56. Distract Ltd
With 50 clients, this Lincoln-based digital marketing agency claims to be the fastest growing of its kind in the East Midlands
Founder: Peter Watson and Bradley McKenny
Founded: July 2015
Whilst studying marketing at university, Peter Watson was baffled at the lack of focus on digital marketing on his course:
“Our university course didn’t touch on digital marketing and traditional marketers seemed to act as if nothing had changed. It was almost frustrating to see businesses ignoring social media.”
Watson had been involved in marketing since the age of 16 after honing his skills in social media, Google Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and email marketing while working for an events company in the football industry.
This experience had given him an in-depth knowledge of the medium and he joined forces with co-founder Bradley McKenny to come up with a winning business idea.
With McKenny, who has previously “made a killing though affiliate networks”, the pair started their business Distract in July 2015.
Buoyed by a young team (23 is the average age), Distract specialises in performance marketing and creative social media, with clients paying a fixed fee each month.
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It has amassed a diverse range of almost 50 clients since launch including a growing tea brand, one of the largest accountancy companies in the Midlands, a major regional law firm, and a leading marshmallow brand.
Started while they were still at university with £5,000 from their previous businesses, the pair are evangelists for student entrepreneurship: “You’re in a supportive environment where you can easily meet experts in any number of fields, you’ve got a roof over your head and a big loan that covers your living costs.”
And the duo evidence just what can be achieved as young entrepreneurs with Distract said to be the “fastest growing” digital agency in the East Midlands.
Looking to the future, plans are in place to expand beyond its Lincolnshire boundaries and launch its first internal brand – we can’t to see what Distract does next.