Advantage Smollan Acquires Integrated Creative Agency Intermarketing

June 5th, 2017 – Advantage Smollan, the joint holding company between Advantage Solutions (Advantage) and Global Smollan Holdings (Smollan), announced today its acquisition of Intermarketing Agency (Intermarketing), an award-winning, integrated creative agency based in London, Leeds, Amsterdam, and Sydney.

Advantage Smollan provides outsourced sales, marketing, and technology solutions for consumer goods manufacturers and retailers in a number of European markets. Intermarketing extends Advantage Smollan’s capabilities into several areas including brand and retail campaigns, strategy, brand communications, data and insights, and content creation.

Laurence Clube, COO of Advantage Smollan, commented, “This move is hugely significant for us as we continue to broaden our range of services. It’s great to have a business of the quality of Intermarketing joining us.”

“Our expansion efforts are both geographic and capability-oriented” said Tanya Domier, CEO of Advantage. “Intermarketing’s focus across consumer, shopper, and experiential marketing is similar to the service mix we have built our reputation around in the U.S. Bringing them on board strengthens our value proposition in Europe as well as our ability to service clients globally.”

David Smollan, CEO of Smollan, added, “We are very excited about the addition of Intermarketing to the Advantage Smollan portfolio. They are a great cultural fit for our group and bring great expertise through their diversified service offerings.”

Intermarketing, with over 170 members of staff, was founded in 1988 and holds an impressive client portfolio including brands from the worlds of sports, finance, and fashion.

“We’re excited for the future of Intermarketing Agency and for all the people we employ.” said joint Managing Partners Steve Sowden and Jamie Allan.

“The agency has seen rapid growth since 2011 and being part of the Advantage Smollan group will help move the agency to the next level. It was very important for us to find a parent company that had a shared vision, culture, and mindset when it came to business and we believe we have found exactly that.”

“As part of the wider group we can continue to grow both our geographical reach and our skill base whilst supporting Advantage Smollan’s own plans for expansion.”

About Advantage Smollan

Founded in 2015, Advantage Smollan is a jointly-owned holding company of Advantage Solutions (Advantage) and Global Smollan Holdings (Smollan) that provides unified sales, marketing, and technology solutions for consumer goods manufacturers and retailers across Europe.  Advantage Smollan offers the industry’s best capabilities and technology along with the local knowledge to address the unique dynamics of individual markets.  The company combines Advantage’s and Smollan’s best practices and resources with the extensive experience and market leadership of each portfolio company – all aligned in service excellence, thought leadership, and entrepreneurial spirit to deliver better results for clients and customers.  For more information, visit www.advantagesmollan.com. For more information on Advantage, visit www.advantagesolutions.net.  For more information on Smollan, visit www.smollan.com.

About Intermarketing Agency

Intermarketing is an integrated, creatively-driven and service-led agency with a focus on ROI. With 29 years of brand building expertise Intermarketing has the ability to execute campaign ideas globally across all channels, building specialist teams around client requirements to offer true collaboration and expertise in brand communications, data and CRM, digital, experiential, retail, TV and video, 3D and animation, media, partnerships, content, and social media.  For additional information visit www.intermarketing.com

Contacts

Advantage Solutions:

Will Minton, VP Corporate Marketing

Tel: 949 797 3105

Email:  will.minton@advantagesolutions.net

 

Smollan Group:

Monique Yaffe, Chief Marketing Officer

Tel: +27 11 458-0000

Email: monique.yaffe@smollan.co.za

 

Advantage Smollan:

Laurence Clube, COO

Tel: +44 (0)7717 733 294

Email: lclube@advantagesmollan.com

 

Intermarketing Agency:

Steve Sowden, Managing Partner

Tel: +44 (0)113 275 3912

Email: steve.sowden@intermarketing.com

 

Jamie Allan, Managing Partner

Tel: +44 (0)113 275 3912

Email: jamie.allan@intermarketing.com

 

Bryce Robinson, General Counsel

Tel: 949 794 2204

Email: bryce.robinson@advantagesolutions.net

REL GREAT PLACE TO WORK® ACCREDITATION FOR A THIRD CONSECUTIVE YEAR

REL achieve the highly coveted Great Place to Work® accreditation for a third consecutive year in the GPTW 2017 annual survey and is now well on the way to achieveing it’s stated goal of becoming a GPTW laureate company with five consecutive rankings.

