The Lead Agency
Over in the commercial district of Liverpool sits one of the city’s largest agencies, The Lead Agency. Founded by Anton Hanley back in 2002, the company started out working in automotive, connecting car buyers with dealers throughout the UK. Quickly after establishing themselves as market leaders in the automotive industry, they began to expand their offering across the world. The team is now 100-strong and they have offices in Liverpool, London and the US. We spoke with Keith Price, Brand Manager at The Lead Agency, to find out more about them.
The Lead Agency
“We were founded with the belief that complex and confusing buying processes were causing frustration for consumers and making it difficult for organisations to grow their customer base,” explains Keith. “With a mission to make it easy for our clients to find their future customers, and for their future customers to find them, we launched our first website – a comparison tool for new car buyers – in 2002.”
Since then, they’ve evolved their proposition to include several websites, proprietary lead technology and a multi-channel contact centre that helps them to fulfil their mission. “We support more than 25 UK automotive manufacturers with their customer acquisition needs, help thousands of buyers every month, and have now expanded into higher education and property.”
As a customer acquisition specialist, they create digital marketing campaigns, build proprietary lead technology and consumer websites, and engage consumers across a variety of online and offline channels. Running campaigns that have supported the growth of incredibly impressive companies such as Audi, BMW, Volkswagen, Renault, and Land Rover. “We do all this to provide clients with high quality leads that support their growth, help consumers find the right product or service for their needs and enable our publishing partners to monetise their existing audiences.”“ We’re proud of what we’ve achieved in our first 15 years. From launching our first website in 2002 to building proprietary technology that is pioneering new ways for organisations to connect with new customers...”
Being a market leader in an industry that’s as big as automotive, we ask Keith what some of the company’s greatest highlights have been so far. “We’re proud of what we’ve achieved in our first 15 years. From launching our first website in 2002 to building proprietary technology that is pioneering new ways for organisations to connect with new customers,” he reflects.
“Other highlights have included doubling our team over the last 18 months, opening in London and the US, and taking up residence on the 13th floor of the Unity Building here in Liverpool. The views alone are worth coming to work!” We couldn’t agree more, the views from their offices are quite something – the team are sat directly opposite the Liver Building.
“It has also been rewarding to see people grow and progress within the business,” he says. “We have members of staff who have been with us for many years and have played a big part in our success, as well as others who have taken what they’ve learned here and launched their own successful businesses.”
We weren’t at all surprised when Keith summarised The Lead Agency as a company that cares about “quality, integrity, ambition and innovation”. They’re a flagship in the industry and the city and it shows – with all the things that they’re putting out into the world.
Their ability to innovate is essential to stay ahead of the curve, so inevitably we ask Keith about their way of doings things – what makes up their magic sauce. “We build proprietary technology that is unique to our needs and mission. This technology, coupled with our digital marketing, websites and consumer engagement forms an eco-system that is entirely our own…” he explains. “It allows us to go beyond the traditional lead generation approach, which typically focuses on higher volumes and lower quality. By engaging and qualifying consumers, we’re able to connect our clients to people who are genuinely interested in their product or service. It saves everyone involved time, effort and frustration.”
But, behind all great companies and products is a tight-knit team of people who make it all happen. We wanted to find out more about the team that make up The Lead Agency. “Alongside Anton, the board consists of Chief Technology Officer Ed Clark, Chief Revenue Officer Adam Leys, Chief Financial Officer Julie Redfern and Automotive Managing Director Tom White. They’re supported by a management team that covers everything from project management, recruitment, brand and culture, sales, data and compliance, development and digital marketing. The wider team consists of software developers, design and UX specialists, digital marketers, strategists, analysts, product managers, customer service operatives, new business managers, quality controllers and more. We have junior-, mid- and senior-level employs as well as placements and apprentices.”
“There are lots of different personalities and skills within the team but we are connected by our mission and values, which have recently been articulated to provide clarity to those within the business.”“ We treat people well. We make things happen and we embrace change and opportunity.”
It’s often said that it gets more and more difficult to sustain a culture when there’s rapid growth within teams, but here the culture simply feels rooted into who they are rather than something that had to be implemented. “To some extent, our culture has evolved naturally over the last 15 years based on the values of people leading the company… For example, we take pride in how things are done. We treat people well. We make things happen and we embrace change and opportunity. We also like to have fun and believe in giving something back whenever we can – especially where the challenge involves physical endurance or food!” He continues, “ we care about the culture we’re building.”
Alongside their eco-system, their culture is their “biggest differentiator as both a supplier and an employer. That’s why we’ve spent time articulating our values and why we’re embedding them into every part of our business – from the way we recruit, induct and reward our staff to how we communicate, share information and celebrate.”
They may have many years under the belt, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be stopping any time soon. The future is bright – both for themselves but also for Liverpool. “We’re an ambitious team and we’re excited about how far we can take the company. We’re fully focused on building a global business that continues to offer genuine value to both our clients and their future customers. In the short-term, we’re planning for more growth. And, with that, creating new roles for talented, likeminded people who want to help us further our cause.”