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Now what is th qu stion? It’s about anticipating and satisfying customer requirements, profitably. And we devise strategies that help our clients do just that; getting under the skin of their businesses, understanding what differentiates them from their competitors, providing customer insight and strategic direction and putting in place marketing and communications plans that are clear and easy to implement. We’re experts in all aspects of marketing and communications, so whether it is research and consumer insight, restructuring for strategic change, managing complex business projects, customer communication or a combination of these, we have the skills and experience to deliver.

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And at Press Ahead, we work hard to understand our clients’ current activities, customers and markets, developing strategic marketing plans that help them to achieve exceptional results.

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As the saying goes, the customer is always right.


10 tools


Using th right tools for th job

When we describe our services it can only be a snapshot of our capability at that time. We constantly challenge and refresh our thinking. New approaches, methods and ideas are constantly added to our ‘toolkit’ but our core areas are listed overleaf.

This demonstrates the extensive tools that we have, to ensure that, whatever the challenges faced by our clients, we have the solutions. And this doesn’t end with us depositing a pile of data tables and inexplicable slides into your in-tray! We pride ourselves on going beyond the initial research findings, helping our clients to examine strategic options, develop, support and implement plans that will exceed expectations. And, uniquely, our wider business experience allows us to assist clients with communications challenges and tasks arising from the project outputs. This positions us differently from agencies which predominately focus on straightforward surveys.

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The purpose of our work is to help accelerate the achievement of our clients’ goals and objectives, helping them understand where they are now, to make more informed strategic decisions and to put in place effective business plans.

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We have vast experience of a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods and techniques to address the specific needs and objectives of our clients, each of them benefiting from a bespoke approach and holistic thinking.


R s arch S rvic s - our 10 tools a

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Consumer Diaries Readers/Consumers/Viewers Prospects

Desk Research Competitor review Market assessment Feasibility studies

Mystery Shopping Customer service evaluation Staff training Sales support

Focus Groups Creative groups Product testing Online Narrative

Public Consultation Public meetings Advocacy

Foresight Horizon scanning Scenario planning Identifying emerging trends

Surveys On street Self completion, off the page Computer aided telephone interviews (CATI) Omnibus Online JICREG

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Depth Interview Clients Stakeholders Prospects

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Analysis Conjoint analysis, regression and clustering Segmentation Brand DNA

Impl m ntation

Sales Support Communications Project Management

PR Advertising and media buying Copywriting E-marketing and social media Event Management

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Impact Assessment Promotional campaigns Ad testing

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W know th m dia s ctor a

As a result we are viewed as being the ideal resource to tackle major business development and change management projects in this specialist field and we do this in a very hands on way, ensuring that we are viewed as a key part of the team and not simply external consultants.

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We have a strong network of key decision makers in the media and retain an active involvement in various awards and other initiatives, ensuring that we have our finger very much on the pulse and get results for our clients.

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setting up a new direct to consumer business unit to ensure DC Thomson maximises revenues and profit from sales of magazine subscriptions, branded products and affiliate offers staff training and development programmes for Johnston Press and CN Group major research initiatives for Iliffe Group, Cambridge Newspapers, Oldham Chronicle and Newsquest Media Sales brand marketing campaigns, media planning and buying for Trinity Mirror North East advising best practice launch of direct delivery operation for Archant in Norwich devising consumer marketing and circulation strategy for Northcliffe (Grimsby and Scunthorpe) running a major civic pride campaign for North East Press managing new press strategy for Times Educational Supplements and interim management of the marketing function including two title re-launches.

So, whatever your challenge, Press Ahead will deliver a solution and surpass your expectations in the process.

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We have a deep understanding of newspaper publishing, commercial broadcasting and the key strategic and operational issues which face media owners today developed over a combined 25 years of operating at a senior level in the sector.

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Press Ahead specialises in publishing related research, strategy and project management.

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inside and out


Russ ll Borthwick a

Managing Dir ctor a

Talk to me m: 07785 332 876 e: rb@pressahead.info

Russell still works closely with major publishers on research, strategy and implementation projects and enjoys extensive and strong relationships with decision makers in the media sector.

