Marketing agency expands its workforce thanks to Keele leadership programme

A local marketing agency is using new learnings from a prestigious Keele University business development programme to help to grow their workforce and improve productivity.

Leek-based SO Marketing, which delivers innovative and creative marketing solutions to clients, turned to Keele to help build on the business’ forward-thinking approach.

James Aberley, Senior Partner at SO Marketing, took part in the University’s Innovation Leadership programme in Autumn 2020 to help to refine his leadership, skills, and business blueprints. As a result of the programme, James has now implemented new strategies and hired new staff into his talented workforce.

The Innovation Leadership programme, delivered through the Keele Gateway, provides local SMEs with fully-funded support to enhance and develop the skills, knowledge and attributes needed to take their business to the next level.

Delivered across six two-day sessions, participants will gain access to a unique blend of one-to-one coaching, guidance and action learning from experienced academics and expert guest speakers, designed to enable the creation of a new and innovative action plan that will support the growth and development of their organisation.

James-so-mark-300px Speaking about his experience on the programme, James commented: “It's been great. As a result of the programme, we began to implement a new business strategy which quickly resulted in the appointment of a new member of staff to support our ambitions.

“The Innovation Leadership programme at Keele was recommended to me by one of our partner agencies who had previously graduated the programme. Aside from having great guest speakers and academics giving real world examples, one thing that I found particularly valuable was having a one-to-one mentor during the course – David Lowe, one of Keele’s Entrepreneurs in Residence.

“David’s advice was extremely useful, and discussing my ideas with him proved to be a great opportunity to not only gain a new perspective but also to discover a path of how to get there.

“We have been working with Keele University on several projects over the years, and I look forward to collaborating with them in the future as we continue to grow the business.”

For more details about the Innovation Leadership programme, and information on how to apply for the next cohort starting in October 2021, please visit the Innovation Leadership webpages on the Keele University website.


ERDF landscape logo The Mercia Centre for Innovation Leadership programme is delivered through the Keele University Science & Innovation Park Smart Innovation Hub (Ref: 32R17P01691). This programme is part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the England Structural and Investments Funds (ESIF) Growth Programme.