David Lloyd is the Managing Director of Naked Marketing. With a whopping 20+ years’ experience in the creative industry Dave is a design powerhouse. On top of producing brief crushing work for clients of all shapes and sizes, Dave co-leads Naked’s Creative Team and manages the studio. Oh, and he’s the business’s co-founder, without him they quite literally wouldn’t be Naked. 

Here, David shares the secrets to his success running a creative marketing agency set to celebrate their 20th anniversary in business…

Tell us about your career journey to date?  

As a child I loved to draw which as I got older, growing up in the 80’s, developed into a fascination with movie posters and album covers. This appreciation for art and design had an enduring impact on me. GCSE design communication is where I was introduced to a broad range of graphics and I continued to further my knowledge by studying Graphic Design at Lincoln. 

I took my creative skills into marketing in 1999 fulfilling the role of Graphic Designer at various agencies for 3 years. Having experienced how an agency works, it wasn’t long before I wanted to come away from the fancy exterior and decided to build my own agency focused on simple, straight to the point marketing. I Co-founded Naked and became Creative Director in 2002 and after dedicating 18 years to the role became Managing Director in 2020. 

Can you tell us more about Naked Marketing? 

At Naked, we aim to get past the fluff that often clouds the industry, and straight to what clients want to achieve. Naked has its own unique manifesto that it provides to clients, stating the values and promises in a characteristically candid and humorous way. We’ve also got our beloved mascot, Naked Steve! The manifesto has been designed to spell out how we have built a team of people who care, always to take full responsibility, provide flexible contracts and commit to direct communication.  

What has been your biggest challenge as Managing Director?   

During the pandemic, Naked were able to predict and meet their clients’ needs as marketing trends rapidly changed and evolved. I took on the role of Managing Director just as Covid-19 hit so as well as leading my team through the uncertainties and working from home, we also had to respond to market demand, ensuring that however the outside world changed, we were still able to provide the same clear, straight-forward and personalised solutions. 

What has been your biggest success?  

Naked Marketing reaching its milestone 20th anniversary in business is a very proud moment. We have transitioned as an agency and have built a team where we can fulfil the needs of our clients through honest, simple and inspiring work. That said, being able to help small to medium size businesses achieve their desired outcomes is all the validation we need; their success is our success. To be able to say we have worked with some of our clients since our inception is a testament to the long-term relationships we pride ourselves on creating.  

Congratulations to Naked Marketing celebrating its 20th anniversary this year – can you share your biggest lessons over the past two decades? 

Across the years we have learnt what works and what doesn’t; we have continued to evolve and diversify our offering. We have utilised technology and social media to grow the business, building a small, but senior team. Getting the foundations right has been essential and now we have got all bases covered, we’re ready to grow, but at an incremental rate.  

What distinguishes Naked Marketing from other marketing agencies?  

Working with small to medium size businesses across a range of sectors, we have found our plain speaking, no jargon approach has allowed us to build relationships with our clients and really understand their needs from the offset. We always work in partnership with our clients, rather than being simply a supplier and this enables us to build deeper, more trusting relationships.  

What is in store for Naked Marketing in the future? 

The future is certainly bright for the Naked team! Our vision for the future is to help more businesses develop and execute successful marketing strategies which navigate them towards where they aim to be in terms of client base and sales. 

We also want to become better known for our expertise in branding; over the years we’ve helped many businesses to develop authentic branding which really communicates the core values of who they are and what they do.  

Finally, what tips would you give small business owners looking to develop their marketing strategies? 

It is essential to begin with a discovery session which can take the form of staff workshops or client interviews. Asking questions in the early stages is critical as they will lead you to discover what you are good at along with the bad. In doing so, you will find gaps in the market.  

Use these findings to begin defining who you are and your purpose, what do you want to be known for and how you differentiate from other businesses out there which will bring your story and product to life. 

This will lead you to develop your marketing strategies which align with your core values, as well as branding content, images and marketing materials which will reflect your business, as ultimately, this is what people will recognise you for.