Our 2017 placement saw REL climb two places on the large company ranking list to secure 13th spot in a year where more companies than ever before particpated.  For the first time since inception, a total of 37 lage companies gained the standard required to become GPTW accredited.

The methodology behind this list is one of the most rigorous workplace engagement measures available and uniquely comprises both an employee survey and an audit into an organisation’s management and HR practices both of which are measured and validated completely independently by GPTW.

Stephen Gordon, REL MD said: “People and culture are at the very heart of our vision and mission Loved by our people and first choice for customers, we genuinley believe we can only succeed in the latter by achieving the former and consequently creating a culture of trust is a key priority for REL and why we try so hard to make our colleagues feel valued and part of our family truly inspiring them to deliver better for our partners.”

“I truly believe that colleague engagement has been the fuel of REL’s significant growth over the last six years and we will continue to listen and respond to our people as we strive to become the Best Company to Work for and with for both our colleagues and customers.”

If you are interested in working with a Company that really does Care for Colleagues then get in touch.

Advantage Smollan announces the acquisition of Hamilton Bright

July 3rd 2017 – Advantage Smollan, the joint holding company between Advantage Solutions (Advantage) and Global Smollan Holdings (Smollan), announced today its pending acquisition of Hamilton Bright Group B.V., a specialist in sales, brand activation and market intelligence in the Netherlands and Belgium.  The completion of the acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions.

Advantage Smollan provides outsourced sales, marketing, and technology solutions for consumer goods manufacturers and retailers in a number of European markets. Hamilton Bright extends Advantage Smollan’s reach into the key markets of the Netherlands and Belgium and provide a unified solution for customers in these countries. Hamilton Bright will continue to operate under its current name.

Laurence Clube, Chief Operating Officer of Advantage Smollan, commented, “I am very excited about Hamilton Bright joining Advantage Smollan. This move brings a high quality business into the group and will enable us to improve and broaden what we do for our customers by sharing best practices.”

“To build Advantage Smollan’s footprint across Europe, we are targeting companies that are number one in their markets and share our entrepreneurial culture and passion for adding value. We have clearly found that in Hamilton Bright,” said Tanya Domier, CEO of Advantage.

David Smollan, Chief Executive Officer of Smollan, added, “We are excited to partner with Hamilton Bright who are a great cultural fit for our group and bring great expertise through their diversified service offerings”.

Hamilton Bright was founded in 2000 and holds a client portfolio that includes many of the largest companies operating in the Netherlands and Belgium, whether of national or international origin.

“Hamilton Bright has a strong history of success in improving retail sales in the consumer electronics, body and healthcare, and food sectors,” said Claudio Missaglia, CEO of Hamilton Bright. “We believe that as part of Advantage Smollan we will continue to deliver exceptional results for our clients and to increase the opportunities for our people.”

About Advantage Smollan

Founded in 2015, Advantage Smollan is a jointly-owned holding company of Advantage Solutions (Advantage) and Global Smollan Holdings (Smollan) that provides unified sales, marketing, and technology solutions for consumer goods manufacturers and retailers across Europe.  Advantage Smollan offers the industry’s best capabilities and technology along with the local knowledge to address the unique dynamics of individual markets.  The company combines Advantage’s and Smollan’s best practices and resources with the extensive experience and market leadership of each portfolio company – all aligned in service excellence, thought leadership, and entrepreneurial spirit to deliver better results for clients and customers.  For more information, visit www.advantagesmollan.com. For more information on Advantage, visit www.advantagesolutions.net.  For more information on Smollan, visit www.smollan.com.

About Hamilton Bright Group

Hamilton Bright is a shopper sales & marketing specialist, building and strengthening brands on the shop floor for some of the biggest brands in consumer electronics, the food industry, DIY, out of home and personal & healthcare. Hamilton Bright specializes in providing sales, brand activation and marketing intelligence solutions in the Netherlands and Belgium. For additional information, visit www.hamiltonbright.com

Contacts

Advantage Solutions:

Will Minton, VP Corporate Marketing

Tel: 949 797 3105

Email:  will.minton@advantagesolutions.net

 

Global Smollan Holdings:

Monique Yaffe, Chief Marketing Officer

Tel: +27 11 458-0000

Email: monique.yaffe@smollan.com

 

Advantage Smollan:

Laurence Clube, COO

Tel: +44 (0)118 927 1010

Email: lclube@advantagesmollan.com

 

Hamilton Bright:

Claudio Missaglia, CEO

Tel: +31(0)6 53 215 747

Email: c.missaglia@hamiltonbright.com

 

Bryce Robinson, General Counsel

Tel: 949 794 2204

Email: bryce.robinson@advantagesolutions.net

 

NEWS

Find out what we’ve been up to, who’s been talking about us and our thoughts on all things Field Marketing…

Advantage Smollan to Acquire Combera Group GmbH

March 2017

Transaction ramps up Advantage Smollan’s footprint, enabling it to work with customers across Europe. 

