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.

Infographic for the weekly Friday Fiver.

#FridayFiver ✋ – Handpicked and Deliciously Diverse Digital News

In Digital News by Steve Harvey-Franklin

How’s this week treated you?
Has it been so manic that you’ve barely had time to stop and admire all that’s going on around you?

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#FridayFiver ✋ – Digital News That’s Out Of This World!

In Digital Marketing, Digital News, Google by Steve Harvey-Franklin

How’s 2020 treating you so far? Is everything cool for cats or has it all gone a bit Pete Tong? Relax – #FridayFiver will make everything feel fabulous with this quality quintet of wild, weird and wonderful internet stories.

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Why Use WordPress? 10 Reasons It’s The Best CMS

In Digital Advice, Web Development by Steve Harvey-Franklin

When you’re first dipping your toes into the kaleidoscopic waters of website development, information overload can drive you as crazy as cats with cucumbers.

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#FridayFiver ? – What Won The Internet This Week

In Digital Marketing, Digital News, Google by Steve Harvey-Franklin

Picture the scene at your next meeting…

Colleagues are charmed and clients bewitched as you drop knowledge bombs like Blackalicious on the internet’s most inspirational digital, tech and creative news.

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Website UX infographic.

5 Ways Website UX Boosts Your SEO

In Content, Digital Advice, Mobile, SEO, UX by Steve Harvey-Franklin

Have you ever been super-excited about visiting a new store, only to get so frustrated by its labyrinthine floor plan that you flee the scene via the nearest exit – instead of leaving with those snazzy Scandinavian toe socks your tootsies have been yearning for?

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#FridayFiver ? – Your Weekly Fistful Of Digi Delights!

In Digital Marketing, Digital News, Google by Steve Harvey-Franklin

Interested in digital media, marketing, tech and creativity?
Do you lack the time to trawl the internet for the latest industry insights?
Or are you simply yearning for something that looks vaguely work-related to stick on your screen on a Friday afternoon so you can safely snooze behind Homer Simpson glasses?

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10 Reasons You Need A Web Designer

In Content, Digital Advice, Digital Marketing, SEO by Steve Harvey-Franklin

Web designers are skilled professionals with the technical and creative prowess to build websites which function fantastically and secure prominent search engine positions.

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5 Reasons Your SEO Isn’t Working

In Content, Digital Advice, Digital Marketing, SEO by Steve Harvey-Franklin

Have you shelled out a small fortune on SEO only to discover after a few months that your Google rankings are rising slower than a snail on a soapy windowpane?Did you expect them to shoot skyward faster than Harry and Meghan’s goodbye flight to Canada?

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What’s A Technical SEO Audit?

In SEO by Steve Harvey-Franklin

A technical SEO audit is a website inspection process that analyses search engine ranking factors like keyword relevance, internal link structure and content quality, then identifies improvements that secure a higher ranking when a site is crawled and indexed by search engine spiders.

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What Are The 12 Brand Archetypes And How Can I Use Them?

In Branding, Digital News by Steve Harvey-Franklin

Brand archetypes are universally recognised personas which a company can align its brand personality with – in order to connect with customers on a more human and relatable level. Used appropriately, brand archetypes are recognisable to customers in diverse cultures and demographics.

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