York Science Park & York Guildhall

York Science Park is a subsidiary of the University of York. It offers office, laboratory and co-working space to SMEs in the science, technology, digital and creative sectors. It spans six buildings across the University, including the newly renovated York Guildhall in the centre of the city. York Science Park also offers a start-up incubator program called Phase One, where member businesses get free use of a co-working space and a timetable of workshops and masterclasses – along with support from partner businesses.

The Science Park is managed by a small team of passionate individuals – they are not just landlords. They provide an invaluable network of support and actively work to place resident businesses in front of opportunities such as funding programmes, internships, networking and collaboration projects with the University of York.

York Guildhall underwent a major £21.7m restoration to transform it into a business and events hub in the centre of York. It is leased by the University of York and managed by York Science Park.

The problems.

York Science Park came to Your Marketing Doctor just before York Guildhall was due to open its doors. The team hadn’t had a marketing coordinator for a couple of years and were struggling to find time and resources to do any marketing activity. Their initial problems:

  • No time, limited resources and budget.
  • “Scattergun” approach to marketing.
  • An outdated strategy – that hadn’t been referred to in years.
  • Workload was about to dramatically increase.
  • No clear direction for marketing.
  • They had noticed confusion over what York Science Park is.

The plan of action was to pick apart the entire business, its portfolio of services and uncover the customer’s pain points and “reasons to believe.” The team were given a chance to talk a lot about their frustrations with marketing and challenges for the future.

“Sophie has listened to our needs, actively engaged in learning about our business and produced exactly what we were hoping for. Her attention to detail and organisation is second to none and we’ve enjoyed working with her”

Olivia Chatten
Business Development Manager at York Science Park

The project.

The first phase of the project helped the York Science Park team get all their worries and frustrations with marketing off their chest. This directed my recommendation report. The brand clinic workshop allowed us to delve deep into customer pain points and understand the customer journey – and how York Science Park guides them to success.

The second phase was a chance for me to prepare all the strategic tools needed for the new Marketing Coordinator. My project overlapped with their first month in post, meaning I was able to deliver the strategy and support them in planning the first marketing output.

Phase one

  • Marketing Clinic consultation (6 sessions over 2 months)
  • Brand Clinic workshop
  • Strategic audit
  • Prepared recommended next steps and action plan
  • Developed marketing aims and mission
  • Developed objectives and KPI dashboard
  • Created a brand summary for York Science Park and York Guildhall

Phase two

  • Prepared strategic tools for a new Marketing Coordinator;
  • Including a Marketing Playbook
  • Supported their integration into the role and a plan for their first two months in post
  • Developed the foundation of a content strategy
  • Created planning templates and developed a planning/report cycle
The innovation centre is a large office building. The photos shows the building with a blue sky and carpark

The project.

The first phase of the project helped the York Science Park team get all their worries and frustrations with marketing off their chest. This directed my recommendation report. The brand clinic workshop allowed us to delve deep into customer pain points and understand the customer journey – and how York Science Park guides them to success.

The second phase was a chance for me to prepare all the strategic tools needed for the new Marketing Coordinator. My project overlapped with their first month in post, meaning I was able to deliver the strategy and support them in planning the first marketing output.

Phase one

  • Marketing Clinic consultation (6 sessions over 2 months)
  • Brand Clinic workshop
  • Strategic audit
  • Prepared recommended next steps and action plan
  • Developed marketing aims and mission
  • Developed objectives and KPI dashboard
  • Created a brand summary for York Science Park and York Guildhall

Phase two

  • Prepared strategic tools for a new Marketing Coordinator;
  • Including a Marketing Playbook
  • Supported their integration into the role and a plan for their first two months in post
  • Developed the foundation of a content strategy
  • Created planning templates and developed a planning/report cycle
The innovation centre is a large office building. The photos shows the building with a blue sky and carpark

The outcome.

When we started the Marketing Clinic, there were no plans to create a marketing role. It was clear to me from the outset that in order to deliver the impactful brand key messages we had uncovered, it was paramount that they put a case forward to the University to recruit a Marketing Coordinator. Before we finished the Clinic process, York Science Park were given confirmation that they would be recruiting.

Through the first phase of the consultation project, The York Science Park team gained fresh perspective on how strong their brand message could actually be – and the impact their work has on York’s enterprise landscape. The Brand Clinic resulted in a really clear and concise key message summary that can inform all creative marketing output.

The marketing objectives and key performance indicator dashboard was something York Science Park never had before. This document included all top-level business metrics, starting with the main financial objective and working down the hierarchy of marketing and sales objectives, with relevant KPI metrics.

The sole purpose of their new Objective Dashboard is to track the top-level marketing strategy. With a simple traffic light system on all metrics, it became a powerful tool to inform and trigger marketing activity in upcoming planning cycles.

The second phase of the project was designed to prepare the Marketing Coordinator role with all the strategic tools they need to hit the ground running. This included a Marketing Playbook, outlining the aims and reasoning behind all marketing activity – in particular, content and PR. It was also a chance to draft up output planners.

The final part of the project was handing over and supporting the Marketing Coordinator in their new role. It gave them a chance to fully understand the brand messaging and plan their first couple of months in post. My support ranged from fine-tuning a content and email strategy to helping them develop the first stages of a 12-month strategy.