London – March 17, 2017 – Advantage Smollan Limited, the joint holding company between Advantage Solutions (Advantage) and Global Smollan Holdings (Smollan), announced today its pending acquisition of Combera Group GmbH. Combera is a specialist in outsourced sales, merchandising, auditing, activation and engagement with operations in 13 European countries and a partnership network that extends to many more.  The completion of the acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals.

Advantage Smollan provides outsourced sales, marketing, and technology solutions for consumer goods manufacturers and retailers in Europe, and after completion of the Combera acquisition will have operations in 15 European countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Poland, Portugal and Russia.

Two years ago Advantage, which operates in North America, and Smollan, which operates on four continents outside Europe, became the world’s leading retail solutions company when they announced a global partnership that leverages each other’s footprints and best practices to provide seamless global services for deeper, broader strategic partnerships with clients. This included the formation of Advantage Smollan as a unified solution for Europe.  After completion of the Combera acquisition, the global partnership spans six continents and more than 35 countries.

“The addition of Combera to our portfolio dramatically changes our presence and scale and gives us the widest reach across Europe in our space” said Laurence Clube, Chief Operating Officer of Advantage Smollan. “Combera will also bring to the wider Advantage Smollan group its many best practices and additional reach through its partnership network which opens the door to future growth opportunities. The transaction represents a big step forward on our vision to provide comprehensive solutions across Europe and globally through the larger partnership between Advantage and Smollan.”

“In order to provide our enterprise clients with holistic retail sales, technology, and reporting solutions in Europe and on a global scale, we must have the absolute best in terms of local leadership, talent, and resources on the ground in Europe so we can enhance our value proposition through our expanded footprint and capabilities while maintaining laser focus on our legacy regions” said Tanya Domier, Advantage CEO. “We have delivered on this with our acquisitions and leadership appointments to-date, from enlisting industry veteran Hans Savonije of Royal Unibrew as the Executive Chairman, to our pending acquisition of Combera which has a reputation for excellence and expertise in every country it operates.”

“Our long history and proven capabilities in outsourcing sales solutions across a diversified European cultural landscape will enlarge the global footprint of this joint journey” highlighted Sarah Auer, CEO of Combera. Founded in 1976, Combera’s client portfolio includes some of the leading multinational brands operating in Europe.  Given its history, success and footprint, Combera will continue operating under its current name.

 About Advantage Smollan

Founded in 2015, Advantage Smollan is the joint holding company between Advantage Solutions (Advantage) and Global Smollan Holdings (Smollan) that provides unified sales, marketing, and technology solutions for consumer goods manufacturers and retailers across Europe.  Advantage Smollan offers the industry’s best capabilities and technology along with the local knowledge to address the unique dynamics of individual markets.  The company combines Advantage’s and Smollan’s best practices and resources with the extensive experience and market leadership of each portfolio company – all aligned in service excellence, thought leadership, and entrepreneurial spirit to deliver better results for clients and customers.  For more information on Advantage Smollan, visit www.advantagesmollan.com.  For more information on Advantage, visit www.advantagesolutions.net.  For more information on Smollan, visit www.smollan.com.

About Combera Group GmbH

Combera was founded in Munich in 1976 with a mission to upgrade the sales model through outsourced services. Since then the company has diversified in service areas and geographical coverage but remained committed to the original goal of delivering sales solutions at the Point of Purchase. In early 2000’s Combera started its international journey by successively partnering with local entrepreneurs in other countries.  Through its partnership network Combera is a leading provider across Europe of Field Marketing Services and Solutions, to leading multinational brands with solutions for shopper engagement, availability, activation and auditing. For additional information visit www.comberagroup.com

Contacts

Advantage Solutions:

Will Minton, VP Corporate Marketing

Tel: 949 797 3105

Email:  will.minton@advantagesolutions.net

 

Smollan Group:

Monique Yaffe, Executive Director

Tel: +27 11 458-0000

Email: monique.yaffe@smollan.co.za

 

Advantage Smollan:

