The Specialist Works team launches multi-agency What’s Possible Group

The Specialist Works team launches multi-agency What’s Possible Group

The leadership duo behind The Specialist Works have launched a new marketing services group designed for “dynamic growth brands” that sit between established multinationals and start-ups.

The indie media agency will be one of four companies that sit within What’s Possible Group, following acquisitions made by The Specialist Works last year.

The Specialist Works CEO Martin Woolley will also become CEO of What’s Possible Group, while the agency’s COO Parry Jones becomes the group’s deputy CEO. Woolley and Jones led a management-buyout of the agency three years ago.

The four companies are:

  • The Specialist Works, now led by managing director Verity Brown, a media planning and buying agency whose clients include Toolstation, AO and Frasers Group.
  • Hubble, a new company launching today, which will be the group’s international media and production arm based in a London hub that will allow brands to develop and expand into key international markets at speed.
  • Connections, the US and UK-based “brand-to-brand marketplace” that The Specialist Works acquired last year.  It enables brands to monetise physical and digital consumer touchpoints, such as promoting partner brands through direct mail, and its clients include Bloom & Wild, Hello Fresh, and Ocado.
  • Pintarget, the location marketing specialist, also acquired by The Specialist Works last year. It provides postcode level analysis that informs marketers about how to drive sales and effectively across different locations.

Woolley told Mediatel News that the group brand allows each of these four businesses to develop their distinct identity, instead of being seen by advertiser clients as a smaller part of The Specialist Works.

In terms of revenue, The Specialist Works comprises about two-thirds of the group’s business.

Woolley believes What’s Possible Group will serve a specific gap in the market, namely dynamic growth brands that sit between old-economy multinationals and start-up advertisers.

The group’s proposition is that these types of advertiser clients need specialist support because they face particular challenges in their life stage of business: the need to balance short- and long-term growth, react to a fast-moving business around them, out-think market-leaders and finding the metrics and language that the boardroom and the CMO can agree on.

“We’ve been working with dynamic growth brands since day one, and everything we have innovated over the years has been with that growth-minded marketer in mind,” Woolley said.  “They are leading the fast-moving, diverse, and complex businesses that will grow even faster in future and are powering the economy with their ambition.

“But with the marketing services sector being built around the extremes of large, rigid corporates and the madcap world of start-ups, this unique band of marketers has had to make the best of services designed for the needs of other types of business.”

It is also launching a “What’s Possible Community”, a content hub where like-minded marketers can “hang out, learn, and do business together”.  A full-time community manager will curate content and facilitate introductions, and the group is creating a private marketplace with exclusive offers, brand partnerships, training, and events.

The community will also be available to non-clients.

The majority shareholders are Martin Woolley, who becomes CEO, What’s Possible Group, and Parry Jones, who becomes Deputy CEO. Woolley and Parry own two-third of the company, with the remaining shares held by the senior directors of the Group. A share option scheme shares future business success with all employees.

What’s Possible Group aims for staff numbers of 240 (up from its current 150) and gross profit of £24m by the end of 2023 and is projecting gross profit of £17m by the end of 2021.

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