Today I’m wishing a very fond farewell to my colleagues at CCGroup. The business I joined in 2018 has held onto its strengths in B2B tech and, with its smart and beautiful rebrand this month, formalised its steady evolution into an integrated marketing agency. Few PR agencies have taken that rather obvious step since I qualified as a Chartered Marketer (almost 20 years ago), which reflects the rare effort and determination needed by any agency that attempts that journey.
I’ve had a great time along the way. Together we hit some important milestones, reflected by CCGroup’s analyst relations case studies from clients like Boku, InterDigital, Netacea, SageCircle, and Signicat. Analyst relations became a tenth of the firm’s revenues (a figure AR also hit during my time at Brodeur and Lighthouse PR). In their first year of working with us, clients typically doubled their Power of Voice (mentions in the most authoritative analyst coverage). The clients we worked with gained deals and insights that made a huge difference. None of that would have been possible without the trust of our clients and the support of the colleagues who hired me: Aisling Logan, Daniel Lower, Duncan McKean, Katie de Cozar, Paul Nolan, and my mentor Richard Fogg. Our non-executive director, Tim Trotter, was a lighthouse through the years: charting the way and giving us advance notice of where the rocks were.
Astonishingly, everyone at CCGroup goes through analyst relations induction. That’s how central AR is to its worldview as an agency. I’ve trained a dozen CCGroupies on AR, and countless spokespeople. Chris Sedgwick, Elena Georgieva and Zoë Crichton contributed extensively to elaborating CCGroup’s approach to programmatic AR. Abdul Ahad Khan, Nadya Vicheva, Patrick Smith, Pedro Domingues, Rushan Tonge-Bobia and Venice Kwon helped Chris and I to grow what’s probably been the most extensive AR service of any agency outside the USA. When the flow of work overwhelmed us early in 2021, Katie Wilson, Matthew Denby, Nabila Mahmood, and Tilson Pinto bravely volunteered to let me indoctrinate them in AR. The four mastered the art of pitching to analysts, hitting a record for the quality of briefings secured for clients. They resolved a critical skills gap filled when Chris joined us. Our finance, marketing, media relations and operations teams went out of their way countless times to support us, proactively raising AR with clients, and ensured AR programmes got the resources needed to effect real change.
Chris and I developed a rock-solid AR scorecard, now tested with dozens of firms, and robust monthly and quarterly presentations that used programme evaluation and analyst insights to focus on the next steps needed to move the needle. We got deeper than ever into the business of Magic Quadrants, Forrester Waves and IDC MarketSpaces. I’ve also learnt a lot from serving on the company’s executive committee, in particular seeing how CCGroup’s leadership pivoted to better support clients in markets that had a rocky 2023. I’m still humbled by the very good Net Promoter Scores our AR clients give to CCGroup: On a scale of 100 to -100, the AR team is always rated above 50 and is currently on 67.
I’m unsure about my next step professionally, partly because I’ve had some great suggestions already that show me a range of viable options. I’d love your help and advice. If you can, please write a recommendation of me on LinkedIn. If you have suggestions about where my skills might be a fit, message me or book a call at meet.duncanchapple.com.
Over the next couple of months I’ll be working on a few things. Thanks to CCGroup, I’m conducting competitive intelligence for a cybersecurity client and supporting another, SageCircle, on their Analyst Advocacy Study. In March, I’ll be at INSEAD business school in France for capstone courses and to graduate into the ranks of their alumni at the end of a year-long, part-time, executive program. I’ll be travelling in Spain, Germany, Finland, the Netherlands and the US. And, of course, tomorrow Carter Lusher and I have our webinar on the merger between Informa Tech and TechTarget.