Laurence Clube, COO

Tel: +44 (0)7717 733 294

Email: lclube@advantagesmollan.com

 

Combera Group GmbH:

Sarah Auer, CEO

Tel: +49 89 55107-525

Email: sarah.auer@combera.com

 

Bryce Robinson, General Counsel

Tel: 949 794 2204

Email: bryce.robinson@advantagesolutions.net

Advantage Smollan Acquires Flixmedia Digital Distribution Platform

November 4, 2016, 

Leading Content Syndication Player Expands Company’s Digital Reach to Over 1,200 Retailers in 68 Countries

LONDON — Advantage Smollan, the European joint venture between Advantage Solutions and Smollan Group, announced today its acquisition of Flixmedia, the leading global platform for the distribution of rich brand content to leading online retailers. Through the management and syndication of brand assets, Flixmedia’s platform drives sales conversion, basket value and profit margins with impactful solutions designed to engage shoppers. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

 

Flixmedia (www.flixmedia.eu) helps brands and retailers optimize and influence sales across all channels with personalized shopper experiences. Leveraging their global retailer network of over 1,200 online properties across 68 countries, Flixmedia’s platform brings a turnkey solution to the constant challenge of distributing consistent, comprehensive and compelling content online.

 

Flixmedia will continue operating under its current name, and CEO Scott Lester will continue leading the organization.

 

“As consumers continue to start the shopper journey online, whether it be for research or purchase, Flixmedia is there to support them with the highest quality content across the largest retailer network available,” said David Cortese, President of Advantage Digital Technology. “There’s no doubt Flixmedia’s proprietary solution will help drive growth for our brand and retailer partners throughout the world.”

 

“This is the right partner, at the right time, for Flixmedia to continue its journey to support global brands and retailers to maximize their multi-channel presence. The core values of the Advantage organization match well with those of Flixmedia and we are excited to be part of the group,” said Scott Lester, CEO and Founder of Flixmedia.

 

Laurence Clube, COO of Advantage Smollan said, “Bringing Flixmedia into the group broadens and complements the capabilities we can offer all of our clients and I couldn’t be more excited about working with Scott and his team.”

 

About Advantage Smollan

Founded in 2015, Advantage Smollan is a jointly-owned holding company of Advantage Solutions (Advantage) and Smollan Group that provides unified sales, marketing, and technology solutions for consumer goods manufacturers and retailers across Europe. Advantage Smollan offers the industry’s best capabilities and technology along with the local knowledge to address the unique dynamics of individual markets. The company combines Advantage’s and Smollan’s best practices and resources with the extensive experience and market leadership of each portfolio company – all aligned in service excellence, thought leadership, and entrepreneurial spirit to deliver better results for clients and customers.

 

About Flixmedia

Founded in 2005, Flixmedia has offices in the UK, USA and India serving 68 countries for their global Retail and Brand partners.  For over a decade, Flixmedia has been trusted by over 100 of the world’s biggest brands and 1,200 of the world’s biggest retailers. Flixmedia’s primary role is to provide innovative services that help their partners optimise sales conversion, basket value and profit margins on sales with impactful solutions to engage shoppers. With over 1.6 billion shoppers browsing across the Flixmedia Global Retail Network every year, their global shopper coverage is unrivaled.

 

 

Contacts

Advantage Solutions:                                                 Smollan Group:

Will Minton, VP Corporate Marketing                  David Smollan, CEO

Tel: 949-797-3105                                                      Tel: +27 11 640 8000

Email: will.minton@advantagesolutions.net       Email: david.smollan@smollan.com

 

Bryce Robinson, General Counsel                               Advantage Smollan:

Tel: 949-794-2204                                                          Laurence Clube, COO Advantage Smollan

Email: bryce.robinson@advantagesolutions.net      Tel : +44 (0)7717 733 294

Email: lclube@advantagesmollan.com

 

Flixmedia

Ben Perrins, Chief Strategy Officer

Tel: +44 (0)208 358 3357

ben@flixmedia.eu

 

2016 FM&BE Awards

October 2016

It’s been another award winning year here at REL!  The FM&BE Awards 2016 held on 20th October saw us scoop a raft of awards recognising the outstanding work our teams deliver for our partners.

Just one of the highlights of the night was being awarded Silver in the FM&BE Agency of the Year category for a second year in a row.  This continues our unrivalled track record at the industry awards, having placed Gold or Silver in the Agency of the Year category every year for the past eight years.

