MarTechInterviewsNew markets

With 10 staff and a turnover of just under £1m, going to America wouldn’t be the obvious next step for a lot of entrepreneurs.

However Alex Cairns, managing director for Move Marketing, doesn’t see the agency’s size as being an obstacle to their international expansion plans.

With offices in Manchester and Cambridge, Move is a B2B marketing agency mainly dealing with industrial, science and tech companies.

The company has developed a unique strategic planning approach called the ‘8 moves of B2B’ that has seen it win new clients as far afield as New Zealand, Australia, Germany, France, Canada and the USA.

Now they’re in the process of setting up a US office with support from The Growth Company and the Global Scale-Up Programme.

Cairns told TechBlast’s latest Going 4 Growth roundtable that he’s determined to not repeat the mistakes he made when running a previous marketing agency.

“I’ve been around this block twice,” he says. “I joint-owned a marketing agency for eight years before Move Marketing which unfortunately failed and I learnt a lot of lessons from that and what we didn’t do right.

“I kind of feel this time around I’m going to do everything that didn’t work completely differently. The things that I didn’t have the courage of my convictions to try first time round I’m going to try.

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“I’ve always wanted to look at international expansion. You can’t be too small to expand into overseas markets.

“We have got six international clients and that gives me 100% confidence that we’ll be able to do it and have a presence abroad.”

Cairns says working with an intermediary has helped win international sales.

“We’re not the biggest but the decision to expand internationally is built around two things,” he says.

“We’ve built some really good case study clients in Canada and in the US. It’s a less saturated market with a much more favourable ratio of marketing agencies to companies.

“We work closely with an intermediary company who brings us a number of leads from that part of the world.

“They also provide general advice for companies looking to expand into North America or go the other way from North America to the UK. It’s an exciting time for Move Marketing.”