Keystone Posts by Hayley Williams

They say that home is where the heart is, and we certainly love our new Keystone office!

Our new home, still in the centre of St Neots, is a light and bright creative space for our team to deliver great things. And our new dedicated meeting room is the perfect space for our increasing brainstorming sessions and workshops for Keystone clients.

You won’t be surprised to know that we’re very excited about our move – just one of many exciting developments for us as a business and a team – following on from our rebrand just last month.

We can’t wait to welcome guests to the new Keystone HQ – just a splash of colour, and a few more things on the wall – and it’ll be perfect.

In fact, we will be spreading some official festive cheer for our Keystone friends with coffee and mince pies on Monday 9th December between 10.30am and 12pm. Want to pop in? Just drop us a line so we reserve a festive treat with your name on it.

At the time of writing, the Keystone that we know and love is now just over six years old. From that first day until today, we’ve had the opportunity to work with a multitude of businesses to help them in their time of marketing need. In that time, we’ve also developed a real sense of where we add most value too.

We had known for some time that our brand and messaging no longer accurately reflected who we are and what we do. We also knew, like the cobbler’s shoes, we’d been so focused on delivering the marketing needs of others, that our own brand investment hadn’t kept up.

Until now. We couldn’t be any more proud to introduce you to the new Keystone. Our brand identity and this very website have been redeveloped to more accurately show the world who we are, what we do – and more importantly, to show why we are the right partner for organisations wanting their marketing to match their growth, as well as for those community-centric organisations that want to elevate their community engagement.

Proud to be Keystone – the marketing consultancy that engages with audiences and ignites communities. The same great team, delivering the very best thinking to transform marketing impact and engagement – but now with a confident brand to match.

Keystone’s Hayley stood in front of a group of Cambridgeshire charities, not for profits and social enterprises on Thursday 23rd May, to host a ‘Marketing On A Shoestring’ session – and it brought to light more than delegates might have originally expected…

The Keystone tailored event ran for free courtesy of Support Cambridgeshire; the partnership between Hunts Forum, Cambridge Council for Voluntary Service and Cambridgeshire ACRE. This substantial initiative helps local community groups and organisations strengthen and grow, by providing a range of advice, training and support.

As always with a Keystone training session, we started with brief introductions and discussion to warm everyone up around the room – but this time with a difference. After running through the Keystone marketing checklist and rating themselves in each area, each representative was then asked to share something they felt their organisation/initiative was good at from a marketing perspective – but we asked them to share something not so good too.

And what was the one thing that came up time and time again in the ‘we could do better’ column as we went around the room? Marketing strategy. That all important road map to accomplish specific marketing objectives and to track and achieve greater results, for many – was missing.

The individuals in the room represented such valuable causes, had a clear purpose and brought huge amounts of passion and enthusiasm to the table which was great to see. However, with marketing to do lists as long as their arms, and limited time and budget, the missing marketing strategy piece was causing significant challenges. How do you know where to start when you haven’t clearly articulated where you want to get to?

And so, in the session, Hayley ran through a step by step guide to developing a marketing strategy – a realistic framework that could quickly and simply be created and implemented for each of the organisations in the room.

Concrete objectives, target audiences, messaging, desired action and measurement were all discussed as key components of a strategy…to be nailed down well before the development of a marketing plan. As Hayley said in the room, it’s about ‘Getting ready to aim before you fire’ – not just firing out marketing first.

It was only after reiterating the importance of a strategy and an associated plan that the Keystone session presented the tools, techniques and tactics for implementing shoestring marketing activity.

To raise awareness for a cause without spending a substantial amount of money can seem impossible – but our interactive exercise (where Post Its played a starring role) highlighted the significant number of both online and offline marketing activities that are accessible to each and every organisation in the room.

In need of support of your own? Marketing strategy development is a key part of Keystone’s portfolio, with dedicated workshops available for scaling B2B’s that wish to develop a marketing strategy to match their continuing growth, or for those organisations that want to strengthen relationships with their communities and stakeholders. Get in touch to find out more.

Keystone’s founder and MD Hayley Williams (above, far left) joined a panel of agency leaders at the MobHappy Meetup event on Monday 28th January; to discuss the challenges and opportunities in taking a niche approach to business development.

The MobHappy Meetup is a place for all creatives, freelancers and agency folk that are aspiring to scale and grow their business. Each event centres on a panel discussion with exciting speakers from local agencies, all who’ve taken that leap and grown from one to many. The session is aimed at those who want to learn from agency owners who’ve made the leap from freelancing.

Keystone was established over five years ago, initially offering generalist plug in marketing support to an array for growing businesses. In recent times, the Keystone focus and portfolio has grown, to become more specialist in its activities and sectors. It is this particular journey that Hayley shared insights from on the night.

Panel insights and audience discussion centred on:

  • The opportunity that comes from doing what you know and what you love
  • Establishing a point of difference in what you do/how you do it is key – as is showing the value and communicating it
  • It’s important to work with the right clients – the ones you like, the ones you can do great work for and the ones that make commercial sense
  • Building trust and relationships is the most important thing so don’t spread your services too thin, remain the expert in your niche and don’t dilute your capabilities
  • How collaboration is viewed as valuable to clients – passing work on to other specialist agencies is much more common now as a trusted, credible approach…rather than trying to cover all bases yourself
  • From a sales and marketing perspective you can niche, to get the bulk of your work. But you can still pivot for the right project

Hayley was joined on the panel by:

James Cotton, Onespacemedia
Founder and MD of Onespacemedia, with more than 20 years of experience working in senior technical and creative roles – including running a successful design agency for four years -before founding Onespacemedia.

Caroline Benson, Cuttsy+Cuttsy 
Co-founder of Cuttsy+Cuttsy, an award-winning communications agency that has chosen to purely work in the healthcare sector.

The panel was facilitated by Kelly Molson, the brainchild of the MobHappy concept; which at its core is a peer to peer network for agency owners. The aim of the network is to increase the percentage of women agency owners, by supporting existing founders on their journey, and inspiring up and coming leaders.

The MobHappy Meetup runs every other month throughout 2019 at The Bradfield Centre’s Auditorium in Cambridge. View and sign up to future events here.

Approximately 200 delegates are set to attend the Cambridgeshire Councils Conference on Friday 23rd November – including Hayley Williams from Keystone Marketing.

Sponsored by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and Cambridgeshire County Council, the full day event includes addresses from the Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire County Council, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Association of Local Councils and the Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, James Palmer, who will be talking about his ambitions for our rural villages and market towns.

Councillors and Clerks from local councils, District and County Councillors and representatives from organisations that work with and support local councils across Cambridgeshire are all ready to come together to learn, network and share best practice. Keystone Marketing were asked to run a conference breakout on Community Engagement based on their growing work with community centric organisations; including community engagement campaigns for neighbourhoods plan, high impact communications for membership bodies and community led events and initiatives.

In an hour long workshop that runs twice on the day, Managing Director of Keystone Marketing Hayley Williams will showcase illustrative examples of varying types of communities that require engagement, and uncover the challenges and opportunities that need to be considered. Demonstrating how crucial community engagement is for Council and community group representatives, the Community Engagement workshop has been very popular, with near enough half the event’s total delegates due to sit in on the Keystone led breakout.

Nine break out workshops in total run throughout the day, including discussions on the role of Masterplans Neighbourhood Plans, the emergence of renewable energy, capacity and collaboration as well as housing and transport. There will also be a marketplace of stalls offering useful information and services to local Councils; including a stand from Keystone Marketing.

The event discussions will be posted live on Twitter during the event, using the hashtag #CambsParishes – follow the conversation online here.