He is actively involved in high profile sports marketing, regional promotion and regeneration initiatives, is a member of the North East Entrepreneurs Forum and is well networked among key business decision-makers in that region and beyond. Russell lives in West Herrington with wife Sarah and son Adam and enjoys spending (limited!) family time on UK and European city breaks. He is one of a number of sports fanatics at Press Ahead listing cricket, international rugby and football as his main passions. Uniquely ‘on the fence’ in the North East he wants to see all the region’s teams do well but his heart is with first love Aberdeen (although the relationship has been in need of counselling over the last few years!)

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Before launching Press Ahead in 2004, Russell held senior marketing and commercial positions within Trinity Mirror - the UK's largest newspaper publishing group and has extensive experience across all of the business activities undertaken by the press sector. He was responsible for strategy, business planning, product development and delivery of marketing communications in the fastest moving of all FMCG environments.


Jam s Eal y a

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S nior Account Manag r a

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Talk to me m: 07944 253 719 e: je@pressahead.info

Prior to that, James held a senior marketing position at Trinity Mirror North East, with responsibility for providing marketing support for the newspaper, magazine and web products across the portfolio, with a central involvement in market research projects.

Key research projects undertaken include readership and business research within media, client care programmes, developing the understanding of changing formats / roles of media consumption and work within the voluntary and community sector. He has also successfully completed the CIM Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing. James is a keen sports fan. He is captain of Ponteland Cricket Club playing in the Northumberland & Tyneside Senior League and also follows football, as a long suffering exiled Fulham supporter.

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James was previously senior marketing manager at Ward Hadaway solicitors, where his responsibilities included business planning, budget management, brand management, event organisation, e-marketing and business development, alongside managing the marketing elements for the opening of the firm’s new office in Leeds.


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Talk to me m: 07950 831 896 e: ar@pressahead.info

Aiden has an excellent understanding of research that is designed to raise the profile of clients and inform content for marketing and promotional activity. He is also skilled at utilising research techniques and outputs to maximise the level of insight generated from projects. Recent work includes major projects in the media sector for major publishing houses and national

newspaper groups, research to support manufacturers in developing brand and marketing strategies, working with retailers to review advertising and promotional campaigns and conducting research to inform the growth and development of programmes to support the voluntary and community sector in the North East. Aiden has previously held senior roles in market research in the UK and has worked in Australia for the Commercial Banking Team at HBOS as a Strategy Support Officer. He is also an Associate Member of the Market Research Society and a qualified market researcher having achieved the Advanced Certificate in Social and Market Research. He is a qualified FA football coach and in his spare time manages and coaches a senior ladies football team in the Northumberland Women’s County League. He also volunteers as a Business Advisor for Young Enterprise North.

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Aiden is an experienced market and social researcher with over 10 years of consultancy experience, more recently with five years experience as a Director and Principal Consultant in a research and strategy consultancy. He is a versatile strategic thinker with extensive business development and research project management expertise working in partnership with SME and blue chip organisations throughout the UK.


Don’t just tak our word for it...

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Andy Gough, managing dir ctor, Iliff Digital a

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“Pr ss Ah ad’s und rstanding and prov n track r cord of proj ct d liv ry, m ant that w w r highly confid nt in awarding th m th contract, ah ad of major int rnational consultanci s.”

“Th r s arch has always d liv r d r al insight into our mark tplac and provid s valuabl sal s support mat rial across th busin ss. It has shown that w ar willing to inv st in k ping our products at th l ading dg of th s ctor and proving to adv rtis rs that local m dia brands ar innovativ , pow rful and ff ctiv adv rtising platforms."

“Finding n w r v nu str ams to compl m nt our traditional cov r pric and adv rtising incom is b coming incr asingly vital. Pr ss Ah ad’s support has b n absolut ly critical, and I’m sur that, with th ir ongoing guidanc , w can d monstrat r al improv m nts that will nsur w capitalis on opportuniti s to broad n our custom r off r and str ngth n th busin ss.”

