A digital marketing consultancy hit by the full force of Covid 19, is now showcasing its skills to the world, thanks to a grant from Open North Foundation.

Headland Marketing, formed in 2014, was experiencing substantial year-on-year growth prior to the pandemic with a growing range of clients including travel agents, hotels, restaurants and dentists.

The company, which specialises in pay-per-click and paid search, was on the cusp of employing more staff when the country went in to lockdown.

Owner, Kris Headland, learned that Open North Foundation was calling for applicants for its Covid recovery grants on the North Tyneside Business Forum website and put forward his case for funding. The application was considered by a panel and Headland Marketing was awarded £2,000 towards the design and production of a new website.

Open North Foundation, which was established in July 2020, is a direct response from the business community in the North East to provide financial and in-kind support to small businesses in the region directly hit by the pandemic. It relies on the generosity of companies and organisations in the region to provide donations and has a structure of a board of directors, ambassadors and supporters, all of whom provide their services free of charge.

Kris, said: “While many digital companies have grown through the pandemic, we were one of those that were badly hit purely due to the type of clients that we worked for. Those in the hospitality and tourism sectors stopped trading over night and so did all the dentist practices that we represented. Then, there were those clients that saw their turnover go through the roof in a matter of weeks and did not require our services as they could not cope with the demand. It was like a double whammy and we just had to knuckle down and look after the clients that needed our support.

“We are now in the process of rebuilding the company and have been fortunate enough to take on some great new clients so quickly after emerging from the pandemic, meaning we are now in a position to start recruiting again.”

Indeed, the company has welcomed a new member of staff to its digital design team following new business wins over the last few weeks.

Kris continues: “We are at the stage now where we are looking to the future with optimism and the grant received from Open North Foundation is really important as it will allow us to produce a new website, and assist us to show to the world the expertise and high levels of service we provide to our clients.”

Paul Barron, an Open North Foundation ambassador, who presented Kris with the cheque, said: “There are a vast number of exceptional small businesses in the North East that support the wider sector and are vital to its growth. They provide innovation, specialism and expertise that is on par with and often better than can be found anywhere in the UK. Headland Marketing is one such company. It is a fantastic business that understands its clients very well and did not deserve to be so badly hit by the pandemic. However, it has survived and the Open North Foundation believes that it now has every chance to thrive and to bring in new staff. We wish Kris and the team all the very best for the future.”

Headland Marketing delivers a results-driven and collaborative approach to digital marketing, spanning a range of online services. You can find out more about the services offered by Headland Marketing here.