Fuel for business

AT COAL WE MAKE BETTER ADVERTISING, BY MAKING ADVERTISING BETTER.

We keep things simple. In our opinion that the quality and effectiveness of advertising in general isn’t good enough. The way businesses work with agencies and the way that agencies organise themselves and develop work needs to improve. 

It’s hardly surprising that marketing departments and agencies find themselves increasingly viewed with suspicion by CEOs, CFOs, boardrooms and businesses.

So how do we get out of this mess and return to the single-minded purpose of adding value to a client’s business with creativity? We need to challenge everything again. 

At first glance, it might seem that an awful lot needs to change. But in reality, most of it starts with simplification. An injection of common sense and a commitment to deliver what is important to the customer.

COAL focus on the real reason businesses come to agencies in the first place to get smart creative thinking and advertising craft that helps them achieve their business goals.

COAL are organised around this single focus. We are building an agency that provides the best working environment to allow smart and ambitious marketing and advertising people to come up with the strongest possible solutions for our clients business.

COAL are building a future where the customer might again have reason to feel valued. A future where business understands the impact of good marketing and the important role it plays in fuelling businesses growth.

 
$50,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2008
Show all +
Birmingham, United Kingdom
headquarters
  • Unit 319 Zellig, Gibb Street
    Birmingham B9 4AT
    United Kingdom
other locations

Reviews

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Social Media Marketing for Dental Practice

“They're excited about their projects, and I'm in awe of what they do.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Less than $10,000
 
2018 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

COAL helped improve the social media presence and branding assets for a dental practice. They created content for Facebook and Instagram to present available services in a fresh, modern way.

The Reviewer
 
11-50
 
United Kingdom
Manager, Karadent Limited
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The brand sees considerable increases to traffic and inquiries, and its Instagram account has over 500 followers. COAL thinks outside the box and offers dynamic, professional solutions. They offer strong online support and are always available to answer questions.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm a manager of a dental practice. We specialize in implants, facial and aesthetic dentistry.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with COAL?

We wanted to improve our social media presence and to update our branding.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They create content and manage our accounts on Facebook and Instagram. Through an app they provided, I can respond to follower comments on both platforms. They take videos of client testimonials, and help us present our services and what modern dentistry can offer. They also designed our logo and other branding assets.

How did you come to work with COAL?

I researched companies that could provide the services we needed. They were an exciting, young company, and I felt they would be a good fit.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent £5,000 (approximately $6,100 USD) on the video filming. The total cost is higher.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in 2018, and the project is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We've seen a considerable increase in traffic. This Monday alone, we had thirty inquiries and questions. We have more than 500 Instagram followers, and their work is generating quite a buzz among current and potential clients.

How did COAL perform from a project management standpoint?

From conception to delivery, they were available to talk at any time. Most of our communication is through email, phone, texting, Skype, and WhatsApp. They gathered lots of ideas, and I found them to be excellent in every way. They also offer amazing online support.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They're a great company. They think outside the box and are very dynamic, passionate, and professional. They're excited about their projects, and I'm in awe of what they do.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I've had no problems at all.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Video Production for Utility Company

"They made us a priority, impressing engineers on our team with high standards."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
2018
Project summary: 

COAL produced a video for an Irish company, consolidating technical data and information into a 90-second animated film. The final product is both engineering-centric and understandable for the public.

The Reviewer
 
201 - 500 Employees
 
Dublin, Ireland
Senior Communications Specialist, Utility Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The team produced an engaging video, garnering over 400,000 views to date. The product has been praised internally and externally, impressing stakeholders with high expectations. Dedicating project masters to daily workflow, they delivered on time, working extra hours to meet crucial deadlines.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I own a UK-based PR agency, but equally, I’m a consultant for a company in Ireland, where I serve as one of their senior communications specialists. I’ve worked with COAL wearing both hats.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with COAL?

In my consulting job, we deal with technical, engineering-focused information. We needed someone to communicate technical information in a basic, simple way that users could easily understand.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We sat down for a brainstorming session and came up with a plan to communicate how much turning off electrical equipment at certain hours of the day could be financially helpful to the Irish public. There were several requirements for COAL because we had to communicate results using data from across the country. Primarily, we had to convey the data clearly. But, we also had to put it into context, so people could understand its impact in their everyday lives. It needed to strike a balance between being technically impactful and easy to understand.

They came up with an animated film that explained the project, how it benefited the consumer, and how it tied in with both climate change and decarbonization. Equally, it conveyed what viewers could do independently to make a positive impact both on the environment and for themselves financially. The final product was about 90 seconds long. 

What is the team composition?

l worked with two of their founders, one who functioned as an account director. There were about 4–5 teammates that I interacted with. 

How did you come to work with COAL?

A number of people I know have worked with their owner and highly recommended him. We did a three-part tender for the work. From there, I recommended that we use them.

How much have you invested with them?

While specific spending numbers are confidential, COAL was about $8,000 south of the next most cost-effective competitor. 

What is the status of this engagement?

We started and completed the project in 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We had just north of 400,000 views on this video, which was impressive considering the technical nature of the content. They provided a pleasing piece of work that was praised by both engineers and those without a technical background. It certainly satisfied both appetites through animation and video. 

How did COAL perform from a project management standpoint?

