Inspiring Business by Sharing Success

Fab four of Nottingham’s finest creative agencies collaborate in regional success story for UK-leading healthcare provider

Fab four of Nottingham’s finest creative agencies collaborate in regional success story for UK-leading healthcare provider

ottingham’s reputation as a national hub for creative and digital expertise is being reinforced, after homegrown health brand Medichecks handpicked its key partners from the city’s foremost agency talent – and has subsequently seen its business go from strength to strength.

The Nottinghamshire-based company, which was headquartered in MediCity before a move to Bingham in 2020 following expansion, is working with a clutch of agencies that are all proudly part of the city’s vibrant creative industries.

The decision, of Medichecks’ Chief Commercial Officer Amanda Howard, to commission Nottingham agencies Userfy, Fat Free, Juno and The Tonic Communications, has already paid off.

Medichecks has reported one of its most successful years of trading. It has partnered with the NHS to support the national COVID effort, as well as a number of high street retailers, and seen customer demand soar for its at-home blood test services.

Just last week the brand was named winner of ‘Best Digital SME’ and ‘eCommerce Website of the Year’ in the national Digital City 2021 Awards.

Amanda Howard explains: “Nottingham has a real niche for creative agencies that are at the top of their game, and it was important to us to tap into that. It’s not about supporting other local businesses, although that’s great to do - it’s recognising that Nottingham has national and international expertise in delivering stand-out creative and digital work. We’re embedding a collaborative approach across our business operation, so getting the cream of creative talent in the city around one table – virtually and physically – is hugely exciting. And taking home two national awards is valuable recognition of the quality of work we’re delivering together.”

‘Small but mighty’ video specialists Fat Free, based in the Creative Quarter, is run by duo Neil and Kate Rostance. 

Kate said: “A recent video brand campaign we developed for Medichecks delivered a realistic snapshot of how its blood tests can help people understand their health better, and it resulted in a 9% conversion rate. While engagement is really important, eyeballs don’t always drive sales, but in this instance it did just that. It was helpful that Medichecks trusted us to do great work, based on a shared vision.

“We’re unapologetic about not being based in London. We don’t believe it’s necessary to have a ‘smoke and mirrors’ offering of a London base. Nottingham is a great place to do business. It’s creative, and there is valuable support from regional networks, which means lots of opportunities to collaborate.”      ”

The Tonic Communications has a HQ in the Lace Market and is a specialist healthcare PR agency, ranked in the UK Top 40 by PR Week. The agency was commissioned in November 2019 to deliver Medichecks’ messages to national audiences. Success includes launching Medichecks’ COVID antibody test with a Sky News exclusive following the official Government press conference. It helped deliver the highest volume of website visitors since Medichecks was formed in 2002.

The Tonic co-founder and Nottingham local Kelly Marshall-Hill said: “Nottingham is perfectly located for The Tonic to deliver support to national and international clients in our specialist sectors. Post-pandemic, geography is less of a factor for brands who want agencies who do brilliant work, and we hope this will mean the city’s reputation for creative industries will grow even further.”

Userfy has supported Medichecks for over 18 months, with a remit to interrogate its live ecommerce experience, allowing the brand to deliver a high-quality, frictionless customer journey. The agency is headed up by Phil Randall, who is Nottingham born and bred. He began his career at Boots before co-founding a handful of tech businesses.

He said: “Lockdown has made it easier for brands to work with any agency around the world, so it has opened up opportunities beyond the area. Nevertheless, there’s a very talented tech and creative community locally and I believe there are still benefits to local relationships and supporting the regional economy.”

Juno is a leading Shopify Plus agency, offering a range of web design, development and integration services to their national and international clients. After joining forces last year, Juno has helped Medichecks maximise their ecommerce site for user experience, speed and scalability.

Brittany Stackhouse, head of studio at Juno, said: “Digital is a highly competitive space and our ongoing work with Medichecks is to help futureproof its website, and manage a huge amount of data that feeds into the customer journey.”

Juno founder David Wiltshire fell in love with the city after attending Nottingham Trent University, and set up shop in the Creative Quarter. 

Brittany adds: “While the pandemic has hit some businesses hard, Juno is proud to have experienced our best year yet, which means we’ve been able to expand the team. Although we’ve shifted to a virtual working model, when it comes to recruitment we have a Nottingham-first approach because of the wealth of local talent in digital.”

Medichecks has reported growth during a challenging year, recording its most successful day of trading during 2020, moving to bigger premises and investing in infrastructure.

Despite reports of higher than national average unemployment in the East Midlands, Medichecks also continues to recruit – with 12 new positions recently on offer.

The company recently appointed a Senior Leadership Team and Amanda Howard, who was named in 2019 as one of Marketing Week’s top 100 marketers, was promoted from Marketing Director to Chief Commercial Officer.

In a career dominated by marketing roles in Nottingham, Amanda was previously Marketing Director at Buzz Bingo where she oversaw the rebrand of Gala Leisure retail clubs to Buzz. Prior to that, she was Head of Digital Marketing and Creative Services at Nottingham Trent University and Head of Online at Vision Express.

She adds: “My role is focused on growth and looking at who buys our tests, who could buy them, what we are offering and how our proposition can make a real difference to people’s health. Our agency relationships are critical to delivering against our commercial objectives, and we’re proud that we’ve found partners within Nottingham to lend their expertise and join us on this journey.”

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