About the Author
Steve Harvey-Franklin

Steve Harvey-Franklin

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I founded digital marketing agency Maratopia (then WSI Yorkshire) in 2003 – which, when I take two minutes to think about it, is both scary and reassuring.   It’s scary because in many ways 2003 seems like a lifetime ago, but reassuring since it’s a long-time in agency terms, so we must have been doing more than a few things right along the way.   My pre-agency experience is diverse, but always directed in one way or another towards innovations in digital tech, creativity and entrepreneurialism – disciplines which have remained lifelong passions. Career Journey I’ve turned my hand to helping some outstanding teams over the years, but here are a few highlights from my career so far:   Helping to grow Visual Communications Group (VCG) from a £250k per annum photo library to a £100m multi-media global group which was eventually snapped up by Getty Images.   The growth journey of VCG was propelled by acquisitions and rapid organisational transformation.I had run the production and content generation division and fostered an environment where some of the best stock photography in the business allowed our creatives to bring their visionary projects to reality.   Finally, I also managed and optimised the group’s technology and marketing processes to launch groundbreaking print catalogues and some of the earliest B2B e-commerce websites.   Moving on to head the European arm of AIM-listed ImageState, during an exciting era in which the industry was rapidly expanding and digitising.   The direction of travel was that film and duplicates were replaced by scanned images, digital cameras came to the fore, CD Roms saw paper catalogues destined for the dustbin, then truly globally trailblazing B2B websites and the proliferation of royalty-free images created a sea change in the sector.   Progressing to head up Internet Direct, which was then the largest independent online retailer of digital cameras, until it was sold to Pix Mania. Destination Maratopia Thanks to the varied and vibrant career path, by the time I was considering branching out with my own agency, I’d run numerous B2B and B2C e-commerce companies and led in-house and agency teams working across the key digital marketing disciplines – including web development & design, SEO, Paid Search, Social Media and Analytics.   I’ve always been a hands-on leader, and through good and bad experiences with internal teams and agencies, I realised that existing agencies tended to be founded by either creatives or technical experts with polarized cultural outlooks and often, a lack of experience in the hard-won business skills which secure steady growth and sustainable success.   Realising that my background and philosophy could plug this gap in the market was the main motivator for setting up a customer-focused, holistic digital agency. So Maratopia was founded with a clear focus on empathically understanding how customers think, committing to transparently demonstrating ROI, and harnessing a blended creative and technical approach which achieves goals and enables outstanding customer experiences.   Because of my direct and deep prior experience in dealing with agencies, I could identify clients’ pain points, put myself in their shoes and translate technical jargon into Plain English so that it was easy to understand how our expert techniques and strategies could help any business excel and achieve outstanding results against agreed KPIs. Lifelong motivation After 16 years and counting, Maratopia’s Mission is still to be ‘our clients’ most trusted partner’.   So staying true to the values that drove me to set up shop in the beginning, I’ve surrounded myself with a team of talented staff who are dedicated to strategic thinking that’s infused with technical creativity and sharing collaboratively with clients every step of the way – hence our mantra of ‘think, create, share’.   I’m still as excited to walk into the office today as I was in 2003 – and although the tech I work with has changed beyond belief in the intervening years, my motivation remains the same.

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#FridayFiver – 🧼 👏 Here comes the sun ☀️

In Digital News by Steve Harvey-Franklin

How you doin this Friday? Refreshed and revitalised after a couple of brilliant beer garden sessions and interacting with fellow humans? Us too – fingers crossed we’re gradually (and safely) easing our way out of …

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#FridayFiver – 🧼 👏 🌤️ Be Good To Yourself

In Digital News by Steve Harvey-Franklin

How are you guys this post-Easter week? Have you fashioned a chocolate hat from an upturned easter egg and you’re eating away at it from this inside, able to peek under the tasty brim just …

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#FridayFiver – 🧼 👏 🌤️ Four Day Weekend!

In Digital News by Steve Harvey-Franklin

As restrictions begin to lift, summer gets closer and we simply can’t wait to be sipping drinks in a pub garden somewhere slathered in Factor 50 and soaking up the sun’s rays. Meanwhile, enjoy a …

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#FridayFiver – 🧼 👏 🌤️ Take five for a skive

In Digital News by Steve Harvey-Franklin

How are you all this fine Friday? We’ve fluctuated between pensive and positive at Maratopia Towers this week, with everything crossed for easing lockdowns. Hang out with us in this week’s fiver – we’ve got …

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5 Common Website SEO Problems Solved

In Digital Advice, SEO, Web Design by Steve Harvey-Franklin

Have you invested in a lovely new website that looks wonderful? The design’s a delight? It’s easy to use? The copy and content are cracking? And it’s the perfect shop window for your world-beating services …

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#FridayFiver – 🧼 👏 🌤️ Fun Whatever The Weather!

In Digital News by Steve Harvey-Franklin

So when you saw some decent snowfall this past week did you… …run to your shed, rip the door off, pull out your sledge and then race across the park shouting ‘yippee!’… …before realising you …

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#FridayFiver – 🧼 👏 🎵 positive news & views

In Digital News by Steve Harvey-Franklin

January’s almost done – wahey! These days we’re all about celebrating life’s little victories, so congrats for getting to the end of the double whammy of the year’s dreariest month – which this year had …

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#FridayFiver – 🧼 👏 🎵 And the bleep goes on

In Digital Marketing by Steve Harvey-Franklin

How are those NY resolutions going now folks? …we’ve ditched dry January, bought ourselves a big bottle of cider, thrown our jogging gear in the cupboard and started binge-watching The Magic Roundabout while inhaling Pringles …

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10 Favourite Festive Foods

In Digital Marketing by Steve Harvey-Franklin

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And a good old-fashioned Christmas stuffing wouldn’t be the same without the sweet treats and savoury snacks that define the festive season. We’ve put together a shortlist …

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#FridayFiver 🧼 👏 🎄 – Christmas at last!

In Digital News by Steve Harvey-Franklin

This time next week we’ll probably be sitting on our settees sporting crumpled paper crowns, as stuffed as turkeys and possibly as pickled as spiced oranges in port.  Since this is the last #FridayFiver before …

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