Manchester brothers launch business-first for the North

Creative Industries | Growth | North West | Start-up
Russell (left) and Gareth Oakley, GO!
L to R: Russell and Gareth Oakley

Brothers Gareth and Russell Oakley have officially launched GO! – a business first for the North.

GO! is an intermediary consultancy business working on behalf of both brands and agencies – across all industries and communication specialisms – to align their needs.

Gareth commented: “The way brands work with agencies has significantly shifted in recent times. Brand leaders are under more scrutiny and faced with more choice than ever before. Plus, quality agencies are getting left behind or struggling in this increasingly saturated market.”

“Ultimately, I was finding that brands focusing on high growth and disturbing their market were becoming increasingly frustrated by the traditional agency model and fundamental breakdowns in relationships were forming. Yet, when I asked key stakeholders why they weren’t making a change, their response was either that they couldn’t cut through the noise so didn’t know where to start, or they simply didn’t have the time to invest in the process.”

Gareth’s background as a senior figure in the northern marketing & digital arena brings a significant understanding of the effective intermediary, whilst Russell’s experience spans over 10 years working for leading agencies.

Russell added: “From an agency perspective, I worked with leading intermediaries in London and found they added obvious value to the process. So, when I moved back to Manchester, I was astounded that there wasn’t a single intermediary operating outside of London. It struck me as a glaring gap in the market and a great opportunity to evolve the traditional intermediary model.”

So, the brothers developed a model which offered a new way of working to both parties. A solution that would give companies access to a network of best in class agencies, providing an extensive range of expertise to directly suit the needs of the brand and channels.

“The model works because we really put the time and care into truly understanding the challenges each organisation faces and what they look for in agency partners. We then align these requirements with the expertise, culture and personality of the agencies in the GO! network, which results in a connection that strives to generate mutual success and profitability on both sides.” said Russell.

Having taken the time to refine the model and service their initial clients, GO! have now officially launched their business with a brand new website, a big recruitment drive, as well as an office move at the end of this month, taking their growing team to larger premises in central Manchester.

On gleaning that there is a mass appeal for their business model, GO! have now extended their presence throughout the UK, and represent some 65 agencies across Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool. They have secured high-profile brand partnerships with companies such as Levi’s, AO, Match.com and Betfred and have placed over £8m of briefs to their agencies to date.

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