Manchester based Invoke Media have announced our intention to move our operations full-time to Preston, Lancashire after 4 years in the second city.

Invoke have always had strong links with Lancashire’s administrative capital with director Jack Barron originally being from the city, and a large number of clients being based in the Central Lancashire area.

Recent times have seen a close working partnership with The Cotton Court Group, who operate a diverse portfolio of businesses in the Lancashire area, including Cotton Court Business Centre in Preston City Centre.

Jack Barron, Director at Invoke Media says….

“It’s been a tough decision to move Invoke away from Manchester in many ways, but an easy one to make in others. It’s the right decision to make for the business and our clients right now. I’ve been spending a lot of time in Preston due to my involvement with Cotton Court, and feel that closening the relationship between the two businesses is the next logical step. To do that, I think we have to be physically close, even in the digital age”.

He continues…

“I’m originally from Preston and historically it’s been portrayed as a bit of a grim northern town with not much going on. After spending considerable time back here recently I’d argue with anyone who perpetuates that false image. The city has grown so much in the last few years and is going through some major developments & investment. I’d like for Invoke to be a part of that development from the early days and really commit to strengthening its position as a part of the powerhouse that is the north of England”.

Indeed, after suffering setbacks in recent history the city has seen a flurry of investment from local entrepreneurs, the council and key stakeholders. The city is making a real push to make itself more attractive to local talent and take its place alongside other regional powerhouses like Liverpool and Manchester.

Invoke intend to retain a presence in Manchester, it’s a city we love and have a strong connection to. However the development and investment in Preston, and close connection with The Cotton Court Group provides an opportunity to be a part of something great. As one of many high class marketing and media agencies in Manchester, there is little impact we can have on the positive development of the city, being at the forefront of Preston’s own revival and the growth of Central Lancashire is an opportunity just too good to miss.

The full switch is expected to take place by the end of July 2018.

virtual marketing services


If you currently don’t employ a marketing manager or director, there may be some confusion as to whether a virtual marketing manager or virtual marketing director would be best suited for your company. While there is certainly some crossover in the skills and attributes of each, there are few distinct difference which will impact on your decision.


What are Virtual Marketers?


Before we continue, let’s establish what exactly virtual marketers are.


There are no universal definitions for what virtual marketers are. For some they are just freelance marketers who operate completely online, providing specialist skills for an hourly rate. For others they are integral parts of a team, fulfilling the complete marketing function or slotting into an effective team of in-house marketers.


We at Invoke have come to define our own meaning of virtual marketing. We do not believe that an SME can be fully serviced from thousands of miles away without there being a breakdown in communication and a lapse in quality.


We’ve created virtual marketing positions that primarily operate using technology, but also have an in-house presence; creating a happy medium between an employee and online outsourcing.


The two positions that we’ve seen most demand for, are those of marketing director and marketing managers, so we’ve created our virtual marketing manager and virtual marketing director positions based on the feedback & advice of SME operators across the Northwest of England.

virtual marketing manager

The Virtual Marketing Manager


A virtual marketing manager is someone who would slot into your existing marketing team underneath a managing director, sales director or equivalent position. Their main role is ensuring the implementation of an existing marketing strategy, and keeping the team accountable and on track.

The effective virtual marketing manager will be experienced and use his or her skills to support and supplement the current marketing team. It might be that the marketing team is only small or is lacking key capabilities, in this instance the marketing manager would help plug that skills gap.


The main focus of a virtual marketing manager is ensure campaigns are delivered and delivered on-time. They have regular check-ins with the team and directors throughout the week, and provide a visible presence at monthly meetings.


virtual marketing director

The Virtual Marketing Director


The virtual marketing director differs slightly from the virtual marketing manager. They operate at a strategic level, devising and creating the plans that will drive the business forward. Their main role is to plan and monitor the implementation of a marketing strategy, ensuring that work is completed on-time and milestones are met.


The effective virtual marketing director will have worked in a marketing executive and managerial role at some point, drawing on his or her experience within the industry to understand the wide range of options available, and then make recommendations based upon it. They may get involved in the actual implementation of marketing if the necessary skills were not present in the team, but would generally act from a supervisory capacity, reporting back to the business directors directly.


The main focus of a virtual marketing director is to devise a strategy, create a plan on how to achieve it, and then ensure it is delivered to a high standard. They have regular check-ins with the marketing manager and team members, keeping them on-track and accountable, and report back to the directorship or board with any issues or progress. In addition to check-ins, they provide a visible presence on-site in the month to ensure progress is made.



Which is right for you?


Deciding on whether to hire a virtual marketing manager or virtual marketing director completely depends on the requirements or circumstances of your business. If you have an existing marketing director and strategy in place, it goes without saying that a virtual marketing manager will be the most suitable option. If however you don’t have marketing strategy in place, then there is no plan for a virtual marketing manager to work from and therefore a virtual marketing director would be more suitable.


We’ve created some quick fire questions to help you assess which assistance is best for you.


Marketing Strategy already in place or have Marketing Director?

Yes – Best Solution: Virtual Marketing Manager

No – Best Solution: Virtual Marketing Director


Does existing team need more hands-on supervision?

Yes – Best Solution: Virtual Marketing Manager

No – Best Solution: Virtual Marketing Director


Do you have a clear vision of your business marketing objectives and how to reach them?

Yes – Best Solution: Virtual Marketing Manager

No – Best Solution: Virtual Marketing Director


But what if you need both?


There’s nothing to say that you can’t hire both a virtual marketing manager, or virtual marketing director, or that it has to be two separate people. While the functions of the job are different, most effective marketing directors will have had marketing manager experience.


Invoke can provide a tailored solution that brings both of these roles together for a reduced and cost effective rate, supercharging your businesses marketing. Get in touch and ask us how…


Want to see more about virtual marketing services, what’s included and how much it costs? Click here.