We are incredibly proud of our FM&BE awards success and equally proud that our teams are so highly recognised for the huge efforts they put in, for us and our partners, every day.

The array of awards listed below reflects a number of elements at REL which combine to drive outstanding results for our partners.  One key driver is our ability to unlock the potential of our people.  The high level of colleague engagement at REL, and the discretionary effort this unlocks, has led to our unrivalled awards success and is what delivers the superior results and industry leading levels of return on investment for our partners every day.

Gold:

Team of the Year
News UK

Field Data
Danone Waters & Red Bull

Silver: 

Professional Agency Team
REL

Agency of  the Year
REL

Most Effective Tactical Campaign (ROI led)
Tetley

Bronze:

Most Effective Demonstration or Sampling at Retail Panasonic

Team of the Year
Molson Coors

Most Effective Small Scale or Local Campaign
Red Bull

Most Effective FMCG Campaign
Mondelez

Most Effective Stand/Display (Small Scale)
News UK & Weetabix

 

SelPlus

ADVANTAGE SMOLLAN ANNOUNCE NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH SELPLUS/SELDATA GROUP

February 2016

Advantage Smollan, the joint holding company between Advantage Solutions (Advantage) and Smollan Group (Smollan), announced the acquisition of a majority stake in the SelPlus/Seldata Group, a specialist in sales team management solutions, processes, and technologies in Portugal.

Advantage Smollan provides sales, marketing, and technology solutions for consumer goods manufacturers and retailers across Europe, and through the partnership with SelPlus/Seldata will be able to deliver unified solutions for clients in Portugal. SelPlus/Seldata will continue to operate under the name Selplus/Seldata.

Newly appointed COO of Advantage Smollan, Laurence Clube, commented, “We believe this partnership will enhance the Advantage Smollan proposition and service levels to our clients and customers. Being part of Advantage Smollan’s pan-European business gives SelPlus/Seldata the opportunity to leverage best practices across the region and the potential to attract new customers in Portugal through Advantage and Smollan’s relationships.”

“To build Advantage Smollan’s footprint across Europe, we are targeting companies who are number one in their markets and share our entrepreneurial culture and passion for adding value,” said Tanya Domier, CEO of Advantage and board member of Advantage Smollan. “We have clearly found that in Portugal with SelPlus, as evidenced by the leading B2B, B2C and in-store sales solutions they offer clients across many sectors, their proprietary sales force management software, and their impressive history of growth.”

SelPlus/Seldata, with 250 members of staff – was founded in 2002 and holds a client portfolio including many of the largest companies operating in Portugal, whether of national or international origin. That portfolio includes Bel, Danone, EDP, LG, L´Oréal, Milupa, Unilever Jerónimo Martins, and Sociedade Central de Cervejas, among others.

“We are very proud of our partners,” highlighted Ana Paula Reis and Manuel Falcão, group co-founders and directors. “The acquisition of a majority stake by Advantage Smollan – a benchmark company in terms of its competencies, innovations and affiliation with a global partnership – serves to demonstrate how Portuguese companies may also play a relevant role and bring value to the growth of major international players.”

The clients and employees of SelPlus and Seldata represent the major beneficiaries of this partnership with its mutual growth and development opportunities to be announced in due course.

Download the full press release here: ADVANTAGE SMOLLAN ANNOUNCE NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH SELPLUS

GPTW 2016 Application

REL COMPLETE GREAT PLACE TO WORK APPLICATION FOR SECOND YEAR

November 2015

Following their notable success in their first year of application, REL has completed their second Great Place to Work submission.  Whilst they will not learn the results of the 2016 Best Workplaces list for some time, REL are incredibly proud of their ranking as the 5th best large work place in 2015 and are hopeful of making the 2016 list.

The application process involves a culture audit to identify what is different, special or unique about an organisation’s people management policies and practices.  In addition, employees complete a Trust Index survey to measure levels of trust and engagement across the business.  Great Place to Work’s Trust Index survey is the most widely used in the world – some 6,000 organisations representing around 11 million employees use it each year.

The UK’s Best Workplaces awards ceremony will take place in April 2016 where those fortunate enough to place on the list will attend an invitation only ceremony where they will learn their ranking.  This is followed by the annual Great Workplaces supplement distributed within The Guardian and Sunday Telegraph.

2015 FM&BE Awards

ANOTHER AWARD WINNING YEAR FOR REL

October 2015

REL are thrilled to announce another award winning year.  The 2015 FM&BE awards on 22nd October saw us scoop a raft of awards commending the work we deliver for our customers as well as being awarded silver in the coveted Agency of the Year category.

