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John Forkin, Managing Director of Marketing Derby provides some 2012 highlights for us.

wantspacegotspace.co.uk - Marketing Derby, John ForkinA few weeks ago, HEROtsc announced the recruitment of their 1,200th employee at the Derby-based call centre which provides customer services for media giant SKY.

The original announcement of the investment into Derby only happened in December last year, and at over 100,000sq ft, it was one of the largest commercial deals in the UK during 2012. The centre opened in early 2013 its subsequent growth as a showcase for SKY has been nothing short of remarkable and of course a major boon to the local economy in tough times.

For me the HEROtsc/Derby story illustrates how in a tight market you need a dose of serendipity to achieve success but, as the Roman philosopher Seneca said, “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”.

The Hero story has two separate roots, both located in the early summer of 2012.
The first was the fact that Falkirk-based HEROtsc, a fast growing customer solutions company, had won a new contract from SKY to provide customer contact services and had therefore started to think about a location to base this operation.

Second, was the announcement of the sale of the Egg credit card business by Citibank to Barclaycard who, with their existing call centres across the UK, had no requirement to keep on the 650 Citi staff based in Derby’s Pride Park.

Marketing Derby is a public-private company charged with attracting inward investment into the city and we promptly took on the challenge.

Faced with the prospect of losing 650 jobs from the market we worked closely with Citibank, Barclaycard and Derby City Council, and kicked into action an innovative, pro-active attempt to promote the Pride Park site plus its skilled, soon to be available, workforce, a turn-key opportunity if you like.

The campaign included ‘above the line’ activity, adverts and articles in the property and call centre trade press, as well as ‘below the line’ bespoke approaches to call centre operations and contacts.
By September 2012 the connection between HEROtsc and Derby had been established and from there things moved very quickly, professionals knitting together a complicated deal between Derby, London, Falkirk and New York.

Looking back yes, there was an aspect of serendipity, the very fact that HEROtsc had won the SKY contract for a start. But, had we sat back and waited for the enquiry, or had not taken a fast-paced and creative approach to lead generation, plus had an experienced  mature local partnership ready to act, the deal would never have happened.

The days of putting up ‘To Let’ signs and waiting for the call are long over and the future belongs to those who have changed their business model.

Posted by Michael Gillespie (wantspacegotspace Limited) on 11th January 2013 (updated 14/01/2013)

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