Marketing insights from an agency director

Angus Chalmers

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RDP Agency Director

Since becoming Managing Director of RDP Marketing — a full service marketing agency specialising in agriculture — in 2005, adapting to the fast nature of the business and refining our strategies has been essential to our success.

Despite the changes over the years, certain core maxims have always rung true. Here are few of the key principles that have served us well as an agency:

Always be evolving

With the acceleration and constant change in data usage and interactivity, an agency can never risk slowing down – or it risks being left behind. The way brands and consumers interact would have been unthinkable just a few years ago, and it would be a fool’s errand to assume we can know where we’ll be in the next 5 years.

Changing media and platforms aside, ideas and trends never stay current for too long. An agency must always be ahead of the game. We always make sure to investigate the latest movements in the industry, and never kick back and think “we’ve got this sussed — let’s stop there”.


Campaigns can go on for weeks or months, but even the most concrete schedule can go awry. Every so often there’ll be a sudden change or addition that absolutely needs implementing immediately, if not sooner.

It may result in furrowed brows and extra work, but as a team we pull together and make sure it gets completed to the highest standard. If an agency can’t roll with the punches, it’s in trouble.

Whatever urgency arises — be it emergency, a change in plan, results driven or a sudden addition — an agency’s end game is to make sure their client is satisfied, because the results speak for themselves.

Interact with the industry

There’s no replacement for going and speaking with the audience you presume to target with your work. Even the smartest data analytic software or insight reports can’t capture the complex individuals that comprise each “target sector”, useful as they may be. Worse, it risks forgetting that, at the root of it, marketing is about speaking to people. And if you’re hoping to communicate with them – and communicate well – then you damn well owe the courtesy of chatting with some of them.

It can be attending conferences, having catch ups, giving talks – the mode of contact isn’t what matters, but the connections you generate.

Investment in knowledge and skills

As stated, evolution is essential but can be hard to quantify. Occasionally one needs to get down to the absolute basics: are our people equipped with all they need to deliver the best work?

There’s always more to learn. RDP, for example, are committed to expanding our knowledge portfolio, even though we’re able to tackle all the tasks our clients might bring. We don’t want to just be competent – we want to excel. This can take the form of an accredited course, a seminar, or even a meeting. For example, we invested in an insight programme that helped highlight the different psychological approaches of our team, and how to best interact with one another and our clients.

If you don’t invest in yourself, why should anybody else?

Hire great people

Easy to say, hard to master. At RDP, we’ve always made sure to go beyond an applicant’s simple work history and skills to find collaborators who share our ethos and constant pushing for excellence.

Although this caps the list, it could also serve as an opener. With the perfect team in place, all the above tends to fall naturally into place.

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