REL has an unrivalled track record at the industry awards, having placed Gold or Silver in Agency of the Year every year in the past seven years and again, 2015 saw us win more awards than any other Field Marketing agency.

Stephen Gordon, joint MD says “We are incredibly proud of our FM&BE awards success and are thrilled that our teams are so highly recognised for the huge efforts they contribute to the success of our partners’ brands.  The awards provide quantifiable external validation of the amazing work and independently measured, industry leading levels of return on investment that our teams deliver on behalf of our customers every day.

“Our success, both in the awards and as a business, is very much down to the people centric culture and the levels of engagement we have across our teams.  At REL we have an absolute belief that it is our people who are the key to the success of our and our customers’ businesses.  This belief drives our strategy and is reflected in our vision ‘loved by our people and first choice for customers’.

“It is also a pretty fundamental belief here that the best way to make ourselves ‘first choice for customers’ is by ensuring that we achieve the first part of our vision in that our colleagues are highly engaged.  We put a lot of effort into making sure they feel appreciated, valued and are inspired to deliver outstanding work for our customers!

“The ROI results and awards we are achieving would suggest that our approach is working for our customers.  The GPTW Accreditation, gained in our first attempt in 2015, gives us confidence that our people do indeed love being part of REL.”

Rebecca Ahern, joint MD says “The FM&BE awards are an important annual event for us.  They provide the opportunity to have the work we deliver for our customers externally scrutinised and judged which gives our current customers, potential customers and our teams the confidence we are winning on their behalf and driving continuous improvement.  Our ability to unlock the potential of our people and the valuable thought leadership we bring to our customers are what differentiates our business and enables us innovate and stay ahead of the competition. We are incredibly proud of our unprecedented record of achievement in the AOTY category, where in the last seven years we have dominated proceedings with four gold and three silver awards.  This is a real testament to the incredible hard work that everyone in our business puts in on a daily basis.”

2015 awards:

2 x Gold

Team of the Year – Mondeléz

Client Relationship – Mondeléz

 

4 x Silver

Outsourced Sales Performance of the Year – Red Bull

Most Effective Instore Marketing – Danone Waters

Brand Ambassador of the Year – Jamie Dalton, Molson Coors

Agency of the Year – REL

 

1 x Bronze

Client Relationship– Molson Coors

Natural Insight

NATURAL INSIGHT

July 2015

Natural Insight, a global leader in enterprise workforce management for retail merchandising and field marketing announced today that REL Field Marketing has deployed Natural Insight to help simplify the management of its 700 person mobile workforce.

Awarded the prestigious title of “Agency of the Year” for three consecutive years by the FM&BE, REL is the United Kingdom’s premier field marketing agency representing the world’s greatest brands in retail locations across the country.

“We don’t make soft drinks, chocolate bars, beer or consumer goods; our product is our amazing people who creatively and authentically represent the brands that manufacture these goods,” said Stephen Gordon, joint Managing Director at REL. “It’s really very simple; we partnered with Natural Insight because their technology platform provides us with a fully integrated solution to maximize our people’s productivity on behalf of our clients.”

“No matter how you slice it, field marketing and retail merchandising are people oriented businesses where great results are driven by great execution,” said Stefan Midford, CEO of Natural Insight.  “REL’s amazing people and their unwavering dedication to client success embody this simple truth and we’re honored to serve as their workforce management partner as they continue to grow their business.”

About Natural Insight

Supporting 65,000 skilled retail professionals in more than 110,000 locations globally, Natural Insight is a leading provider of cloud-based workforce management software for merchandisers, product companies, event marketers and retailers. Natural Insight is privately held and headquartered in Sterling, VA with offices in Toronto and Birmingham, England. Visit www.naturalinsight.com for more information.

Advantage Smollan

ADVANTAGE SMOLLAN ANNOUNCES ACQUISITION OF UK-BASED REL FIELD MARKETING

June 2015

Advantage Smollan, the newly-formed joint holding company between Advantage Sales & Marketing, LLC (Advantage) and Smollan Group (Smollan), announced today the acquisition of REL Field Marketing, a leading UK-based field marketing company. REL delivers incremental sales and value for consumer goods manufacturers and retailers through integrated sales and marketing programs including outsourced sales and merchandising, direct customer interaction, customer experience measurement, and retailer training and engagement.

