Digital advice boosts South West business through funded support

Susie Parker
Digital Marketing Manager | Business West
9th January 2019

We chat to Andrew Lavender, co-founder of unique Plymouth-based business specialising in satellite remote sensing. 

Andrew and his wife, Dr Samantha Lavender, launched Pixalytics in 2012, a small commercially focused earth-observation company providing services to support research, innovation, science and education. 

We talk about how they got started, and how now, through free funded support via the Growth Support Programme, they’ve been able to develop their digital marketing strategy with the aim to win new business.

“Andrew, how did you get started in this business?”

My wife, Samantha, came to Plymouth University to study Oceanography and Computing. In the last year of her degree she studied remote sensing, which then led to her PhD. 

After a number of roles gaining experience in business, we decided to set up our own company to serve a niche market six years ago.

“So, you’ve been in business now for around 6 years. How are you taking the business forward?”

Most people wouldn’t think about using satellite data in their business, but there are lots of ways in which it could benefit them. Our challenge is to get that message out there and digital marketing is crucial for that.

Due to a lack of time and resources, which many small businesses experience, we were simply focusing on what was needed to deliver to clients but struggling to adopt new skills and opportunities in certain areas, such as marketing.

When we came across the Growth Support Programme at the Devon Business Show in 2017 we saw it as a great opportunity to get that help we needed with digital marketing, and the support offered included a one-to-one meeting with an expert digital adviser. We jumped on it!

“Has it made a difference to your business?”

We had a website audit with Matt Ballard from Cosmic which was definitely the best session we have ever been on. 

Instead of giving us generic advice about digital marketing, Matt sat down with us and identified the areas of the website that worked well, and the sections that needed some work.  

Following the audit, Matt gave us tangible tips and advice on how to make changes to those parts of the website so we were able to implement the changes straight away! 

Matt also helped us with our social media strategy, again giving us pointers for the areas we weren’t so good on.  It was obvious that Matt was aware that we weren’t able to spend thousands with our web developer or a marketing agency, so he gave us some sound advice.

Our business will definitely benefit from this crucial advice and we're already seeing results!

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About the Growth Support Programme

The Growth Support Programme is available to business in Somerset & Devon. eligible businesses in the Heart of the South West LEP area (* Devon and Somerset).

It provides advice and support on a wide range of topics, including Marketing, Digital, Finance, HR and Innovation.

Companies can benefit from an initial diagnostic on their business as well as a financial assessment, help with their business plan or growth plan, HR support and advice on other areas of business such as GDPR.

If you’re a Somerset or Devon based business and would like to find out more about the free support and advice on offer from the Growth Support Programme, register your interest here.

*Excludes Bristol, B&NES and North Somerset.


  • Take your business to the next level!

    If your business is based in Devon or Somerset (excluding BANES & North Somerset), register your interest for this FREE programme.

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  • Take your business to the next level!

    If your business is based in Devon or Somerset (excluding BANES & North Somerset), register your interest for this FREE programme.