The Union has been successful in gaining a place on three of the new Scottish Government marketing frameworks, also referred to as the ‘marketing rosters’. The rosters are tendered every four or five years; although this latest framework was delayed a year due to the pandemic. Agencies on the frameworks gain the right to tender for Scottish public sector marketing contracts, but are no guarantee of work.
The Union has been appointed to three lots; 1) Creative Services above £50K, 2) Creative Services below £50K, and 3) Digital Marketing Services. Each framework is limited to five or six agencies.
The frameworks can be used by the whole range of Scottish public sector bodies, from central government to health bodies, local authorities, police and fire services, as well as third sector organisations, universities and colleges.
Some of the public sector clients The Union works with.
The Union has a long history of working delivering successful marketing campaigns and websites for the public sector, having first been appointed to work with the Scottish Government in 1999. Currently the agency works for clients such as Scottish Government, Zero Waste Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, VisitScotland, Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service, Borders College, SSDA and many others.
The Scottish Government describes the benefits of the frameworks as offering an opportunity for a co-ordinated approach across the Scottish public sector as well as an opportunity for public bodies to learn and liaise and share best practice. As the expenditure is public money, the framework also seeks to gain value for money savings.
The evaluation of the tenders is based on a technical ‘quality’ score, which accounts for c.70% of the assessment, and a ‘price’ score, which accounts for the remainder. The combination of the two scores decides the ultimate results. As many as 20 or more agencies might apply to each of the rosters.
The Union scored highly in all lots it submitted for. The agency’s quality score in the Creative Services (over £50K) was 92%, placing the agency second on quality out of 16 tendering companies. For Digital Marketing Services, The Union’s scored 90.56%, placing the agency first out of 13 tenderers. Union Direct, which tendered for the Creative Services (under £50K), scored 94.5%, placing it first out of 21 tenders.
The tenders require companies to answer a comprehensive set of questions, covering processes, staff skills, experience, as well as quality standards and evidence of success.
(At the 2022 Marketing Star Awards in Scotland, which judge marketing effectiveness, The Union won ten awards. Many of these were for public sector clients, such as Scottish Government, Police Scotland, Zero Waste Scotland and VisitScotland.)
Ian McAteer, Chairman of The Union, commented on the success. “Clearly gaining a place on the rosters is massively important for any agency in our market. Which is why we took nothing for granted and applied our best people and talent in responding to the tenders. We’re obviously delighted at gaining a slot on all three rosters we went for, but we’re also pleased to see that our quality scores demonstrate the skills and expertise we have amongst our 85 people here at Union House.”
Louise Killough, Deputy Managing Director, who led the team responding to the tenders, added, “It was a huge effort by about 20 people to respond to the tenders. But it was clearly worth it and we’re looking forward to extending our experience by developing new campaigns for clients in the future.”
Louise Killough, Deputy Managing Director of The Union (l); and Emma Campbell, Deputy Managing Director of Union Direct (r).
Emma Campbell, Deputy Managing Director of Union Direct, said, “This is the first time Union Direct has gained a place on a roster in its own right. Our team is very excited, as it opens up new opportunities for us. However we know there’s still hard work to be done to gain a contract as the competition will be tough.”
The Union offers clients creativity and expertise agency in branding, advertising, digital, design, partnerships, events and experiential marketing, data, segmentation, direct mail, eCRM, social strategy, content and website design and build. The agency employs over 85 staff and works for over 50 clients from its Edinburgh office in Inverleith Terrace.