Understanding customers and their needs

Understanding customers and their needs

Go Inspire, a marketing performance company, provides its clients with a customer experience offering, which helps to win more customers. The business uses data to help its clients communicate with their customers more effectively. Patrick Headley, CEO, Go Inspire Group, told Intelligent CXO more about how the company was recently acquired by Xerox and how the organisation works together.

Tell us a bit more about your business and how it started?

Go Inspire started as a printing company in 1992, producing one-piece mailers for magazine inserts and direct response advertising and evolved into direct mail and critical mail i.e., bills and statements. In 2000, we recognised the importance of data in advertising and got into loyalty, creating the GI Insight business which won several loyalty schemes clients. It was around that time we started profiling clients to help them market more effectively.

How has the business grown since it started and how did you ensure growth?

When the digital media began increasing its market share, I acquired the business through a management buyout in 2016 and rebranded as Go Inspire. My aim was to pivot the company into a more solutions-oriented business for C-suite businesses.

We quickly expanded our services to offer full-service marketing hybrid (digital and print) solutions. We acquired commercial printer, Eclipse, to expand our capabilities and deliver value across the board. Go Inspire had a renewed focus on acquisition and developing our customer experience (CX) offer to help clients win more customers, convert them better and understand when and how to talk to them.

We use data to help our clients communicate with their customers more effectively and have managed to grow our business by winning work on both the output level and through data-driven solutions.

What’s the business’ approach to management?

Our management structure is relatively flat. We try to hire subject matter experts across various verticals because we believe it’s essential in today’s business environment to create a positive work environment.

Our culture is a crucial aspect of the business, and it’s the senior team and managers who play a significant role in creating a positive work environment. As for our different divisions, we have a manufacturing arm that provides outsourcing services to other businesses.

Additionally, we have a charity specialist division that has established itself as a subject matter expert in the sector.

What is your company’s vision and goal?

We were recently acquired by Xerox, which was a fantastic move for us. Becoming part of a multi-billion dollar US business when we’re a £100 million UK business is a clear indication that we’re doing something right.

Our focus now is on integrating into the Xerox model and helping them sell Digital Transformation and CX more effectively to their customers. This presents an incredible opportunity because Xerox has an impressive customer base.

We’d like to expand our capabilities into Europe, which has always been a goal of ours and to assist with expanding Xerox’s presence in the US.

What kind of clients and market do you serve?

We primarily serve the UK and Ireland, but we’ve recently won some projects in the US and Europe as well by focusing on CX and utilising sophisticated marketing techniques such as segmentation.

What has your career looked like so far?

In 2016, I did a management buyout and purchased the business as I felt it needed to move in a new direction. Since then, I have doubled the size of the business and increased the EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) from £2 million to a run rate of £10 million. This was a significant achievement for me.

I am proud of what I have accomplished and, at 55-years-old, I still have a lot of work to do! The integration with Xerox is crucial, as it is an excellent company with outstanding products and clients. It has a similar sales ethic to ours, which is customer centric.

We strive to put the customer first and that is why we have maintained long-term relationships with our clients.

How do you equip your staff with skills and knowledge?

To equip our staff with the necessary skills and knowledge, we prioritise training and development, both on the job and through external sources, to keep employees motivated and continuously learning. We also focus on empowering our various teams by providing them with the necessary tools and resources to excel in their roles, emphasising coaching and communication.

How do you work with other executives within the C-suite to make sure your voice is heard?

To ensure our voice is heard, we focus on communicating the successes we bring to our clients. This is crucial because our results speak for themselves and showcase the impact we make in our clients’ businesses.

I find that utilising LinkedIn is an effective channel to connect and engage with professionals in the industry. With a substantial following on the platform, I keep up with weekly rundowns and stay updated on relevant information.

However, I also believe that face-to-face interactions are essential, especially after the challenges posed by the pandemic. It’s an opportunity to reconnect and strengthen relationships with colleagues, clients and partners, which is why I prioritise attending events and networking opportunities.

How do you ensure different teams in your organisation work together?

We focus on empowering our teams by providing them with the necessary tools and resources to excel in their roles. Our approach is supportive rather than directive, and we emphasise coaching and communication.

As a result, we are proud of what Go Inspire stands for and the positive feedback we receive. Regarding the future of the business, I believe that information is power, and understanding customers and their needs is crucial to making informed decisions.

Big brands have a significant influence in today’s digital age, and it is essential to realise the value of their brand and invest in understanding their audience. Information is key to success in any field, and we strive to continuously learn and improve our practices.

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