My life experiences from the game of golf

January 27th, 2015 by Rory Dunlop


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Since I hit my teens I’ve spent the majority of my spare time playing golf. Most weekends and evenings after school, I walked 10 minutes up the road to my local golf course in Helen’s Bay, Northern Ireland, thinking about the first vital tee shot. A bit sad, I know, but there’s a real addiction with golf, and only those who play will fully appreciate it and understand!

Not only do I enjoy playing the game, but it’s also taught me valuable lessons in my day to day life. These lessons have stuck with me and helped me to become the person I am today – both in the professional world, and in a social sense.

One of the first lessons I learnt was to never stop learning. Golf never stops being an education, even for the McIlroys of the world. When I first came to Boutique 6 months ago, I was introduced to a world of continuous learning and development. I, of course, welcomed this culture with open arms, and have learnt an incredible amount throughout my time here, working on my ‘PPC handicap’ and becoming a better employee because of this.

Another big lesson golf has taught me is to take calculated risks. With the target of reaching the green, if you’ve got 250 yards of water to clear before it, then a sensible route to take would be another shot down the fairway, which will leave you a chip into the green. When it comes to PPC, keeping your end goal in mind, you might decide to target another set of keywords for a day in order to see how people respond to your ads, or just tweak tone and wording to see if it improves the CTR. At Boutique we’re encouraged to constantly update and refine PPC accounts, ensuring they’re always performing to the best of their ability. Without these calculated risks, our clients wouldn’t be in the strong positions they are in today.

Another lesson (which was also one of the most frustrating) on the course was to play it as it lies. Meaning: you don’t get to change your circumstances, so keep your head held high and make the best out of a bad situation. Sometimes your drive can go straight up the middle of the fairway, but once you get up there you suddenly find there’s a huge bit of mud stuck to the ball, or it’s wedged in a divot. At Boutique, we’re encouraged to hit the straight long drive, and despite the outcome, we’ve got to play the situation as it lies, making the most of it.

Finally, you’re taught that treating people nicely is part of the game of golf. Having the right etiquette is a must (both on the course and in the club house). If you can’t play by the rules and treat people fairly, then eventually you won’t have anyone to play with. This is echoed throughout Boutique, as since I’ve arrived all the staff have been wonderful and the culture is second to none.

The game of golf has taught me some really valuable lessons. I am now fortunate enough to apply these lessons to my working life and grow as a person here at Boutique. We work in a place where every single account we deal with is as important as the next, offering a Boutique experience to every client, ensuring both parties are always working towards the same goal. 

Client Wins for Boutique

January 27th, 2015 by Thomas Selby


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It’s been a great start to the year! With five new digital client wins already under our belt, and a large, full service client win soon to be announced, 2015 looks to be an extremely busy and hugely successful time for Boutique.

We’re delighted to announce that Fortune Frenzy, Beads Direct, Be Protected Insurance, Lawyers United and Oakam Personal Finance have all joined the Boutique family.

The scale of this achievement should not be underestimated; some of the accounts are significant, and were won through fighting off stiff competition from some of the country’s largest, digital-specific agencies. It’s clear that our quality service, personal approach and focused strategy are working well for us!

Over the last 12 months we’ve refined our ethos and how we position ourselves to prospective clients. This new positioning – as a strategy and implementation agency – helps us get across the point of thinking and doing better. Simply being cheaper no longer cuts it.

Another key driver for growth has been client selection. We take the time to carefully select the businesses we approach; each company has been picked because they fit our skills and experience and, most importantly, excite our employees.

We know we’re well positioned to help growing entrepreneurial businesses thrive. Our own growth, of 30% YoY for the last 4 consecutive years, is testament to that. In the past 6 months we have added 5 new members of staff, all recruited to support both our won growth and our ability to service our clients growing needs.

We’re expecting big things for 2015, for both ourselves and our clients. After all, with the success we’ve had so far, our bullish attitude and our successful collaborative business model, who wouldn’t?

Do I or don’t I?

January 27th, 2015 by Charley Downey


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The inevitable dilemma, people will come across this question at various stages in their lives. Of course, it’s not always a life or death situation – in fact, the majority of the time it’s a predicament that comes from somewhat trivial matters (for me, ‘Do I order a Chinese or should I eat this super healthy salad?’ is a regular occurrence). Sometimes, though, the infamous ‘Do I or don’t I?’ rears its head at more significant moments, such as moving house, changing jobs, or even selecting an agency. At these points in our lives, when a vital decision must be made, the question must be considered carefully – after all, the outcome is far more important than sweet and sour chicken vs. celery. Do I or don’t I?