Richard Thomas, h ad of Insight Mark ting at N wsqu st M dia Sal s

John Thomson, busin ss unit h ad at DC Thomson

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Clients Archant Norfolk Cambridge Newspapers CN Group DC Thomson Gazette Media Company Iliffe News and Media Johnston Press NCJ Media Newsquest Media Group Northcliffe Media North East Press Oldham Evening Chronicle Sport Newspapers The Newspaper Society Times Education Supplement Trinity Mirror Wear 1 - Sunderland Echo

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Mark Squir s, chi f x cutiv , B nfi ld Motor Group a

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“Th r s arch h has conduct d for B nfi ld l d to som major chang s in th dir ction of our mark ting mix and custom r s rvic d liv ry proc ss s. H do sn’t hid b hind th data but g ts to th point in languag that cli nts und rstand.”

“Th ir work is always insightful and chall nging and is playing a c ntral rol in th d v lopm nt of n w mark ting and branding strat gi s across th busin ss. It is h lping to nsur that Analox continu s to grow and r tain its position as th mark t l ad r.”

“Aid n fulfill d all my xp ctations which r sult d in a numb r of b n fits to my company and satisfi d all th n ds of our fund rs. I would r comm nd Aid n R gan to anyon who not only want d an xtr m ly prof ssional job but also on compl tion would f l as if th y had good valu for mon y.”

Mich ll Morl y, mark ting manag r, Analox S nsor T chnology Limit d

D nnis Osborn , chi f x cutiv , S afood Training C ntr

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Clients Academy 360 Analox Benfield Motors Berghaus Dickinson Dees Dott 07 Durham Country Cricket Club Durham University Muckle LLP National Skills Academy One North East Newcastle Falcons Newcastle Racecourse Newcastle United Football Club North East Food & Drink Group Prince Bishops Shopping Centre Seafood Training Centre Service Network STS Sunderland City Council

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Working with the Echo team, we conceived, set up and project managed the Wear1 initiative which used the number 1 to represent both the messages ‘it’s a great place, talk it up’ and ‘we’re all in it together’.

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In a 2004 research survey, readers of the Sunderland Echo commented that the newspaper was very negative in style and content. The newsroom had got into the mentality that bad news would sell and would set out to look for and publish it! The Editor needed to create a ‘hook’ to change this culture and position the paper as a positive champion of its area.

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Award winning initiativ for instilling major cultur chang and r -positioning.

These activities included a piece of benchmark residents attitude research, stakeholder events, monthly supplements and a weekly page specifically geared to celebrate all that was good about Sunderland. Alongside this, the aim of Wear1 was also to ‘help make it better’ and to this end, a community fund was set up allowing local organisations to bid for cash support and MPs were enlisted to help lobby for key business creation decisions. By its conclusion, the initiative had won awards and succeeded in over-delivering on its initial objectives.

The initiative spanned two phases over three and a half years with twenty private and public sector organisations contributing both a total of £200k and, more importantly, the time of senior executives to sit on the project board and steer activity.

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W n d d to d liv r strat gic insight on k y issu s.

We worked with the commercial and editorial teams to manage all aspects of the CNL JICREG readership research programme in 2005.The project included the paid-for daily and a number of associated weekly free titles in the Cambridgeshire marketplace.

The research comprised marketplace/postcode sector analysis, questionnaire design/sign-off from JICREG, 2000 x 25 minute in home interviews, a self-completion questionnaire, full data analysis and results/strategy presentations to key teams.

Following a full review, a programme was developed that would deliver the headline readership data, provide added strategic insight on key issues such as the impact of web on print circulations and harness the readership crossover between the titles to minimise the required number of interviews to satisfy JICREG requirements.

The managing director and editor at CNL were delighted with the outcomes dubbing the exercise, ‘JICREG plus’ and we have worked with them subsequently on other similar briefs.

