The apprentice is a show that many of us welcome back onto our TV screens year after year. The usual array of mouthy, over confident contestants (some hopefully with talent) inevitably makes good viewing.
Over the years we have watched the show produce inventors, recruiters, cosmetic surgeons and now a digital marketing agency.
Not the obvious choice, in my opinion, as I felt Bianca Miller (the other contestant, wanting to get into hosiery of different colour shades – for those of you who haven’t been watching!) has spotted a significant gap in the market. Initially Mark Wright’s SEO agency seemed to be much of a muchness – why do something that has been done and is being done my numerous successful companies when you can enter a giant market with a unique product?
However, whilst a SEO business might not be revolutionary, Mark Wright clearly knows his market – even gaining an initial sale whilst doing market research for his final pitch. What many of the commentators of the programme have failed to take into consideration is the fact that Wright is targeting small to medium sized business, not the larger ones who already have a digital marketing agency on the books. He has found his own gap in the market, centred on the fact that smaller businesses are currently being side-lined and under serviced.
But is his business model achievable? His offer of ‘great customer service’ being his differentiator, a face-to-face meeting with an Account Manager once a month – sounds easily attainable. It is actually shocking that companies spending £3k a month are not getting this level of attention at present. However, the problems start when smaller businesses who cannot afford that level of committed expenditure come on board, will he be able to justify the cost of service? Is the business just a cash sink attracting low margin, high admin, unscalable service revenues?
Time is and will always be money.
Mark Wright is a star and should be applauded on being a man who knows what he wants, knows his market and can produce some great one liners… but this viewer suspects the Climb Online experience will never become greater than the Mark Wright experience unless it takes a very different, non-standardised approach to service, customer choice, or both.
Lord Sugar should have made Mark Wright his apprentice and not his business partner.
– Hannah is a Digital Producer at Copper who do also offer services similar to those offered by Climb Online, except better, obviously.
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Hannah is a Digital Producer at Copper.