We spoke to Russell Murch, from digital agency Function28, based in Devon in the UK.
So, what does Function28 do?
Our main focus has always been creative website development and marketing with an emphasis on quality over quantity.
Using an old cliché , we have always seen ourselves as a ‘one-stop shop’ where we deal with everything that may be involved with the digital development of a business concept.
We start from the floor and work up to build an on-line presence. We then continue that with marketing, whether it be simple printed media, online advertising campaigns, radio and DAX or even external billboard advertising.
Dax? Wasn’t she in Deep Space 9?
Haha – no, DAX stands for Digital Audio Exchange: an advertising network which covers radio and streaming platforms.
How did you get the Function28 name?
We had recently moved to a new office located by Junction 28 of the M5 and had made a decision to rebrand, so the name Function28 was dreamt up during a brainstorming session.
One of the team mentioned about how functional our services were. It was one of those eureka moments as everybody in the room knew it was the right choice!
How many people make up your team?
We have a small ‘hardcore’ based in our office with Adrian heading up everything graphical and Gemma heading up all the Social Media/ Advertising campaigns whilst I do the tea run and make sure everything runs smoothly.
Our way of working has always been very fluid, so when we are very busy we expand our resources and work with multiple agencies which gives us the scope to be cost effective and extremely efficient in delivering our services.
Do you just work in Devon or further afield?
Because of the nature of our industry and especially now that the likes of Zoom and Teams is so well accepted, we work all over the UK as there are no real barriers.
We have a lot of local business in and around the Devon area which is great as it means I often get the opportunity to drive out in our beautiful county and talk with people. That said I do love to drive and often enjoy visiting clients as far afield as Hull and Norfolk.
How did you get into the business?
From a very young age I always had the goal of being in charge of my own destiny and liked the idea of working for myself. Some 25 years ago I was working as a safety officer for a building company where I saw my very first PC.
Long story short, I was not happy just using it I needed to know why it worked. That lead me into handing my notice in to go back to University to get my Computer Science degree which I put to good use by working for a company in North Devon. They were the forerunners of multiple job posting technology at the time.
The company designed and built online jobsites and recruitment websites. Sadly for them, the company went into administration and I was then left with the choice of finding a new job or starting out on my own. I chose the latter and with another employee we founded RPM Solutions (now Function28) so that was some 20 years ago and here we are now.
Any tips for anyone wanting to set up an agency like Function28?
Yes, don’t do it! Come and have a chat with me to see if we can work together 😊.
In our Web Designer Survey and through interviews, we found that the web design industry seemed relatively unaffected by the pandemic lockdowns. Do you agree? How is business now that we seem to be coming out of the crisis?
Again, because of the nature of our industry, we were able to carry on providing all our services throughout all the lockdowns as we could work remotely. On occasions, we still do now.
Business during those times was great, as a lot of clients and new start ups needed their online presence as people started to adjust to the virtual world of shopping online etc.
Business continues to thrive currently but we will be keeping a close eye on what happens over the coming months with the economic situation seemingly worsening with the increasing inflation rises
What made you decide to choose to partner with 20i?
For many years we worked with multiple providers and they all had their good and bad sides.
Then a few years back now I saw an online advert for 20i which got my interest really, because when I clicked on the link I felt like it was company that understood what an agency likes ours needs. When reading further it honestly felt like we would be working together rather than 20i simply being a service provider.
What features do 20i offer that you value the most?
The packages available are really well thought out and easy for us to present to our clients. The services are very cost effective but by a golden mile the support and help provided by the support team is absolutely outstanding and leaves all competitors very much in the shade.
How does 20i hosting compare with other web hosts you’ve used?
I think my previous comments say it, but to sum it up it feels like an extension to our business and I don’t feel like a number in a queue.
Is there anywhere we could improve?
I think if I could think of anything it would simply be nit picking trying to find a fault. I just asked the team the question as well and we cannot think of anything.