SME Growth Hub Incubator controversial marketing campaign test attracts new business

Growth Hub

A controversial marketing campaign aimed at highlighting a regional business growth hub has been a success in terms of business sign ups and doubling online traffic to its website.

In September, Gloucestershire based, team launched ‘You’d Be A Dummy Not To Use Us’ – a campaign that positioned 30 mannequins in high footfall areas around the county.

Dressed to represent the range of different attire in modern workers, each held a mock-iPad which directed passers-by to more information online; including 30 reasons why they’d be a “dummy not to use” The Growth Hub’s free services.

A video of the stunt can be found at:

During an eye-catching week, The Growth Hub website experienced an 87% uplift in web traffic and saw new businesses apply for support from The Growth Hub’s sought-after experts. Hundreds of comments on social media included passers-by snapping selfies with the mannequins, using #glosgenius to enter a prize draw for a hamper stuffed with goodies from local businesses.

The Growth Hub helps businesses maximise their potential. From in-person advice and workshops, to online guides and digital tools; the project has worked with thousands of businesses to help them scale up.

At sites across the county, businesses can also take advantage of co-working facilities stocked with free tea, coffee and unlimited wifi. All business support is fully-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, at no cost to the business.

Gary Mills, CEO of BroadOak Services, commented on signing up to The Growth Hub following the mannequin campaign: “I was intrigued by the mannequins dotted around the county and it really caught my attention. I wasn’t aware of The Growth Hub before this, but knowing that there’s a service where you and your staff can get access to free training, advice and a space to go if you want some peace and quiet or want to hold a meeting, is fantastic for the county. I’m looking forward to using The Growth Hub and seeing how it can benefit my business.”

Sarah Danson, Growth Hub Manager, commented on the success of the campaign: “This campaign certainly turned a few heads and that’s exactly what we were looking to do. We think more businesses in Gloucestershire need to know about the free services available to them, which are right on their doorstep, and could be key to unlocking their business’ growth potential.

“We like to think that those we help, whether small or large businesses, will begin to see results as quickly as we did on this campaign, as we’ve had lots of new site visitors and some great businesses signing up off the back of it. Our support service is fully-funded and you’re never too old to learn something new. If someone’s willing to help and to teach you, why wouldn’t you take advantage of that?”

To find out more about the campaign, visit:

Business wanting to apply for fully funded business support, visit: