In this Q&A (originally posted by Start Up UK), Ice Blue Sky CEO Charlotte Graham-Cumming, talks about her experience and what’s behind the scenes of a rapidly growing B2B tech marketing agency.
Tell us about yourself?
Founder of Ice Blue Sky, I am a Senior Marketing Professional, with a specialism in working with technology B2B and B2C organisations. I have worked globally, across the full marketing mix, and specialise in helping companies optimise their customer engagement, acquisition and retention strategies.
I set up Ice Blue Sky to help CMOs and Marketing Directors establish best in class B2B – whether it’s strategy, lead generation or sales enablement, we continue to go from strength to strength working with leading technology brands such as Cisco, Konica Minolta and Gnatta.
In September 2015 I contributed a chapter on marketing to the bestseller From Small Business to Big Business.
In October 2021 I was shortlisted for Business Woman of the Year by the SME National Business Awards and in October 2013, I was lucky enough to be a finalist in Business Woman of the Year awards, run by Sue Ryder.
Our agency is listed in the top 10 fastest growing B2B agencies, and in the top 100 agencies in the UK, as well as winning best innovative tech agency and best b2b agency in 2022.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Keep the faith, great things are around the corner!
What problem does your business solve?
It’s more and more difficult to engage prospects. Forrester estimates there are an average of 27 touchpoints needed to close a technology deal, and Gartner further explains that there are anywhere from 11 to 20 stakeholders involved in making the decision to purchase.
This presents a significant challenge, meaning that you have to be more creative, more personalised and incredibly relevant to engage with people – which is where we come in.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
Fifteen years ago I was running EMEA Marketing for a very large technology company and I struggled to find agencies that knew the technology AND the commercial objectives of our customers well enough to add value in terms of strategy and content.
So, I set up Ice Blue Sky. Over the years we have become specialists in ABM and Sales Enablement as I’m passionate about sales and marketing working together to create growth and revenue for companies.
What is your magic sauce?
We have a holistic approach across sales and marketing and are experts in technology and the commercial challenges it solves, meaning we can run large projects over short timelines and without a lot of hand holding.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
We want to be even better at what we do and be challenged by our customers to help them drive more revenue and growth for their organisations. We want to continue to be a great place to work and to employ the very best people. Our success only comes from customer success.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Around three years ago we nearly went out of business, it’s a long story, but we’d partnered with a larger company that went bust, but we kept our heads down, regrouped and developed a very aggressive three-year plan which we have exceeded which is very exciting indeed.
We’ve learnt a lot about ourselves in the process, and about the amazing people around us. We really do work with amazing people.
How do people get involved/buy into your vision?
We love to get involved with companies that have big aspirations, who want to excel at marketing but who, at the same time, may be having challenges around implementing a channel growth strategy, and/or an ABM programme.
If you’d like to connect with Charlotte and find out more about her journey connect with her on LinkedIn here.