As a relatively young industry, the entertainment business is buzzing with companies using new technology to devise new ideas, new applications, and new products. For small to medium size companies (SMEs) everywhere, growth is vital and good marketing people are as necessary to a company’s success as accountants and lawyers. But the need to grow has to be balanced with the need to remain profitable, and employing full-time high-level marketing professionals can be expensive. Enter The Marketing Business, which offers SMEs in the entertainment technology industry the full range of marketing expertise, from business development and export advice to corporate identity and public relations.

The Marketing Business is an informal association of three companies which together have over 60 years experience in the entertainment technology business and which individually are recognized as experts in their field: PE Consulting, Harmer PR and The Wells Partnership. PE Consulting was formed in 2002 by Peter Ed, previously marketing director for ETC Europe and business development manager for Strand Lighting. Ed’s experience will be used to help companies expand their business by moving into exporting or into new market segments by combining tried and tested marketing techniques with in-depth knowledge of the entertainment technology industry. Harmer Public Relations, which provides the public relations and copywriting side of The Marketing Business, has enjoyed continuous links with the entertainment technology business ever since its formation by Lesley Harmer in 1980. Current agency clients include AVW Controls, ETC and Theatre Projects Consultants. The last of the trio is The Wells Partnership, whose graphic design skills have been used by many companies in the business, including Rosco, Wybron and MAVCO.

Marketing is all about communication but, as Ed points out, what and how you communicate isn’t simply a case of the sales director working a few additional hours each week. “While language is an obvious obstacle for exporters--even between the UK and US markets--communicating to different market segments is not necessarily straightforward. In order to be competitive you must be fine tuned to your market. There’s no point in having a great product if your literature isn’t on the same wave length as your target audience.” And that’s where The Wells Partnership comes in.

With graphics experience that encompasses editorial design for national consumer magazines and advertising for household brands, The Wells Partnership has also worked for some of the leading companies in the industry. Their experience can help a company focus on how the corporate message is put across, whether through the web site, corporate literature or promotional material. “Good design depends on knowing exactly what your client requires, and need cost no more than bad design,” says Wells.

Words of course play an enormous part in marketing material, whether brochures, data sheets, price lists or press releases. Spelling mistakes, misuse of words and simple bad grammar can mark an expensively printed leaflet as unprofessional; how easy to get a third party to check it. And for companies whose first language is not English, The Marketing Business offers a proof reading service from Harmer Public Relations.

While a young company would benefit from the full range of services offered by The Marketing Business, there are many companies who may wish to cherry pick, something that The Marketing Business encourages. “All three companies are good at what they do, but people don’t necessarily need all of our products all of the time. If someone simply wants help and advice about entering new markets, we are more than happy for them to talk to Peter. Each of us will continue to trade independently, so people should think of us as an à la carte menu!” said Harmer.