About the company
Purple Banana Marketing is not your average marketing agency, according to founder Sarah Edwards.
Instead of acting as the outsourced marketing function, Purple Banana Marketing helps organisations build their own internal marketing capability. Sarah does this by working with businesses to develop a marketing strategy, then builds the delivery system with integrated technology and processes, and brings in the right people to run the function.
“I want to get clients to a point where they don’t rely on me. I go in and build a team or repair a team that’s not quite getting the results it needs anymore, but I’m not looking to be their outsourced marketing department,” says Sarah, who is originally from Bradford.
“Don’t get me wrong; I love marketing, but I also love empowering others to be able to do it and do it well. I want clients to have an amazing marketing strategy, and the right processes, people and tech in place to really drive business growth over the long term. Marketing is not just a nice to have, it’s integral to any business, and success starts from within.”
Purple Banana Marketing was set up by Sarah after she was made redundant from her job in 2018 as a marketing manager for a global service provider for the pharmaceutical industry. She says she initially ‘picked up lots of bits and pieces’ of marketing work, but it was when she moved to Ilkley in June 2020 that she started to question where the business was going.
Sarah says: “I really felt like I had to start the business again when I moved back to Yorkshire, but in a good way! I was thinking, where do I want the business to be? It felt a bit like starting from scratch in some ways. And I thought, how do I make this happen?”
As she had received business support back in Cheshire where she lived before moving to Ilkley, Sarah looked for it in Yorkshire, and approached AD:VENTURE.
“With over 15 years’ client side, in-house experience, I’d like to think I know a thing or two about marketing, but it’s a whole other world building your own marketing business,” says Sarah.
“I knew I needed help getting me to a point where I had complete clarity about my offer, my customers and why my business is different. And I knew business support would help me get to a place of clarity and focus.”
Sarah has attended workshops on topics including sales and marketing, social media, networking skills and telephone sales.
She was assigned a business mentor, Alan Thompson, and successfully applied for a grant of £1300, which she match-funded.
Sarah spent the money on buying in strategic planning sessions from a business consultant and equipment including a new laptop.
The support from AD:VENTURE helped Sarah define her business, secure her first client and start to have plans to grow.
“I don’t want my own capacity to be the limiting factor for the growth of Purple Banana, so even though I feel like I’ve only just relaunched the business I’m already thinking about when and how I can bring in staff and that I might need premises in the future. I want to build a legacy and really make a difference,” says Sarah.
“The workshops have been fantastic not only from a content and personal development point of view, but they’ve also enabled me to build out a great local network of collaborators, referral partners and potential clients, which was something I had back in Cheshire, but not so much since moving home.”
“People say it can be a lonely world running a business – especially in the early days when you might not have a team around you – so knowing I have Alan as a sounding board for a second opinion and to work through things with when I need him is amazing,” says Sarah.
“The grant which allowed me to work with a consultant that I could not have afforded otherwise was fantastic too and I couldn’t have got to where I am now without doing that work together. If there’s business support available, take it. It’s a no-brainer. Get support!”