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We manage all aspects of PR, marketing strategy and communications for the centre and in 2009 it became clear that the market was shifting (with the advent of out of town shopping options, introduction of park and ride schemes etc). To gain a better picture of shopper attitudes, habits and motivations a research programme was required. The methodology was predominantly on-street around the centre with pre agreed quotas relating to home postcode, reason for visit to Durham, age and demographic. This was supported on-line and later supplemented by the creation of a ‘shopper panel’.

Key topics included: method of travel, reason for visit, home postcode, media consumption, awareness of/propensity to different advertising and promotion options, other shopping locations used (and why), along with suggestions for improvements at Prince Bishops. The results were highly insightful and have driven subsequent marketing and retailer acquisition activity with footfall and spend figures showing growth throughout the period of recession.

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Prince Bishops is a major shopping centre in the historic city of Durham.

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Full g od mographic analysis of custom r locations inform d futur communications strat gy.


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The interviews were carried out using a combination of telephone and face to face approaches followed by a series of discussion groups to focus in on key issues arising and debate potential improvements. The result was a refreshed brand, enhanced proposition to members, detailed communications plan and a prospect list of ‘flagship’ organisations to be targeted for membership which grew significantly in the 12 months following the project. Additionally, key business journalists in the North East were offered complimentary personal membership to acquire their ‘buy-in’ to Service Network and how its success would, in turn, help drive the regional economy.

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In 2005, the organisation identified the need for expansion and commissioned us to carry out a programme of research among members and potential members and to develop this insight into a detailed strategic and marketing plan with mentoring for key staff.

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Service Network North East is a membership organisation that provides support, networking opportunities and an independent voice to service sector businesses in the region including legal, accountancy, creative and construction.

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Targ t d mark ting significantly gr w m mb rship in th 12 months following th proj ct.


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In-depth telephone interviews with senior business executives focused on existing CSR policy within their company and any programmes or schemes currently in place. The interviews also involved testing the likely uptake of a brokerage model that would enable businesses to volunteer their professional skills and expertise to help strengthen, up-skill and assist organisations in the voluntary and community sector. This is currently being developed further into the ‘matching’ stage for both sides of the brokerage model.

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From 2010-2011, we were commissioned to conduct market research into how private sector businesses in Tyne & Wear currently approach Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

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This can cover learning new skills or adding to knowledge. For others it requires mentoring and coaching to enable them to move forward with confidence. For many it’s about raising their awareness of the help and support available.

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North East Enterprise Bond (NEEB) aims to develop services that add value to regional organisations in the enterprise sector. They define enterprise as, “the ability to spot opportunities and the confidence and knowledge to be able to act upon those opportunities”.

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D v lopm nt of int grat d brok rag mod l to fus privat and public s ctor n ds.


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Today its turnover as a major multi-faceted leisure business sees the Club regularly included in the top 20 of the Deloitte world football money league.

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Newcastle United, also known as the Magpies, is one of English football's most successful club sides, having won four League Championships, six FA Cups and the Inter City Fairs Cup. NUFC has played at its current home of St James' Park since 1892, now one of Europe's top arenas, and famous for its proximity to the city centre.

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Cr ating a strat gic mark ting plan for a multi-million pound company to achi v its goals.

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The initial phase was firmly on communicating with and engaging the internal audience as well as agreeing changes in approach that would be necessary to introduce new ways of working. As the project developed, focus shifted towards communicating with the key target audience, identified as part of the project, using online surveys, consumer consultation and stakeholder interviewing. Outcomes from the research enabled us to deliver several key outputs: establishment of a vision statement, brand ethos and values creation of a strategic route map to move key areas of the business to where they should be development of customer insight and segments through research and other techniques re-design of corporate brand guidelines production of functional and master marketing planning documents. G

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Our remit was to put in place a comprehensive strategic marketing approach and plan covering all aspects of business to business and consumer marketing undertaken by NUFC for season 2009-10 and beyond.


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The European Outdoor Group (EOG) is an association founded in 2003 by nineteen of the world’s largest outdoor companies, providing a cohesive, cross border approach to representation of the outdoor sector and its common interests.

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Th r s arch h lps us to und rstand and m t th futur chall ng s of th industry.