We were on time and on budget. They designated a couple of project masters to the effort, and everyone was able to get updates through Basecamp. There were a few times I thought we might run over on time, but they came through. Everything balanced itself quite nicely, and we were able to provide the engineers with what they needed. The account director and co-founder made a point to be very involved, and it was great to have that level of seniority on the project.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Most service providers leave the office at the end of the workday, even when there’s still work to be done. When we were falling behind, COAL made up for it by working extra hours. When there was work that needed to be done, they took care of it. They made us a priority, impressing engineers on our team with high standards. 

Are there any areas they could improve?

I’d love it if they preemptively answered questions that the customer might ask. That way, by the time it gets to me, there are no answers required. That would lead to the perfect scenario.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

My point of contact was the owner. When you have that level of seniority, it's worth paying a little bit extra to have their involvement.

 

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We fell behind a few times, but they were willing to catch us up.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They were much cheaper than their nearest competitor.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Nobody could fault the work that was delivered—it was very special.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve recommended them to people already.

Branding & Marketing for Leasing Company

"The level of service we get allows us to punch above our weight and our budget."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Nov. 2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Bareface functions as an external marketing department. Their work, after beginning with creating a new brand, now centers around SEO, social media marketing, and email marketing.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Telford, United Kingdom
James Godfrey
Managing Director, Lease Loop
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The team’s efforts have produced first-page rankings on Google searches, and they drive significant traffic to the website. Bareface offers a bespoke marketing solution that is well suited for the needs of a small business. They are highly personal, responsive, and understandings.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the owner of Lease Loop. We specialize in the leasing of Apple equipment to UK businesses.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Bareface?

We needed to launch the business. We knew what we wanted to do as a business, but Bareface needed to develop a name, a brand, a website, and a digital marketing plan. Their work needed to allow us to go from a concept to launching to creating a sustainable business.

We're a company of two people, so Bareface is our marketing department.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We started completely from scratch, and they provided every aspect of our brand. That included a name and brand guidelines at the beginning of our engagement. Absolutely everything you can think of, they've done for us.

Their work in marketing has included email marketing campaigns. As part of their monthly retainer, they now make sure that we have a really good SEO presence, and they were exceptional at getting us onto the first page is Google really, really quickly. They also manage our social media profiles, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Over the last two years, we've tried various social media campaigns, predominantly advertising on Twitter and Facebook. They have also done re-marketing. When people visit our site and then other sites, such as Yahoo, Google, or YouTube, people see are re-marketing campaigns there as well.

Bareface also built our website. We provided the content for the website, and we worked very closely with them. One of Bareface's strengths is that they make you feel that you can get your point of view and preference across. Their team tells you technically what is required, but you are actually giving a voice around the table. I think it is really important that you're proud of your website and that it reflects your brand. Bareface takes that brief and turns it into something that achieves all of the objectives.

The website was a bespoke-designed platform, but parts of it use WordPress.

I have also used Bareface for print work at times, but our focus is mainly on digital marketing. However, they have produced some banners and leaflets for exhibitions

How did you come to work with Bareface?

I knew Bareface through a previous employment when they were clients of mine. I worked closely with them, and they became friends. When I when I wanted to form Lease Loop, they were the first people I contacted. I didn't consider any other companies at the time.

How much have you invested with them?

We've spent around £50,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

I started working with them when I started Lease Loop in November 2014. The work is ongoing, and we pay a monthly retainer. We've also just commissioned a new website in order to move with the times.

In fact, we get really complacent in checking what they're doing, because it works. For a small business, it's great to have confidence in a company that you can trust to have your back. It's like having our own in-house marketing team.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We're on the first page of Google searches, and that happened really quickly. That suggests their SEO work is effective. We get most of our orders through the traffic they drive to our website, which is based on the fortnightly content and blog articles.

We've had mixed results on Twitter and Facebook ads. We were attracting the wrong type of people for our demographic. However, we get a decent amount of incoming inquiries each month.

How did Bareface perform from a project management standpoint?

Bareface has given us a bespoke solution suited to our own needs. We're not trying to employ thousands of people and take over the world. I know they've got some big clients, but they're also working with a business like ours. They are focused on our needs as much as anybody else's.

They're really good in project management. I think, like any modern business, the only change comes when they have a change of personnel. When that happens, they're always very quick to identify the right people to step in.

I'm very fortunate because I've known them since they are quite small, and I've got a good relationship with the directors. If I need to, I always feel like I can call them and go right to the very top if that's ever required. However, I've always had complete confidence in the account managers that have been assigned. If I ever go to those top guys, it's because we've done something wrong rather than the other way around.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They understand that we're a new business. They supported us. The level of service we get allows us to punch above our weight and our budget, because they give us so much value.

If we were a little pinched for cash for one month, there was nobody chasing an invoice. They understand that business is a real world environment, and it's about relationships. It's not only their technical ability, but the human side of the relationship as well. They're very good at that.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Our knowledge of what is required in the modern-day marketing environment is largely driven by Bareface. Whenever they tell us what we need to do, they probably don't realize how much we rely on them. Our knowledge is very much driven by what they tell us, so I don't think there is anything they could improve. To be honest, we are delighted with them.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    In creative aspects, deadlines are hard to hit, but in terms of day-to-day work, they're exception.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Without question, the level of service we get far outweighs how much we pay.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We trust them implicitly. As an agency, they're constantly evolving and getting better, and they lead us as to what we need to do.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I refer them all the time.