The official announcement of the REL acquisition comes shortly after the announcement of the formation of Advantage Smollan, which will deliver a unified service agency solution throughout Europe and provide manufacturers with the best retail merchandising, technology, and reporting solutions on an international scale.  REL is now fully owned by Advantage Smollan and will continue to operate under the name REL Field Marketing.

“Advantage Smollan carefully assessed a number of companies before selecting REL as the first acquisition partner of our European team,” said Tanya Domier, CEO of Advantage and board member of Advantage Smollan. “We were highly impressed by REL’s insight-based, purchase-driving programs as well as their unrivaled cultural engagement and passion for people. Their success is further evidenced by the company’s numerous raving fan clients and prestigious awards, including the title of Agency of the Year for three consecutive years by The Field Marketing and Brand Experience Awards.”

David Smollan, CEO of Smollan Group and board member of Advantage Smollan, added, “In addition to the strong cultural alignment between REL and Advantage Smollan, we also saw that REL’s unique approach to developing game-changing programs and connectivity with key customers across UK markets will help expand our reach. Their expertise and firm understand of the local marketplace dynamics will allow us to gain a strong foothold as Advantage Smollan launches in the European market.”

Rebecca Ahern, who will continue to lead REL alongside Stephen Gordon out of their headquarters in the UK, commented “We believe that this acquisition to Advantage Smollan will enhance REL’s proposition and service levels to our clients and customers. Being part of Advantage Smollan’s pan-European business gives us the opportunity to leverage best practices across the region and expand our relationships. We have seen a growing desire from our customers to look at fewer suppliers across Europe and this gives us a real opportunity to look to work with them on that journey as well as the potential to attract new customers in the UK through Advantage and Smollan’s relationships.”

 

About Advantage Smollan

Founded in 2015, Advantage Smollan is a jointly-owned holding company of Advantage Sales & Marketing, LLC (ASM) and Smollan Group that provides unified sales, marketing, and technology solutions for consumer goods manufacturers and retailers across Europe.  Advantage Smollan offers the industry’s best capabilities and technology along with the local knowledge to address the unique dynamics of individual markets.  The company combines ASM’s and Smollan’s best practices and resources with the extensive experience and market leadership of each portfolio company – all aligned in service excellence, thought leadership, and entrepreneurial spirit to deliver better results for clients and customers.  For more information, visit www.asmnet.com and www.smollan.co.za

SEBASTIAN'S ACTION TRUST

SEBASTIAN’S ACTION TRUST

March 2015

A group of employees from across the REL business spent a day at The Bluebells, Sebastian’s Action Trust’s purpose-built facility which offers respite holidays to very sick children and their families.  The team of 7 made use of their gardening skills and planted a total of 91 trees – far exceeding anyone’s expectations for the day!  We are incredibly proud to have been able to help such a worthy cause and hope to be back very soon.

2014 FMBE Agency of the year

REL WINS THIRD SUCCESSIVE AGENCY OF THE YEAR ACCOLADE

October 2014

Once again, REL has been awarded the prestigious title of FM&BE Agency of the Year.  The event on the 23rd of October saw REL collect a record number of awards for work across multiple customers and a broad set of categories.  In total, 14 entries were placed.

This is the first time any agency has won the Agency of the Year award for 3 consecutive years.  No other agency has ever been awarded the title in consecutive years and REL has now won Agency of the Year in 4 out of the last 5 years, being placed silver in 2011.

Rebecca Ahern, joint MD says “The FM&BE Awards are an important annual event for us.  They provide the opportunity to have the work we deliver for our customers externally scrutinised and judged which gives our current customers, potential customers and our teams the confidence we are winning on their behalf and driving continuous improvement.  Our ability to unlock the potential of our people and the valuable thought leadership we bring to our customers are what differentiates our business and enables us innovate and stay ahead of the competition. We are incredibly honoured to have been awarded AOTY for a 3rd consecutive year and it is testament to the incredible hard work that everyone in our business puts in on a daily basis.”

Stephen Gordon, joint MD goes on to say “We don’t make soft drinks, chocolate bars, beer or consumer goods; our product is our people.  Employee engagement leads to a mutual commitment from our people to do what is needed to make themselves AND the company successful.  This in turn unlocks the discretionary effort that makes the ‘boat go faster’ for our customers’ businesses and our own.”

