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27 June, 2018 - 22:16 By Tony Quested

CPL a racing certainty for thoroughbred clients

Companies working for Godolphin Racing must have class oozing through the bloodline to earn the right to work for the Maktoum family. And turnkey content provider CPL (Cambridge Publishers Ltd) has that right throughout its stable.

CPL client Godolphin, sponsored by Emirates, is the Maktoum family’s private thoroughbred horseracing stable and was named in honour of the Godolphin Arabian, which came from the desert to become one of the three founding stallions of the modern thoroughbred.

CPL is one of the region’s largest content marketing agencies. It has a broad church of expertise in-house of journalists, editors, graphic designers, content strategists, videographers, developers, print production specialists and commercial experts. 

Its skill is to bring stories to life in print and in digital formats via websites, social media channels and video. 

The business was founded in 1996 and the co-founders have flawless journalistic credentials. Mark Rosselli was assistant editor at The Observer and news editor at The Independent; Jonathan Wilson was production editor at The Observer.

Managing director Mike Sewell led a management buy-out in 2016 but the co-founders remain involved as the company continues to follow a determined growth blueprint based on what Sewell calls “evolution, not revolution.”

Godolphin is not the only pure-bred winner in CPL’s parade ring. The company also boasts as clients a number of world-class businesses spanning a diverse range of business sectors.

They include AstraZeneca, the global pharma giant building its new worldwide corporate HQ and research flagship at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, and the internationally celebrated IVF clinic Bourn Hall which has its roots in fertile East of England soil.

Add to these A-list names, London or international based clients such as EY and the Chartered Institute of Marketing in the financial world and the world’s biggest brewer AB InBev, the Belgian-Brazilian transnational beverage and brewing company.

CPL is also prominent in the marine industry, where it has literally driven a sea change in communication excellence.

Mike Sewell’s stated ambition is to swell CPL’s locally based client portfolio, safe in the knowledge that most Cambridge Cluster businesses these days will be internationally influential, especially in the Science & Technology arena.

The strategy is already paying off, with recent project wins for clients such as Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute (CRUK CI), Cambridgeshire County Council, product design hothouse TTP and the Cambridge Association of Architects (CAA).

Sewell takes pride in the diversity of projects CPL is handling for customers, which demonstrate the agency’s full-service capabilities as well as its ability to “join the dots” with clear, strategic thinking.

For CRUK CI, for example, CPL is carrying out a major website development project; for TTP it has delivered video content; for the county council CPL is creating and shaping a recruitment programme; and for CAA it is designing and producing its magazine.

Sewell is equally proud of the fact that CPL has doubled in size in the past five years without losing its core values. Its multi-skilled team of around 50 people have responded to client needs by developing new specialisms across  the creative marketing range.

Its digital marketing skills have blossomed in an increasingly tech-savvy age; it developed specialist expertise in handling software for the racing and bloodstock industry through its relationship with Godolphin.

All the while, CPL has rooted everything it does in content strategy and leveraged its unusually strong journalistic credentials.

Sewell joined the board in 2008 and is thrilled that CPL has been able to secure continuing growth in its client base and service reach without compromising its principles; this is especially the case in the company’s commitment to human capital – recruiting and retaining good people and involving them in the evolution of the business strategy and specific client requirements.

“For every client we offer a bespoke service because their exact needs are specific. And, of course, the landscape has changed in terms of how client companies communicate their capabilities. There have never been so many alternative communication channels to print media than there are now.

“We live in an entirely new and dynamic digital world. Clients are now able to harness social media, animation and a whole host of communication tools that were not available when CPL opened its doors.

“We start by clarifying the audience for every client and don’t do a thing until we have heard what they want to achieve; our dialogue with clients is excellent and we have retained a number of world-class customers for a long time. It is not uncommon for a client to tell me: ‘Your team really understands what we want to achieve; it really does get stuff.’

“One of our mantras – and we mean it with a passion – is that we make it our business to understand what it is clients want to achieve so we can develop the right strategy and create content that works.”

• PHOTOGRAPH: Mike Sewell talks through some of the work that CPL has produced for Darley, Godolphin’s breeding operation, with Jonathan Wilson, one of the agency’s co-founders.

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