We recently spoke to our friend, partner, and long-time collaborator, Guy Utley, over at Tall Agency to dig a little deeper into our joint projects. Tall are a digital agency based in Leeds, they help brands and businesses to survive and thrive in an ever-changing world. They use a digital approach to plan, create, and manage brand projects – and have used MuddyWellies to help streamline that journey on a few occasions now.
Let’s get stuck in.
How do you know MuddyWellies?
Well, I’ve known Lee for around 15 years now. We’ve worked together on many different projects, often alongside Vicky too. We’ve completed projects in and around brand vision, new brand development, and into the digitisation of the brand world – always with lots of success.
So why, as a successful, decent-sized agency owner, would you choose to work with another agency?
The Tall business model has always to focus on what we’re good at. We’re a digital marketing agency and we’ve never claimed to be, nor will we ever be, a full-blown service agency. We’ve always used great partners and freelancers, and we keep a core team that’s fairly senior and strategic. So, that’s what we’ve always committed to – using partners that are specialists in their area when we don’t have those skills in-house.
The work we do with MuddyWellies always fits in at the start of any project. We work with brands that are trying to figure out who they are, and what their mission/vision is. They usually need a bit of help solidifying what they probably already know, and what they need to get together to make it known.
Of course, we could probably employ these people and skills in-house, but there are so many different journeys that we go on with clients that we would end up having to employ so many people – and that just doesn’t match our business model.
So, working with Lee, Vicky, and the wellies, we get to bring in the specialism we need, when we need it. They complete their part to the standard that we need, so we can just pick it up from there and focus on the areas of the project that we normally would.
Do you have a recent example of a project where our work benefitted yours?
A typical project would involve being approached by a client that already knows there are a few areas in their digital ecosystem that need improvement. We usually need to reassess the situation in order to find out what it is that the client needs to communicate, are they communicating it properly? Are they focusing on what their customers or clients need? Sometimes, we’ll find that the foundations are solid, that we’re good to go ahead with the project.
We recently worked with a national gap insurance company that had a good history, a sound business model, and a great reputation, but everything was a little bit dated and needed a refresh. So, rather than my team just jumping right into the website project, we looked at areas within the business where they needed to take that step back. We had to look at whether the business was saying the right thing. And, as it turned out, the people within the business had a good view of what they were, what the business was all about, and how they wanted to communicate… they just hadn’t got that down into an actionable plan. That’s where the MuddyWellies way worked for us, they came in and helped to bring that out of them, got it organised, and turned it into something we could take into the digital side of the project.
If you hadn’t done that, would you have taken a different route? Did MuddyWellies help with how far you needed to push it?
If MuddyWellies hadn’t been involved, the honest answer is that we would have got there in the end. From previous experience, whilst the client may say they know what they need to do and understand their business, a lot of the time that trickles out of the project – and out of the business. Then often we find ourselves taking two steps forward and three steps back, as we start to unearth things throughout the project that we should have known from the start.
The benefit of MuddyWellies is that they get a grip of the ideas, the personalities, and a real feel for every business in the beginning, so we’ve got that solid foundation to start the project with. With everything documented and agreed with the client, we’re confident that things aren’t going to change and slow the project down. Because it can often be a lot more painful.
If you had to sum up why other agencies should consider MuddyWellies, what would you say?
I understand the nervousness and risk around introducing another agency to the mix. You’ll ask yourself; does it overcomplicate the process? Does it give more management work to the client? Will the partnership let you down? You don’t want that when it’s your recommendation. Of course, this kind of thing will cross people’s minds.
But we’ve worked with MuddyWellies long enough to know that they work to the same standard as us, in a similar way to us – with good values and a strong work ethic. They’re very likeable and easy to work with. Clients may be a bit wary in the first instance of meeting an external agency, but once they’ve spoken with Lee and Vicky for just a few minutes, it’s easy to understand why they are involved and why they need to know more about the business.
I’d say the main benefit is speed of delivery. MuddyWellies focus on that particular part of the client journey – and have the experience, methods, and exercises that they’ve used for many years. They’ve streamlined what they offer and have cherrypicked the best of the best when it comes to their workshops. So, it’s the smoothest route for the client, they can get the results in a short timeline and get the results you really need. And that means you, as the agency, will have more time to focus on the bigger picture.
Can you describe the wellies in 3 words?
Approachable, honest, and hard-working.
Well, we have to thank Guy for those kind words – and echo his point that you shouldn’t be afraid to bring in an external agency if don’t have the skillset you need in-house. Our journey is tailored to suit the needs of your business or client, so you can bring us in to deliver that stage quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively – giving you the best starting point for any project. We’re an agency too, after all, and we’re used to asking the right questions. You can trust that we understand your concerns about recommendations and introductions – we’re just here to make you look even better and cut timelines in half.
So, whatever you need us for – brand impact, talent attraction, employee engagement, or purpose defining – we’re ready to get stuck in with you. You can book in for a quick chat with the wellies here.