2014 awards:

3 x Gold

Operations Team of the Year – Camelot, Tactical

Brand Ambassador of the Year – Chris Bond, Molson Coors

Agency of the Year – REL

 

4 x Silver

Team of the Year (FMCG) – Mondeléz

Team of the Year (Non-FMCG) – Nikon

Most Effective Tactical Marketing Campaign – Mondeléz

Most Effective Small Scale or Local Campaign – Danone Waters

 

7 x Bronze

Best Ever Use of a Brand Asset – Red Bull

Team of the Year (FMCG) – Molson Coors

Outsourced Sales Performance of the Year – Nikon

Most Effective Instore Demonstration – Nikon

Field Data Award – Molson Coors

Most Effective Tactical Marketing Campaign – News UK

Field Efficiency Award – News UK

OXFAM EMERGENCY CHALLENGE

OXFAM EMERGENCY CHALLENGE

October 2014

REL’s Fantastic 4 (who competed the challenge as a 3 after injury struck) have raised over £1000 for Oxfam after completing the 12 Hour Emergency Challenge. There was a mix of physical and mental challenges and each of the team stepped up to represent REL and show what we can do, finishing respectable 29th out of 54 teams.  Particularly impressive as they were the only team competing as a 3!

RATINGS PLUS NEWS ITEM

RATINGS PLUS

October 2014

REL Field Marketing, one of the UK’s largest field marketing agencies and current Agency of the Year, has been trialing a new client feedback solution called RatingsPlus.

The RatingsPlus system provides REL staff with the ability to continuously evaluate their performance by sending out customised feedback requests to clients via email at the end of each campaign. A recipient of a feedback request – typically brand managers, or account directors – can respond via a simple online form, which unlike traditional surveys, have been designed to take 2-3 minutes to finish. The results of which are delivered to an intuitive, real time dashboard, providing comprehensive data reporting tools.

Terry Webb, the CEO of RatingsPlus, says: “The response from REL’s feedback campaign has been great with 20% of recipients that receive requests responding. This represents a significantly higher response rate compared to what a Survey Monkey equivalent would offer. We are also trialing the use of charitable donations to further improve the rate of client responses.”

“REL’s senior management has been extremely diligent in adopting client satisfaction into their account management function and their culture of how decisions are made. REL have remained proactive in responding to participants to highlight which aspects they have or are looking to improve and keeping their clients close at all times. Without doubt, closing the customer loop is the single most important follow-up one could do.”

Clients’ perception of REL’s service in terms of the value for money, account managers’ effectiveness, and the usefulness of campaign reports are just some of the areas being measured by REL’s senior management.

Rebecca Ahern, MD at REL summarises what impact RatingsPlus has made to their business: “RatingsPlus provides us with a powerful tool to understand how our customers rate the experience of working with REL. It enables us to pinpoint which elements of our service are most important to our customers and how we are performing in those areas.  This gives us the ability to continuously improve our delivery and drive incremental value for our customers.  The system’s ease of use for both account teams and customers has resulted in a far higher response rate than we have experienced with other approaches used in the past. As they say, ‘knowledge is power’ and the more feedback we get, the more focussed we can be on improving our product offering to meet our customers’ needs”.

RatingsPlus will officially launch later this year. For more information please visit RatingsPlus or contact them.

FMBE shortlist

2014 FMBE SHORTLIST

September 14: Message from Stephen Gordon and Rebecca Ahern, Managing Directors, REL Field Marketing:

We are thrilled to announce that REL has had 18 entries shortlisted for the 2014 FMBE awards, with 9 different customers represented across 12 categories.  This demonstrates the strength and quality across the REL business; reinforcing the brilliant team and environment we have at REL.  We are very proud of our people and of the great companies we represent!

We aim to celebrate pretty hard come the 23rd October!

RETAIL ACTIVE

July 14: Message from Laurence Clube, CEO Blueprint Group:

We are excited to announce that Blueprint Group successfully completed the acquisition of Retail Active.  Retail Active is primarily a mystery shopping business and also offers customer satisfaction surveys, auditing and specialist retailer training.

Retail Active is successful business with a strong track record of growth – having the backing of Blueprint Group in terms of resources and know-how will enable growth and achievement of their aspirations.   Retail Active will continue to be managed by Julian Chamberlain and Janet Westwood, founders of the business.

Jealotts Hill, Giving Back

JEALOTTS HILL

April 2014

As part of REL’s Giving Back programme four members of the  Central Services team headed to Jealotts Hill Community Landshare and spent the day renovating the sensory garden area.  They weeded, planted, sowed and watered all day long creating an area for the local community to relax and enjoy and spend time in.