PAYG Marketing Marketability Ltd Unity Trust Bank photography 2

How I saved Unity Trust Bank money on commissioned photography


When switching between SME and blue chip clients as a PAYG marketing consultant - versatility is key.

I've had the pleasure of working with Unity Trust Bank twice.

Both times, I'd recently finished a contract with a larger blue chip client (Jaguar Land Rover and Barclays, respectively).

I’ve been hired by these clients because I can thrive in both environments.

The key difference when working with an SME? The number of levers you have to pull.

SMEs have less well established processes and fewer agencies in place. Colleagues are performing multiple job functions. A can-do attitude and the ability to roll your sleeves up are vital.

At an SME like Unity, my copywriting skills are leant on more heavily - and I've been involved in a wide range of activities in my two contracts with them.

The first involved developing and writing their new website to coincide with a brand refresh and producing their first above the line advertising campaign - featuring radio, print, 6 sheet and digital advertising and banner advertising at a Scotland vs England football match at Hampden Park.

I also produced key pieces of corporate literature (they're a commercial bank with a social conscience - and they produce a Social Impact Report every year highlighting how their lending has benefited society. They also produce a Pitch Book for their regional management team).

The second involved developing the same key pieces of corporate literature and raising the company profile in terms of both PR and social media.

I launched Instagram and Facebook for the Bank and increased organic social impressions by 289% in five months. One of my press releases was featured on the Coventry Live Facebook page and was shared over 100 times.

Returning to Unity was a terrific advantage - as I knew the people, processes and key stakeholders there.

I was developing a new version of the Social Impact Report and Pitch Book based on formats that I had established a couple of years previously.


It was evolution, not revolution.

Getting the right cover photography for both publications had always been a challenge. Commissioned photographers had been used in the past with mixed results.

The Bank was on the verge of moving to a brand new office in Birmingham, so instinctively it felt right that the local surroundings should feature.

It was part of their heritage and their future (they weren't moving far) so I wanted this identity to be part of the publications.

I brought my Sony a6000 to the office before work and walked around taking some photos.

It was January, so the low sun in the early morning made for some dramatic shots.

And the blossom outside the nearby IKON gallery provided further inspiration.



















The photos were well received internally - and I was able to swiftly progress with the copywriting and design of the publications with Design Religion - who I'd worked with during my previous time there.

Throughout my contract - my reputation as the 'go to' in house photographer grew - and I took all of the photography for the company's existing social channels and newly launched Facebook and Instagram pages.

By the end of my contract I’d taken over 50 photos that were used in publications and on social media.

The cost saving over commissioned photography was considerable.

Photography is key to building your brand reputation. Visually appealing and attractive imagery can help to draw in your audience.

For any modern marketer - you need to have numerous strings to your bow.

I’ve been labelled a ‘Swiss army knife’ previously owing to my ability to deliver a wide range of marketing activities to such a high standard.

Unity Trust Bank didn’t know about my photography skills when they invited me back - but it enabled me to add significant value and drive cost savings for them.

PAYG Marketing Marketability Ltd Duncan Strachan Unity Trust Bank photography

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