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Customer understanding and marketing performance

The Client

3mil is a design agency based in Putney, SW London. Formed when three colleagues left their previous employer in late 2007, their ethos is Dedicated, effective proactive. They give their clients the best of both worlds – all the creativity, reliability and production capability of a big digital agency with the personal touch of a small agency.

Since their creation they have seen steady growth year on year with 18% growth last year. The three partners, Matt (the M of 3mil), Ian (the I) and Lorna (the L) have ambitious plans for the business that require at least 25% growth every year. SME Needs was asked to provide a Customer Understanding report and an analysis of their Marketing Performance after meeting one of the partners at a networking event

The Marketing Performance analysis revealed a key point

There is an unequal relationship between the percentage of opportunities from each marketing campaign and the percentage of revenue they generated. This suggests that higher value clients are being generated from personal contacts than, for example, BNI referrals.

The Customer Understanding piece identified the following, very positive, news for 3mil:

  • They have a very loyal customer base, with over 68% of their customers being repeat users
  • No client is more than 9% of revenue
  • No vertical sector provides more than 16% of revenue
  • They have five key sectors where they can generate a lot of marketing material for use in generating new business

What does this all mean?

Whilst the value of the BNI referrals is paying for the membership and is profitable, the opportunities should be monitored and maybe even rejected if there is a likelihood of the work not being profit generating. There is no point in doing the work if no money is made unless it is a specific activity designed to drive future revenue from that company or their contacts.
The company is well-protected from both individual client losses and from industry specific downturns due to the low dependencies identified
The partners are extremely good at generating new business through their network of contacts, but they just don’t do enough of it to generate the growth rates they want to


Since this work was done 3mil has moved forward significantly. The team has doubled as the work has flowed in.

What the client said

“ Nigel has given us at 3mil a great insight into our customer basis. With this information his skills are also enabling us to push our business to the next level. ”

Lorna Galvin
Co-founder, 3mil


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