Approach | The Proper Marketing Agency | ...Gasp!

Research, strategy & tactics

Always in that order.

...Gasp! is independent, media-neutral & family-run

and we believe in “proper marketing”

Marketing is a process. It’s not our process. It’s the process. Best defined, as it was originally, by Neil McElroy when he penned what’s affectionally known as “McElroy’s Memo”. And it’s as relevant today as it ever has been.

To paraphrase (and with a very deliberate nod to Professor Ritson):



Go into the field. Understand the market. Create the map. Research, diagnose and understand.



(Segment), Target and Brand Position. Develop Distinctive Assets. Build a strategy. And plan specific and actionable objectives.



Objective selection of tactics that most effectively achieve the set objectives. Run tactics, review and return to 1.

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Failure to follow this has contributed to Marketing losing its seat in the Boardroom. We’ll get it back. The key is these stages are multiplicative. Screw up one and you screw up everything. You can’t make up for bad diagnosis with good strategy. So, before your inner marketing-magpie takes over (we all have this), and you fall for the latest shiny tactic on the block, give us a call and let’s do this properly.

If all you have is a hammer


Key issues are nearly always Strategic. The challenges you face are no different, and success lies in Targeting, Brand Positioning, and ultimately identifying the right tools to deliver against your Strategy and Objectives.

In order to ensure we deliver success, our process would include the three fundamental stages crucial to any solid marketing plan; Research, Strategy and Tactics. The first two stages decide and define who we are targeting, and who we aren’t targeting.

This then informs which tactics to deploy, be it advertising, email, outdoor, VR and/or something else. So, in the same way we wouldn’t see a dentist for a twisted ankle, we can be sure that we identify the most efficient and effective media/channels to deploy.

From retail to telecoms to consumer to business, our timeless approach works...

They say:

“(Gasp is) too revolutionary for The Church of England”

Marketing Manager, The Church of England

“An agency should act less like your nan saying, ‘yes dear’ to everything and more like a personal trainer; someone who challenges you, takes you out of your comfort zone and gets results - we'll do that.”

Giles Edwards, Founder of ...Gasp!

Approach adverts times square
Approach gio compario


Depending on where you live and work, you’re exposed to around 5,000 adverts per day (a mix of visual and audio). How many do you recall from yesterday? This quick, crude, thought experiment highlights the scale of wasted budget.

What we know, is that 4% of advertising and marketing comms are remembered positively and 7% are remembered negatively. These are both effective outcomes; it doesn’t matter if the consumer ‘likes’ your ads (do you like this parachute?), it just needs to work.

The scale of the problem is the 89% that isn’t remembered at all. That means that of the £22bn reportedly spent in UK advertising in 2019, £19.5bn died a quick death.

Getting noticed in the sea of sameness is the first hurdle. Without impact, it doesn’t matter what you subsequently communicate; it’s entirely redundant. The first job of advertising is to get noticed. Gasp has left golf balls in people’s gardens, laid down rain-activated ads in the streets of major cities and sent screwed-up pieces of paper in the post. We can get you noticed.

Approach coca cola brand
Approach sales activation


Marketing, in m̶a̶n̶y̶ very few ways, is like horticulture. You need to water the tree to harvest the fruit. Of course, we do the former in order to enjoy the latter as without it, the fruit would soon disappear.

And so it is with brand building and (sales) activation. One is long-term, and the other is short. Les Binet and Peter Field have over a decade’s worth of data, research and evidence which demonstrates that brand building is essential for creating mental brand equity across a broad reach, making customers less price sensitive and ultimately generating long-term sales growth.

The tools at a marketer’s disposal have never seemingly looked so sharp for activation. And the pressures we are all under for immediate results are significant. But don't let that deceive you; whilst the ideal "Binet Balance" is approximately 60/40 (Long/Short), it varies by product type and strategic objectives.

Crucially, we need to recognise that there isn't a long OR short answer, there is only an AND.