Shaken & Stirred - Influential Brand Profiling and Positioning

Simon Ward, CEO of Inspired Thinking Group wins the Business Entrepreneur of the Year title

Simon Ward, CEO of Inspired Thinking Group, has beaten off competition from business leaders across every sector to win the  Business Entrepreneur of the Year title at the 2016 Birmingham Post Business Awards.

In the same awards, Inspired Thinking Group, which provides marketing technology and services to major international brands and retailers, was chosen as a Finalist in the Company of the Year category.

Simon Ward, who was last year named EY Midlands Entrepreneur of the Year, said: “This is the culmination of a fantastic year for us. We have taken on 200 more employees, launched our STATUS technology, which gives real-time reporting to companies on every aspect of their marketing operation, and acquired a world-class data-driven eCRM company, ITG Creator.

“The award recognises marketing as a major driving force in business success. It acknowledges the huge changes that are taking place in the industry and the significance of the technology and services required to match them.”

Founded in 2009 with only seven employees, the full-service marketing group now employs over 540 staff across multiple marketing and technology disciplines, and has increased its turnover to £95 million.

Its marketing resource management platform Media Centre supports the marketing operations of numerous major brands and retailers, including Heineken, PUMA, Audi, Renault, M&S and Sainsbury’s, providing full visibility and control of their marketing and procurement activity.

Last month, Inspired Thinking Group was also named Best Multichannel Content Creation Company 2016 in the Corporate Vision Technology Innovator Awards, while Media Centre was named Most Innovative Marketing Operations Software.

At its Fort Dunlop, Birmingham head office, ITG’s 180-seat, 24-hour artworking studio produced over half a million print and digital assets a year for more than 130 countries, providing companies with substantial savings through decoupling the development of top-line creative assets from routine artwork production.

In 2015, the group acquired a stake in strategic agency Vitamin, adding retail and creative strategy to its roster of service, which also includes digital campaigns, print management, local marketing, copywriting and PR.

In 2013, Inspired Thinking Group received major investment from private equity group, Bridgepoint.