Who’s running the Red Pill show from Glasgow?
Brian Gray is in charge of everything Red Pill. Here’s what he brings to the table.
When considering appointing a marketing consultant to work with your company it calls for a lot more than wondering whether their company logo looks nice. You’re appointing the person not the paintwork.
Why I called my company Red Pill Insight+Marketing and what it stands for etc., has already been covered here so I won’t repeat myself. Time’s too precious for that!
But here’s some brief background details to give you a flavour of what skills and expertise I’ll bring on a project.
After a first Degree in International Relations (also known as ‘How to Start Wars’) down in England in the early 1990’s I then proceeded to work in retailing and college lecturing. A few years later I returned to university, this time the University of Strathclyde Business School, gaining my MSc in Marketing. After this I was a local Marketing and PR Officer for a major Scottish charity (I was also a qualified First Aid Trainer/Assessor)
The first few years of the decade were predominantly spent in central Scotland, working for Strathclyde Business School and a couple of other marketing consultancies. Work comprised a mix of marketing research, competitor communications, business development, copywriting, and media relations.
By 2003 I recognised that any marketing projects involving research or analytical elements really floated my boat. Concentrating on marketing research was the right decision as it made use of my inherent skills and yes, passion for (to annoy the purists) ‘finding stuff out’ and explaining things to people. With a couple of job offers with London marketing research agencies to consider, I subsequently made my decision and hopped on the southbound train.
For the next five and half years I was in the thick of it, working on marketing research projects covering customer satisfaction and loyalty, customer service evaluation, brand equity, advertising tracking, sports sponsorship, communications awareness, pricing research, usage and attitude (U&A) studies. End clients included: Asda, B&Q, DWP, Eurostar, Cisco, ICI, Imation, Holmes Place (now Virgin Active), Nestle, London Evening Standard, Natural History Museum, Rolls-Royce, Ronseal, Total Oil, TOWER Software.
Most of these projects were quant-based but I had my fingers in both pies, also moderating focus groups and conducting in-depth interviews. At one agency I was the project lead in developing its online qual capability.
In 2009, the entrepreneurial bug caught me and I launched a business completely unrelated to the research industry.
Since 2009 the other business grew in credibility, attracting varied media coverage (including appearing on prime-time US television during the 2012 London Olympics) not to mention very interesting clients! The business still exists, taking me to London according to client requirements. It has been in these past few years that the earlier more varied marketing knowledge and skills came into their own.
In short, creating a brand from nothing, nurturing it, and seeing it grow is an interesting and completely absorbing journey to be on. I completely empathise with small and medium sized companies who don’t have the huge blue-chip marketing budgets available to them, but still have to compete. I’ll root for the underdog any day of the week.
I periodically dipped my toes into marketing research and branding work in contract and consultancy capacities, during this time. But one particular thought springs to mind when considering all of this. It’s KNOWLEDGE AND INSIGHT that plays a key role in each step when running a business. A great brand with an equally impressive visual identity relies on good solid insight before it’s even been created.
In the summer of 2014 I returned to Scotland. The research ‘bug’ remains strong and I’m committed to getting companies to see the intrinsic benefits of regular customer and marketing research. But it’s now accompanied by branding experience and a heightened (practical) appreciation of the importance of content marketing and social media for growing businesses. Insight plays a key role in this too.
Hopefully this has given you a bit more of a flavour as to what’s under the bonnet, or in the head – choose your metaphor – of Yours truly, and what I can bring to your company. As for the way Red Pill rolls, funnily enough that’s inextricably tied to me too!
If you’ve read all you need to and would like me to help your company, then pick up the phone, send me an email or complete the phone consultation appointment here to your right. I’ll look forward to meeting you.