Not many marketing agencies are founded with a five-year plan in place that includes making acquisitions in that period, but Saman Mansourpour isn’t your typical creative who’s partly headed West from London for the lifestyle.
At the age of 23 Mansourpour was European marketing manager for a Fortune 500 company, before switching to the agency world where he worked for companies such as the well-regarded Rapier.
But two years ago Mansourpour took the plunge and formed his own operation, AgencyUK. Initially in Bristol but soon established in Bath – “it has a creative undercurrent” – he says AgencyUK started with a bang by winning its first client, global pharma company Quintiles, in a direct pitch against one of the world’s biggest ad networks, Draft FCB. Mansourpour says the business is now on course to top £1m of fee income this year.
So how is AgencyUK winning business? “We offer big agency thinking about brands and response, with the same collective experience, and to companies with varied marketing budgets by structuring the agency in an efficient and client-focussed way,” says Mansourpour. “And we are not a design agency. We are a full-blooded advertising. We get involved with the business plan at a strategic level, and talk to the top people in the companies we work for.”
Mansourpour’s five-year vision was to establish the business and win flagship accounts in years one and two. Having pulled that off, in years three to five he wants to continue to add new business and get more from existing accounts – he expects to acquire other businesses sooner rather than later.
“To an extent we are at the mercy of the economy and the banks,” he says. “Finance is a big issue at the moment. But having shown growth and profitability there may be some options. Venture capital money is one possibility, but that wouldn’t be my preferred route.”