Interview: Julian Duncan, director, Big Picture’s vision

FMBE noticed quite a bit of versatility coming along the grapevine from agency Big Picture. So, we posed some catch up questions to agency director Julian Duncan.   

1. How has life progressed at Big Picture since Covid?

Whilst the pandemic brought many challenges, it also brought more opportunities to grow our services across virtual and digital platforms. Since then, these services have become a staple part of the day-to-day client business. This unprecedented growth has given us the opportunity to invest in developing existing staff and hiring new talent. As many of our clients experienced headcount losses through Covid, they needed more support to ‘keep the lights on’. In addition, we have significantly grown our international operation recruiting over 20 new staff.

  1. How do you see the current state of the FMBE industry? Is it one of opportunity or threat to you or your clients?

The industry has needed to diversify in its approach to customer engagement as the retail environment changes. Those agencies and manufacturers who have embraced this will continue to find new opportunities and routes to market. The received wisdom on the future of retail seems to change daily, so flexibility and contingency planning will be the surest way to ensure we can continue to support our clients, whatever the future holds. We believe that our field teams who provide the more traditional face to face experiences are also best placed to deliver the virtual ones as well. This way we can ensure that as the needs of the market change, we will always have skilled resource to support it.

  1. What were the landmarks successes for Big Picture in the last 12 months?

The growth of our B2B commercial teams working across the globe is something we are very proud of. To be able to support every segment from consumer all the way to large enterprise demonstrates the scalability of our solutions. We have also begun a world-wide roll-out of an online Learning Management System after a successful pilot, allowing us to influence product training and sales engagement to a global market. But success is measured not only by the new clients who join us, but the existing ones who see us as an extension of their core team and not as an external agency.

  1. How would you like the agency to have shown its progress in 12 months time?

Whilst we have made many advances in our hybrid service model, there are still many solutions our current and future clients would benefit from. Growth in digital or face to face activities on their own would be somewhat successful. But growth in the number of clients to take both as a way of being able to scale up and down as required, would benefit both the client’s ROI and the future of the amazing teams we support and develop. Big Picture has always been driven by data, so we have developed some powerful data management and analysis tools using the PowerApps and PowerBI platforms which are now being used by clients globally. The key to success is utilising all the services we provide to ensure we are providing all our clients with the best solution given the changing landscape.

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