The project involved: recruiting research partners in each market (a publisher in Germany and a leading outdoor brand in Switzerland) preparing the survey questions setting up an online platform on which consumers could complete the survey supervising the analysis and interpretation of the research data managing the production of the final research report delivering PR support for the project. G

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In 2009 we managed a research project designed to test the attitudes of outdoor consumers in Germany (the most influential outdoor market in Europe) and Switzerland. In keeping with the agenda of the EOG at the time and the economic climate, the research tested consumer views in three key areas: participation / spend in the prevailing economic climate what motivated consumers towards brand choice and loyalty sustainability and the environment.

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The final report was published to coincide with Europe’s premier outdoor trade show and was to become the first stage of an ongoing research programme.

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The research was central to evaluate previous campaigns and develop future marketing strategies for NBA and highlighted the value and impact of advertising in the regional press, across all platforms, identifing the core brand values associated with NBA and the Newcastle Evening Chronicle. Our team also completed in-depth face-to-face interviews with consumers to test the effectiveness of financial services advertising in the regional press, for Lloyds TSB, who were advertising their mortgage product in the Bristol Evening Post. The research informed the strategy for national advertisers in the regional press and quotes were used in advertising sales marketing information. All of the outcomes from this research are used by the NS to establish a strong case to advertisers of the role and impact of regional press advertising.

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Focus groups and depth interviews with newspaper readers were conducted with Newcastle Brown Ale’s core market to understand the relevance and evaluate the impact of adverts for Newcastle Brown Ale (NBA) in the Newcastle Evening Chronicle.

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The Newspaper Society (NS) represents and promotes the interests of Britain's regional and local media. Founded in 1836 it is believed to be the oldest publishers' association in the world. Our team works on behalf of the NS to help demonstrate the power of the local press and we have undertaken a number of studies to measure and evaluate the impact of advertising and promotions.

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Id ntifying th rol and impact of r gional pr ss adv rtising.


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This has provided the business with the intelligence needed to refresh the brand and marketing and communications activity and to base future business development decisions on reality and not long held perceptions of the brand and marketplace. The team has continued to support Analox in using the outcomes from this research to draft marketing and communications strategies to support the launch of new sub-brands in both business-tobusiness and business-to-consumer marketplaces.

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During 2010 and 2011 we have worked closely with Analox to help support ambitious growth plans and to help develop a marketing and promotional campaign strategy. An internal and external brand audit was undertaken with key staff, clients and intermediaries to understand perceptions of the Analox brand, assess the impact and effectiveness of previous promotional activity, identify brand inconsistency and position the brand within the context of the wider marketplace.

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Analox specialise in the design and manufacture of gas sensors and analysers and, over the past 25 years, has established its reputation for developing innovative solutions to gas monitoring in extreme environments and are now recognised as a leading authority in their field.

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L arning th r ality of consum r p rc ption h lps cr at ff ctiv mark ting and communications strat gi s.


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The findings have helped Benfield understand the different needs and requirements of different types of customer and how best to engage with them during both the pre and post sales processes and the variations in buying behaviour across different customer types. Critically, the research has also provided valuable insight into how different types of customers research and buy new and used cars, specifically focusing on the value and impact of digital versus traditional media advertising and detailing what future advertising should look to focus on and the format that this should take. As a result, the research has been integral in informing Benfield’s marketing and promotional strategy, including an extensive review of advertising approach and spend, and has also led onto additional research to explore customer service requirements of different customer groups.

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The research involved exit polls at a range of dealerships across the North East and a series of targeted focus groups with customers from key segments emerging from the data.

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We have worked extensively on research to support customer service improvements and inform advertising and marketing strategy by exploring perceptions of the brand, develop customer segments and mapping the ‘customer journey’ from need through to purchase of these segments.

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Benfield Motor Group has become one of the largest private companies in the market with 30 dealerships across the North East, North West, Yorkshire and Scotland, representing brands such as Alfa Romeo, Ford, Kia, Lexus, Nissan, Renault, Skoda, Toyota, Volkswagen, Hyundai and Honda.

