An interview with Luke Gain, Creative Director of Velocity Partners
We sit down with Luke Gain, Creative Director of Velocity Partners. Velocity Partners help clients build better B2B content marketing programs, accelerate their pipelines and goose the metrics that matter.
What problem does Velocitypartners solve for its clients?
Velocity helps B2B marketers tell great stories about stuff it’s hard to get your head around, and then take those stories to market to build an audience, generate leads and drive growth. We blend strategy, creative and performance disciplines to help ambitious marketers build brands, campaigns and performance marketing programs that get expert audiences to sit up, lean in and take action.
As the Creative Director, what are your main responsibilities at Velocitypartners?
I do a mix of everything. I work directly with clients on strategy, creative and performance projects – from the first input call through to planning, delivery, launch and optimization of our work. I also review a lot of work from other writers, designers and developers on individual accounts and advise account handlers on how best to nurture our client relationships and spot opportunities to grow. I also help out with getting together for new business opportunities. Internally, I manage and help to develop the creatives across writing, design and dev teams, as well as driving Velocity’s own marketing strategy to grow inbound opportunities.
How do you lead your team to manage and improve the sales process for better revenue and the customer experience in Velocitypartners?
We’ve seen a big contraction in the market’s appetite for hunch-based content marketing programs. Stakeholders are (rightly) looking for a measurable return for their marketing spend, and there’s much less room for open-ended experimentation. It’s incumbent on agencies to provide a more scientific link between the goals and outcomes clients are looking for, the creative recommendations we believe will achieve them, and the campaign planning/architecture that’ll deliver against those requirements. We’re running towards accountability – the more we can prove we’re helping clients win over time, the more they’ll stick around for the long haul.
At ColdFire, when we look at our clients' revenue-related strategies, they vary greatly. Some have found a single, scalable client acquisition process while others thrive on a mix of top-of-funnel strategies. How would you summarize the high-level revenue-related strategy of Velocitypartners, and what key elements contribute to its success?
Historically, our best relationships always start with some kind of strategy engagement – usually a positioning process. We like to work with clients who A) believe in marketing and B) have a clear mandate for change, sponsored at the highest levels. Strategy is still our main front door, but we’re also seeing an uptick in clients that come to us with specific performance objectives – leads, conversions, demo requests, event attendees and so on. As we run and optimise campaigns to serve those goals, those relationships often cross-pollinate into more strategic relationships – it’s about proving credibility before taking on larger projects.
What strategies have you implemented at Velocitypartners or past companies that you feel are often overlooked by CEOs which you believe are unique and effective?
We do our best work when strategy, creative and performance practitioners all collaborate towards a shared goal. But truly cross discipline work is a skill in itself – you need deliberate processes to stop individual contributors drifting into silos. In practical terms, that means making space for creatives and performance folks to check in and validate each other’s work. Are we attacking issues the market actually cares about? Are we framing the solution in a recognisable and galvanising way? Are our content and campaign recommendations purposeful, functional and tied to clear business outcomes? Without these check-ins, there’s a real risk that strategic work is tailored for the most informed people in the space (the client) rather than the people we’re actually trying to reach (uninformed buyers). Bringing performance early into the process ensures we keep the people we’re selling to in full view from the beginning.
Has your management team experimented with some kind of cold outbound strategy (like cold email)? If yes what was the general outcome and if no, why not?
We don’t do any cold outbound. Our blog works hard for us in driving people towards our monthly newsletter. Most (if not all) of our outreach is to people who’ve opted into our crap.