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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Top 15 Video Editing Apps for Mobile, Mac and PC

In Digital Advice, Mobile, Social Media by Steve Harvey-Franklin

If you don’t have a blockbuster budget, haven’t worked as an assistant to Martin Scorsese and don’t know one end of a boom mic from another, creating videos for your business for the first time …

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Ideal type – how brilliant typography elevates your brand

In Branding, Digital News by Steve Harvey-Franklin

  Typography isn’t exactly the most talked about topic – in fact, unless you work in print, publishing or another text-based profession, it may be entirely unfamiliar. But if you don’t yet know the difference …

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apps for social media

Which social media platform fits my business best?

In Content by Steve Harvey-Franklin

It’s hard to imagine a world without social media– especially when everyone from your old teacher to your best friend’s mum has an account. And this ubiquity offers unique opportunities for your brand to connect …

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Here’s why your brand purpose is crucial for customers

In Branding, Digital Advice, Digital News by Steve Harvey-Franklin

Brand purpose sets out how your company plans to change the lives of consumers and the wider world for the better. It’s essentially your raison d’etre – so taking time to define and develop it …

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Content Marketing Guide 2019

In Digital News by Steve Harvey-Franklin

Remember that time in the pub when you said you wanted a free Content Marketing Guide that wasn’t as muddled and mysterious as a Morse Code manual for an origami Austin Allegro? And in the …

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New Maratopia arrivals – welcome Jamie Wreford

In Content by Steve Harvey-Franklin

Since Search Marketing is central to everything we do at Maratopia, we’re excited to announce the arrival of Jamie Wreford, our brilliant, brand new Head of Search. Jamie has a strong background in sales, which …

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5 reasons your startup should focus on culture first

In Branding, Content by Steve Harvey-Franklin

  A strong culture is the backbone of any business that wants to survive and thrive. However, instead of being prized as the lifeblood of success, it’s often either dismissed as a nebulous concept that …

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The 10 most head-swivelling Wimbledon matches in history

In Digital News, Events by Steve Harvey-Franklin

July 1st marks the start of Britain’s biggest annual sporting event – Wimbledon. This year’s tournament will see the return of British favourite Andy Murray following hip surgery – but will he be able to …

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So far so fantastic – 5 fab blogs from 2019’s first half

In Content, Digital News, Internal News by Steve Harvey-Franklin

As years go, 2019’s been a bit of a belter so far for Maratopia. We’re producing more quality content than ever to inform, entertain and guide you in all things digital and beyond. So since …

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The Open 2019 – 10 gob-smacking golfing moments from the championship’s past

In Digital News, Events by Steve Harvey-Franklin

  Golf is a global sport that boasts an array of glamorous and historic championships. But for many, The Open is still the greatest – and this year’s competition at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland …

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