This week we’re shining a light on local business and we’re chatting with Simon Akers, who founded the Lincoln-based marketing agency, Archmon

Simon has lived experience of what it’s like to live and breathe ‘agency-land’ down in London, and how there’s an innate need to fit in there. Sometimes, as Simon tells us in this week’s episode, that meant moving money between bank accounts, just to keep up with the cost of buying expensive rounds of drinks in swanky bars. Ultimately, he decided that lifestyle wasn’t for him, believing that it was often disingenuous, with firms hiring the same kinds of people and failing to celebrate the diverse talent pool that’s out there. 

Image for Simon Akers: Growing Business the Right Way

Simon decided to go it alone - his mission with Archmon was to build a marketing agency that works with clients to grow their business the right way, and to devote 10% of his time every week to social causes, including increasing neurodiversity in the workplace and social mobility. One of Simon’s most recent clients was The Brixton Finishing school, which helps people from challenging socio-economic backgrounds access education and training within the creative sector. Through Archmon, Simon aims to tackle the ‘diversity washing’ that big businesses fall foul of - instead of taking part in token days once a year, he believes that businesses should be more authentic and embrace diversity 365 days a year. 

In this week’s podcast, we discuss how the business models of the past, which were predominately driven by profit, simply aren’t relevant anymore. Business now needs to be about more than just making money; equal consideration needs to be given to people and planet, as much as making a profit. During the episode, Simon talks about the Four Ps of marketing (product, place, price, and promotion), and that if purpose is only present in the promotion of a product, then it only runs skin deep and is inauthentic - purpose and social responsibility need to be present every step of the way. In a world that’s fuelled by social media, consumers see through brands that are just jumping on a bandwagon, be that through half-hearted eco-friendly stunts or token attempts at celebrating diversity, and will make their opinions heard, often to a brand’s detriment. 

Simon’s passion for improving neurodiversity and equality in the workplace is something that he’s applied to his own business, and on this week’s Tea with the Changemakers, we discuss how other businesses need to strive to offer a more inclusive work environment and open in their approach to hiring and staff retention. In Simon’s words, “don’t be so quick to assume that a certain type of person fits into a certain kind of role, let’s cut out some of this nonsense about superpowers.” 

Take a listen to the podcast: