Welcome to the ICG 2020 highlights, the lockdown special!
The year of unpredictable and unprecedented situations (we had to squeeze in everyone’s favourite word). It’s never mattered more to work together, collaborate on projects and show kindness.
Usually arriving by post, our annual highlights book has now gone digital and we’ve got lots of memories from this year.
As we edge closer to the end of 2020, come on the journey with us as we look back over the past few months at ICG.
Thank you to our clients and suppliers for your continuing support.
Sunshine, sand and sangria to start the year! Sounds pretty good? It definitely was.
In January we jetted off to Alicante for our annual staff conference - three days of fun, relaxation and chill time.
And, now looking back at these wonderful pictures, what’s most striking is that there’s not a face covering in sight and no social distancing!
For many of us, these three days of sunshine were the nearest we got to a holiday abroad this year.
Oblivious to what 2020 had in store, we had a great time and rustled up a whole load of new ICG memories.
We kicked off February with the launch of our Create Great campaign. It’s all about the power of collaboration - working in partnership with brands to generate great results through creativity and strategic thinking.
Create Great demonstrates ICG’s skills, expertise and commitment to helping clients achieve their goals.
Our branding was updated and we revitalised our website with more case studies and insights - you can download our Guide to getting Great Results from here.
We were also busy in our local communities too. First up, teachers at a secondary school in Preston invited us to talk to GCSE pupils studying Creative iMedia as part of National Careers Week.
And, once again we were invited to take part in International Women’s Day this year - we took our Create Great campaign to Blackpool Sixth Form College and spent a day delivering marketing workshops to girls from local schools.
We were delighted to be exhibiting at the new and exciting Digital City Festival in Manchester.
The festival was all about the North’s booming digital economy spanning marketing, ecommerce, tech, media and creative.
Our team was on hand to share marketing insights on everything from creative and digital first collateral to website, narratives, campaign strategies and PPC campaigns.
Squeezed in before the UK went into lockdown, we managed to have some useful conversations with marketing managers and directors.
By April we were all working from home - but that didn’t stop us thinking of ways to bring people together through creativity.
With everyone trying to help kids and young people channel their energies during lockdown, ICG came up with its own sweet treat challenge. We asked youngsters to create the ultimate sweet shop, from thinking up its name and logo to designing how the shop should look and a poster to promote its opening.
Our downloadable “Let’s Create a Great Sweet Shop’ booklet inspired budding young marketeers. And we got some great entries too. The lucky winner was Bethany Southworth from Chorley, who won a family ticket to Blackpool Zoo.
Doing everything remotely has become the new normal - and that even included celebrating a virtual award win!
ICG was crowned Global Integrated Digital Agency of the Year - Small at the Global Digital Excellence Awards.
The judges said ‘This agency provided great insight in how they communicate to their teams. A positive workplace and a stand out winner’.
The newly created virtual awards celebrated and rewarded exceptional digital campaigns, businesses and talent despite the unprecedented and challenging times.
Through all the disruption of lockdowns and tier restrictions, ICG’s teams have never failed to deliver with no deadlines missed, impressive results achieved and clients fully supported.
- GDXA Judges
Being there for our clients has been our absolute priority this year.
Supporting companies employing key workers to organisations finding new ways to provide their products and services during lockdown and restrictions, our teams have responded swiftly to urgent requests for help and support.
We’ve worked on everything from lockdown tool kits to multi-channel campaigns for retailer reopenings.
We’ve launched face covering PR, promoted online language studies, completed a ‘Thank You NHS’ truck livery and helped clients create Covid secure spaces.
From delivering hand sanitiser stations to supporting virtual open days, virtual exhibitions and client communications, we’ve been there every step of the way.
Back in July we were delighted to be ranked eighth in North West Insider’s annual marketing and PR review.
The table is released each year, positioning the region’s agencies on their strengths and merit.
It’s the third consecutive year that we have featured on the list, and this year we were the only agency outside Manchester and Liverpool to be showcased in the top ten!
News of three new babies joining the ICG family was just the tonic we needed this year, and they were all boys too!
Dave, our Head of Digital and his wife, Sally welcomed baby Harry, while Kyle, one of our developers, and fiancée Danielle brought baby Alfie into the world. And there was news of a grandson for Peter, ICG’s joint Managing Director, with the arrival of baby Felix.
We’ve had to forgo cuddles, but look forward to meeting the new arrivals soon.
The latter half of the year turned out to be great for awards nominations for team ICG, and the team got together virtually to attend the online ceremonies.
We were finalists in the prestigious UK Agency Awards, shortlisted in the Best Agency Culture category for our commitment to creating a vibrant agency culture that encourages openness, creativity and collaboration.
We then went on to secure two more shortlisted spots, first in the Prolific North 2020 Northern Marketing Awards, Best Small Agency category and then we made the final three in the Integrated Agency of the Year category at The European Agency Awards 2020.
We're proud of the work we do at ICG, so recognition from distinguished bodies, industry champions and experts really counts.
Mental health has been a big focus in 2020, we’re understanding more about what the term encompasses and how we can help one another and where to seek help and advice. This is where our friends at Lancashire Mind come in, they are “leading the mental health revolution in Lancashire”.
We’ve worked with the team from Lancashire Mind across a number of projects this year, with some of ICG’s team taking part in their focus group which explored different views and opinions on mental health. The findings and insight will help form a basis for their upcoming strategies.
We’ve also collaborated with Lancashire Mind on a number of client projects, including initiatives with Blackpool Zoo to promote Lancashire Mind's five ways to wellbeing project and educational resources company EPSL Educational Printing for their Lockdown Toolkit which included free resources to help teachers manage the mental health of pupils.
Find out more about the work Lancashire Mind does over on their website.
The autumn brought two new clients, Edgefold Homes and Preston Council to the agency roster.
Our digital team has developed a new website for Warrington based housebuilders Edgefold Homes. With three premium housing developments across the North West and more to launch in the next 12 months, the team from Edgefold Homes needed a website to act as the first point of call for prospective buyers and include a lead generation element for people to make enquiries and appointments - visit the website here.
Preston Council got in contact with the opportunity to develop a series of infographics, part of a Europe wide exchange and learning tools programme. The infographics will be used across a number of European cities in print and online focussing on a procurement theme.
- Simon Couchman, ICG
Have you seen in our recent social media posts that we’ve launched our ‘Give Back Fridays’ campaign? It’s our Christmas community initiative to support four good causes.
Over the last few weeks, we have revealed our chosen charities.
First up was Operation Christmas Child for Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief and development organisation. We supported this great cause last Christmas and all the team wanted to get involved again this year. We decorated and packed 15 shoe boxes with lots of goodies and essential items for children in disadvantaged communities around the world which they’ll receive in time for Christmas.
Visit our blog to see who we’re supporting each week.
With just a few days until we close for our Christmas break, it’s nearly time to say goodbye to 2020.
If you’re looking at new ways of working or would like to challenge the norm in 2021, please get in touch for a strategic review, where we’ll delve into your past marketing plans, helping you see what’s working and what’s not, and how you can create more value for your customers.
Get in touch with Peter Cobley to find out more email firstname.lastname@example.org