For me, my most memorable dilemma happened a few years ago. Unlike some, I had no idea what career I wanted to pursue. I knew full well I didn’t want to go to university, but that was pretty much all I knew. This was in spite of the majority of my friends staying on at school and college, and several of my teachers advising me to do the same. After all, uni is the thing to ‘do’.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved school – I worked hard, I did well, and made a lot of great friends on the way. But while I understood the importance of getting an education, I wanted to go to work. For me, the ‘Do I or don’t I?’ decision was made easily this time: I wanted a change, and I risked it. To this day, it’s the bloody best decision I’ve ever made. I was faced with a choice, I went with my heart, took a chance, and escaped my comfort zone. And it was worth the risk.

My point being, it can be incredibly easy to follow the path that’s dictated to you, whether it be by friends, teachers, or society in general. However, this road can often be the complete opposite of what we really want. I believe in taking gut feelings seriously, and trusting the natural instincts that we possess.

Whether you’re a person or a business, gut instincts and risk taking are the way to go. It’s far too easy to sit back in your comfort zone, making choices based on an ‘It’s always been done this way’ mind-set. But where’s the fun in that? Sure, you may witness some success with the safe choice, but it can’t match up to the triumph of taking a risk and unravelling your full potential. It’s far more worthwhile to say ‘Sod it’ and give it a go. After all, if the whole thing goes belly up, at least you can say you’ve tried.

You’re probably wondering where I’m actually going with this… Well, at Boutique we’re pretty fond of the theory. When we’re faced with the ‘Do I or don’t I?’ dilemma, we go with our gut. We like bigger targets, new ideas, making changes and taking risks. Of course, we also believe that if something ain’t broke don’t fix it, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep pushing for more results.

My life experiences from the game of golf

January 27th, 2015 by Rory Dunlop


iStock_000033230524_Largeruijty

Since I hit my teens I’ve spent the majority of my spare time playing golf. Most weekends and evenings after school, I walked 10 minutes up the road to my local golf course in Helen’s Bay, Northern Ireland, thinking about the first vital tee shot. A bit sad, I know, but there’s a real addiction with golf, and only those who play will fully appreciate it and understand!

Not only do I enjoy playing the game, but it’s also taught me valuable lessons in my day to day life. These lessons have stuck with me and helped me to become the person I am today – both in the professional world, and in a social sense.

One of the first lessons I learnt was to never stop learning. Golf never stops being an education, even for the McIlroys of the world. When I first came to Boutique 6 months ago, I was introduced to a world of continuous learning and development. I, of course, welcomed this culture with open arms, and have learnt an incredible amount throughout my time here, working on my ‘PPC handicap’ and becoming a better employee because of this.

Another big lesson golf has taught me is to take calculated risks. With the target of reaching the green, if you’ve got 250 yards of water to clear before it, then a sensible route to take would be another shot down the fairway, which will leave you a chip into the green. When it comes to PPC, keeping your end goal in mind, you might decide to target another set of keywords for a day in order to see how people respond to your ads, or just tweak tone and wording to see if it improves the CTR. At Boutique we’re encouraged to constantly update and refine PPC accounts, ensuring they’re always performing to the best of their ability. Without these calculated risks, our clients wouldn’t be in the strong positions they are in today.

Another lesson (which was also one of the most frustrating) on the course was to play it as it lies. Meaning: you don’t get to change your circumstances, so keep your head held high and make the best out of a bad situation. Sometimes your drive can go straight up the middle of the fairway, but once you get up there you suddenly find there’s a huge bit of mud stuck to the ball, or it’s wedged in a divot. At Boutique, we’re encouraged to hit the straight long drive, and despite the outcome, we’ve got to play the situation as it lies, making the most of it.

Finally, you’re taught that treating people nicely is part of the game of golf. Having the right etiquette is a must (both on the course and in the club house). If you can’t play by the rules and treat people fairly, then eventually you won’t have anyone to play with. This is echoed throughout Boutique, as since I’ve arrived all the staff have been wonderful and the culture is second to none.

The game of golf has taught me some really valuable lessons. I am now fortunate enough to apply these lessons to my working life and grow as a person here at Boutique. We work in a place where every single account we deal with is as important as the next, offering aBoutique experience to every client, ensuring both parties are always working towards the same goal.