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case study…

PEM is a firm of accountants, tax and business advisers based in Cambridge, UK.

Our initial brief was to help PEM “bring digital to life” through its marketing and sales and we think it’s fair to say that was just the starting point for what was to come!

This is a story about a business growing in confidence with digital marketing and technology. It’s a story that started with the Marketing and Brand team, grew through IT and Internal Communications, and we’re not finished yet!

In our work with PEM, these are the things that make us most proud:

we’re PROUD OF…

Seeing the team going from strength to strength and developing their confidence.

we’re PROUD OF…

Watching the team proudly present their work to 200 employees in October 2023.

we’re PROUD OF…

Our team, and the breadth of expertise we’re able to bring to every conversation!

Our initial brief with PEM was to:

  • Help PEM to “bring digital to life” through marketing and sales
  • Help to support the Marketing team to develop confidence in digital marketing and to establish them as a strategic partner to the business 
  • Help to grow internal excitement about digital and technology through clear communication and storytelling.

Our progress so far:

  • Marketing is truly developing into a key driver of PEM’s digital-first business strategy
  • We’re overseeing the project to implement a new firm-wide CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system and transform the way the firm onboards new clients
  • We’re supporting PEM on Internal Communication and developing its key channels such as the Intranet, Teams and other Microsoft 365 tools – and we’re seeing great success!
  • Co-managing PEM’s rebranding project and aligning this to digital marketing strategy.

Future and broader projects:

    • Helping to redevelop PEM’s new website in line with the brand changes – launching in 2024/25
    • Working with PEM’s partner team to develop PEM’s Business Development, Sales and Relationship Management strategy
    • Working alongside PEM’s IT team to develop the firm’s Data and Business Intelligence (BI) capability 

Building a confident and connected Marketing team

Our work with PEM started with a conversation between Paul and PEM’s Managing Partner about developing digital confidence at the height of the pandemic. 

Similar to many organisations, the pandemic had disrupted the firm’s proposed rollout of Microsoft 365 and led to several changes in the Marketing team. PEM’s Managing Partner had spotted an opportunity to review the firm’s digital capability in Marketing, whilst recognising the need for closer collaboration in all things digital across Marketing, HR, IT, and across the firm’s team of 20 partners.

Marketing was a small, yet capable team and if we’re honest, a little undervalued by the business. This had led to a bit of a dip in the team’s confidence which we immediately began to address, working alongside the team and establishing regular meetings with key stakeholders. This helped us and the team to develop a better understanding of the team’s strengths, and also where they had gaps in their knowledge and confidence that they wanted to address.

Early on, we established weekly coaching meetings between Paul and each member of the team, and a weekly ‘scrum’ meeting for the whole team to come together, learn and share. 

Fast forward a few months and the team told us that they felt like they were really starting to make progress, building trust with their stakeholders and growing in self-confidence.

How’s this for feedback?! 🙂

“I love my job but it can sometimes get a bit repetitive – for the first time in a while, I think I can feel the fire in my belly again!”

True to say, the excitement was flooding back into the team and we started to plan some big next steps!

Making BIG plans and tackling exciting projects

It has been really exciting to see the team growing in confidence in front of our eyes, and with support from other members of the Excited by Digital team, the PEM team started to set their sights even higher.

Two big projects sprang to life in 2022 and really started to develop through 2023. 

  • Refreshing the PEM brand 
  • Reviewing client communications and implementing a firm-wide CRM

Refreshing the PEM brand 

The pandemic caused all of us to take stock of our lives and work, and for businesses like PEM, this was also a great time to reflect and review. PEM recognised that it was a changing business, and existed in a changing landscape. 

Excited by Digital supported the firm to explore what these changes – digital and technology, employee health, wellbeing, and a re-prioritisation of work life balance to name two – meant to the way that the firm needed to express itself in the market. Changing expectations amongst clients and employees meant the brand had to work a lot harder to show that PEM could meet its clients’ needs, as well as ensuring that the firm was able to sell itself as a destination for the best talent in the market.

“Your future, our focus”, was the end result of an all-encompassing project including the PEM team, a brand agency and Excited by Digital working side-by-side, to ensure that the new brand wasn’t just a surface change, but a shift in direction that would pave the way for bigger, more impactful change as the firm enters its 150th year in 2025. 

CRM – modernising prospect management and client take on

Over the years, and like many partnership based organisations, PEM’s teams had used various ways of managing client information, so our first step was to draw up a map! Excited by Digital introduced Digital Marketing and CRM expert, Josie O’Donovan in Summer 2022 to work with the Marketing team and PEM’s client facing teams from across the business, to start this review.

Before we began to identify suitable CRM systems for PEM to consider, we reviewed every client touchpoint from every team, and started to identify the commonalities across the teams that could help PEM save time, and reduce duplication of effort. We also identified where PEM’s clients had similar needs and started to discuss the idea of a brand new focus for client newsletters. 

Once the optimal process was mapped and shared back to the team, our work was all about making sure the technology we recommended would fit with the firm’s existing systems and suit the needs of the PEM team. 

Fast forward to late 2023 and we have worked closely with the PEM team to implement the technology, whilst paying careful attention to the change management and communication needs of the business. In 2024 our focus will be on helping everyone at PEM make the most of the opportunity afforded by the technology. 

When is the right time for a business to start Internal Communications?

This was a question we set out to answer in 2023 and we have had fantastic success, beginning the year with a communications audit and strategic review. 

Working alongside the Marketing team and Managing Partner, Helen Deverell, Internal Communication Consultant held conversations with partners and key business stakeholders as well as designing all-employee surveys to get to the heart of what the 200+ people at PEM cared about – what they wanted to know about the firm and who they wanted to hear it from. The result was an Internal Communications strategy and review of channels which has really started to transform communication culture within the firm. 

And the really exciting bit of this work? The project Helen led has ignited a genuine passion in the business for exciting and engaging communication and a real sense amongst employees that they are better informed. This has allowed Excited by Digital to really live its purpose, which is to support businesses and their employees to develop new skills and capabilities. It has been exciting to watch the internal team really start to take the lead in the development of Internal Communications at PEM.

So, the answer to the question? When is the right time for a business to start Internal Communications? Well it will be different for every organisation – number of employees and multiple locations (including remote working) will all play a role, here is a blog post that will develop this idea more.

Start small and start with purpose!

So get in touch if you would like to explore Internal Communication support for your organisation.