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We have worked with the OIA for over three years, developing its marketing strategy and providing communications support. In 2008, we project managed a major piece of research assessing consumers’ attitudes towards outdoor product purchase in an economic downturn.

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This included: preparing the survey questions identifying and recruiting partners, including relevant media, to reach as many respondents as possible setting up an online platform on which consumers could complete the survey identifying relevant spokespeople within the industry to interview supervising the analysis and interpretation of the research data managing the production of the final research report, including copywriting, design and print, along with delivering PR support for the project. G

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The final report was well received and became the first stage of an ongoing research programme.

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Its objectives include: supporting outreach programmes to encourage more people to enjoy the outdoors contribution to, and benefiting from, lobbying on issues pertinent to the industry promoting careers and training in the industry providing up to date and relevant industry research.

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The Outdoor Industries Association (OIA) is the trade body for manufacturers, retailers and other organisations that provide products and services for the outdoor leisure pursuits market in the UK.

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A snapshot of th industry to look at changing tr nds and n w opportuniti s that will shap th futur of th s ctor.


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We undertook focus groups with, and monitored presentations to pupils, teachers, governors, school staff and local residents at three schools near the proposed Academy sites to gather views on the management of the Academies, the implementation of the process of closing the failing schools they were to replace, and the construction of the new Academies. In addition, we oversaw a postal survey to canvas residents opinions and requirements, which was also available for completion online and affected parties were given the opportunity to make comments through a dedicated email address and telephone line. We then undertook in-depth telephone interviews with major stakeholders in the area such as MPs, MEPs, council and business leaders, and the media. As a result, the plans were given a resounding green light with all three Academies now open and encouraging early signs of academic and social improvements.

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Previous rounds of consultation had identified that local people would not accept the government’s standard Academy model, and resulted in the Sunderland model being conceived. It was of key importance that this consultation was fully inclusive in areas where high levels of deprivation are prevalent, with implications of low literacy, numeracy, access to IT and lack of engagement.

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We were commissioned to undertake a wide ranging public consultation process on proposals for the opening of three new schools in Sunderland as part of the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme. This involved working closely with Sunderland City Council and the business sponsors in developing the consultation plan, copywriting, designing and printing literature and other materials, liaising with key stakeholders, managing public surveys, and setting up, advertising and running public meetings for each of the three Academies.

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Cr ating a fully inclusiv consultation in an ar a wh r lack of ngag m nt is pr val nt.


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The research incorporated off-the-page questionnaires, online questionnaires, on-street surveys and focus groups. The finalised results enabled us to deliver ‘pen pictures’ for each of the four target audiences, with respect to their importance in each marketplace, media consumption behaviour, their demography, along with a range of recommendations to develop and manage these audiences in the future, both from a commercial and editorial standpoint. The results presentation was so well received that we were then asked to deliver further marketspecific presentations to ensure that the key messages were filtered and permeated through all levels within the organisation. The majority of recommendations have now been taken on by the group, for implementation across in-print and online strategies.

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In 2010, we were asked to develop a research programme that explored media consumption habits across five of their key marketplaces (Cambridge, Hertford, Bishop’s Stortford, Milton Keynes and Burton), alongside the interaction of in-print/online readership and an understanding of feelings towards paid-for content.

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Iliffe News & Media comprises of four regional newspaper publishing companies, a digital media division and is the owner of Channel Television. In total, they publish three evening newspapers, seven paid-for weekly newspapers, 22 free newspapers plus six Sunday free newspapers, one quarterly and four monthly glossy magazines and 24 related websites together with a number of specialist niche titles.

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Exploring, valuating and s gm nting th changing fac of m dia consumption.


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Media > Marketing & Communications North East of England BIC Wearfield, Sunderland Tyne and Wear, SR5 2TA T: 0191 516 6235 F: 0191 516 6236 1st Floor, Atlantic House 351 Oxford Street, London, W1C 2JF T: 0845 872 6665 E: enquiries@pressahead.info http://wordsfrompressahead.blogspot.com @PressAheadMedia

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Press Ahead Research