, to look forward not back. Yes, look at the numbers, but look at what they tell you, and don’t be constricted by them, be inspired!

Understand the numbers that make a difference to your business, understand how you can affect them and the impact of your decisions on them.

Crucially understand where the profit is to be made in your business, but don’t neglect the need to invest in development or to test new ideas, new formats, new thoughts, new flavours – whatever it is that will take your brand and business forward, but always with one eye on the numbers.

If all we did was look back and try to do the same again, but more profitably then some of the great innovations and inventions would never have taken place. And what’s more the world would be a pretty dull place.

This isn’t the standard ‘marketing is fluffy fun, accountants are dull and boring’ piece, rather it’s a call to arms for marketing to lead the business forward but not to be led by the business.

It’s key to success that we set targets for marketing activity, and that we measure success against those targets, but it’s also important that we don’t lose the essence of what marketing can add to the business, how it can make the difference. We need to work with the numbers guys to understand and measure performance and manage the cash within the business, but we shouldn’t lose sight of what our businesses are best at, what they are passionate about and where the point of difference is.

The explosion of digital media has meant that we can measure everything online, but that doesn’t mean we need to! We need to understand what are the KPIs that are most important to our business and then focus on them and how we can improve them. ‘Just because we can doesn’t mean we should’ is a mantra we often chant around this way, and we believe in it.

Don’t lose sight of what we do, marketeers are here to create demand for the rest of the business to fulfil, how we do it varies from business to business, but that essentially is our raison d’etre.

Look at the retailers who ended up becoming property management businesses and lost sight of what they actually did to their detriment. I’m not blaming the accountants but you can bet those businesses thought they had a sharp focus on their numbers, they were just looking at the wrong ones! Before long they weren’t the businesses that had been successful at something they loved and were good at, but had become driven by something they were not expert in and eventually the numbers that mattered suffered and one by one they disappeared from our high streets.

So what’s the message?

Same as it ever was, find what you’re great at, understand how it makes money and do it the best you possibly can, and enjoy it!

Zircom Prepares For 20th Birthday By Becoming Employee Owned


Staff at one of the North West’s most successful marketing agencies are celebrating today, after the company became an Employee Owned business earlier this year. As part of the move, Zircom’s employees became co-owners of the business, able to share in profits and provide direct influence in the running of the company.

Zircom has been working with national and international B2B brands since 1999, when John-Paul Simpson, now Chairman, founded the agency. Two decades later, John-Paul and the Board have made the decision to adopt the “John Lewis model” of ownership to provide a sustainable basis for future growth and personal development.

“I started the agency in 1999 during the ups and downs of the dot-com era” said John-Paul Simpson, “and two decades later we have a fantastic team committed to growing the business and I want them to share in the success they create for clients and own and shape the future of Zircom. I’m excited to see where the business, guided by a strengthened Board and Trust, goes from here”.

The external recognition of shared ownership takes place on June 29th, scheduled to coincide with UK Employee Ownership Day – a national event run by the Employee Ownership Association (EOA), to celebrate the growing trend for employee-owned businesses.

To mark the next step in the Zircom journey, the team are having a “Taking Ownership” day, including refreshing their workspace to create a more unified, team layout, and donating furniture and equipment to their chosen charity: the YMCA, in Prenton, Wirral.

Managing Director Tim Newton explained: “With the business entering its next chapter, now is the perfect time to take stock, and to make sure our workspace helps people feel comfortable, creative and connected to their business. Now that the whole team co-owns the business, it’s up to all of us to decide what that means for how we act, how we think, and how we work”.

Client Relationship Director, Clare Ridding, who advises clients, “By giving our employees a greater stake in the future of Zircom, we can build on our reputation for excellent work and happy, passionate and dedicated staff,” said Clare. “We’ve always been proud to have a team that cares about our clients and about each other, and by putting “ownership” at the heart of our business, we can continue delivering high quality, creative solutions for clients for years to come”

We’re Looking For New Talent….


Thanks to our exciting growth and development plans we have opportunities in the following areas :

  • Design
  • Development
  • Video & Motion
  • Account Management
  • Content & Copy
  • Planning & Strategy

We’re looking for good people, across the full range of experience and ability, so don’t get too hung up on being a ‘Senior’ this or a ‘Junior’ that. With us, it’s more about ‘how’ you work that counts, so positivity, integrity, clarity and passion are big things for us.

If you’ve got the right stuff we’ll work with you to find the right role here at Zircom.

In return for your unswerving loyalty and commitment (!) we’ll give you the opportunity to work on market leading global brands across a range of (predominantly B2B) markets with tons of autonomy for your work, surrounded by a great team, injected with a big shot of ‘can do’.

We’ll pay you, of course, in line with market expectation and experience, and after a qualifying period you’ll open up a whole world of perks and benefits. If that’s not enough there are regular team events and socials, Birthday breakouts, Breakfast Club Friday and free parking!

On top of that you’ll be part of an Employee Owned Business, so you have a real say in the business and a stake in its future. Not to mention up to £3,600 of any bonus you generate will be paid TAX FREE, because of our Employee Owned status!

So please send your CV, portfolio or showreel (or all three!) and salary expectations to and we’ll be in touch!

Oh, and no agencies please – unless we contact you directly.

Thanks for looking!