Marketing: Fantastic Media’s move to Leeds paying dividends as it eyes acquisitions

Marketing agency Fantastic Media is hoping its move to Leeds city centre will aid growth as the firm looks to provide business advice to more clients.

Alisdair Straughan, managing partner at Fantastic Media.

The agency, which currently has 25 staff, completed a move from Birstall to the city centre in January.

Alisdair Straughan, managing partner of Fantastic Media, told The Yorkshire Post that the business was looking to grow organically as well as through acquisition of other agencies.

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“There’s the organic growth that we’re looking to target but we’re also actively looking to acquire other businesses as well,” Mr Straughan said.

He added that Fantastic Media has already had discussions with another agency about a potential acquisition.

The move to Leeds is already paying dividend, the managing partner says, with the firm enjoying two of its best quarters in the first half of this year.

Mr Straughan said: “There are obviously lots of opportunities within Leeds that we want to tap into. From a staffing point of view, our desire is to take on people that are the best at what they do. The city centre location enables us to do that.”

Fantastic Media, which has been going for 15 years, says the agency has made a profit every year it has been in business and is 100 per cent debt free.

“We just felt that we need a springboard to take Fantastic Media to the next level and the opportunity to move to Leeds came up,” Mr Straughan said.

The business is targeting £2m in turnover this year and expected to make around £500,000 in profit.

Fantastic has a target of doubling the size of the agency by the end of 2022, both in staff and revenue.

Any agency that it does acquire would need to have “the right values” and the “numbers have to be right from a revenue and growth point of view”.

“It must share our outlook on how we deal with people as well,” Mr Straughan added.

Competition for talent was one of the reasons why the firm has moved to the city centre. The business believes it makes it easier to recruit university graduates as they no longer face a commute to Birstall.

“People like to be a part of a hub and feel the excitement of being in a city centre,” Mr Straughan said. “That was one of the reasons why we decided to make a move to Leeds city centre.”

Ultimately, he hopes Fantastic Media becomes a well-known brand in Leeds.

The agency doesn’t pitch for work, says Mr Straughan, but instead works off recommendations and clients coming to it.

It then carries out a workshop with the potential client to identify in what ways the marketing agency can help.

The greatest challenge for the business is fulfilling its ambitions according to Fantastic Media’s managing partner.

Mr Straughan said: “We are super ambitious. We want to take on Leeds effectively. That’s why we are here. We’re not here to be a bit player in something.

“To take everybody on that journey with us is going to be a challenge as well.”

Fantastic Media will continue to focus on business to business clients.

Mr Straughan jokes that the firm hasn’t had a chance to install its ball pit and beanbags.

Before adding that “we’re not that type of agency at all”.

A journey in marketing

Fantastic Media was founded by Andy Hobson, who has a background in sports marketing.

Alisdair Straughan previously worked in communications at Huddersfield Town Football Club. While there he worked with Fantastic Media.

In 2015 he joined Leeds-based Fantastic Media and last year became managing partner.

Prior to joining Fantastic Media he spent time doing sports marketing for various events out in the Middle East.

Mr Straughan worked on the Rugby Sevens and the Yas Marina grand prix circuit.