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To have a positive impact, you need to be profitable – that’s where exceptional™ comes in

Iain Scott explains why businesses need to be profitable if they want to have a positive impact on the planet and the people in it.

When were the first commercial solar panels installed? 

The noughties? The ‘90s? If you guessed the ‘80s, you’re half right… but half wrong. Boston-born inventor Charles Fritts installed the first solar array on a New York City rooftop in the 1880s

Fritts’s panels weren’t just a science experiment. They were a genuine attempt to commercialise this new technology, to market it as a viable source of energy in a rapidly industrialising world. 

The project proved to be unprofitable, however. Ultimately, Fritts was unable to gain more interest and funding in the face of his competition – coal. We all know how that turned out.

Stories like these can make us feel hopeless when considering the many challenges our planet and the people around us face today. Like evidence that fossil fuel companies knew about and obscured evidence of climate change from as early as the 1970s, thinking about the different paths we could have taken can feel disheartening. 

If we could have been developing these solutions all along, why didn’t we? What hope do we have now?

I take a different lesson from Charles Fritts’ story.

Right now – out there in the world – solutions already exist which can help us tackle the planet’s biggest problems.

There are problems facing our healthcare and education systems, the economy, and the climate. It isn’t that there aren’t solutions – it’s that the solutions that are out there need to be profitable to succeed. To be profitable, people need to know about them, invest in them, and buy them. It’s about economies of scale.

That’s why we started exceptional™ 

Our challenge is finding those solutions that are having a positive impact on the world, and amplifying them. 

By helping organisations shout from the rooftops about the great work they’re doing, we’re helping them gain the investment, the grants, the customers – whatever they need to become more profitable and begin realising their full potential and positive impact.

I began by talking about solar panels, but the climate crisis is just one part of the puzzle. There are many different challenges facing the world today, and many opportunities for organisations to make a difference.

Marketing can help you make a difference


Iksuda is a biotech firm on the frontlines of the battle to cure cancer. Their research involves developing antibody-based treatments which can target cancers that are usually resistant to current therapies. Their biggest challenge? Getting their next round of funding. 

Our team helped them embark upon a high-awareness investor relations campaign. The result – they gained £6 million to fund their research. 


SMS is an independent energy and infrastructure solutions provider, specialising in the carbon reduction assets that are helping to decarbonise the UK by 2050. They asked us for help with their search engine visibility, so our team set up a search engine visibility campaign to showcase their impact and authority.

Thanks to the campaign, SMS’s website saw a 164% increase in search visibility, a 25% increase in engagement, and a 73% increase in traffic – helping them to gain the awareness and new work they need to continue leading the UK’s smart energy revolution.

The Turing Trust

The Turing Trust is a charity set up by the descendants of computer pioneer Alan Turing to recycle IT equipment. 

The solution is there. Computer recycling helps to massively reduce carbon emissions and provide IT education to schools around the world. Without donations, however, charities like The Turing Trust cannot succeed.

Our team helped the Truing Trust to secure a monthly Google Ad grant worth over £8,000. Now, over 20% of all their donations come through those paid search campaigns, helping to fuel a growth in their conversion rates that has seen thousands of computers donated to schools and saved from landfills. 

You can read more about all of our work here, but I’m not (just) using these examples to shamelessly self promote. I want to prove a point. There are solutions out there which aren’t getting the attention they deserve. That shouldn’t be a cause for despair. 

It should be a cause for hope – and a call to action.

Helping progress pick up the pace

Sometimes, conversations around marketing and profitability are seen as cynical when compared to the idealistic language around environmental, financial, and technological progress. 

The fact is, however, that if we want society to make the transition to a more sustainable and equitable future, we need to use the tools and frameworks at our disposal. Otherwise, that change won’t come soon enough. 

Charles Fritts might have had the potential to change the world, but that potential alone was not enough to help him succeed and see that positive change take place within his lifetime. You need a marketing service that’s as strong as your solution. That’s where we come in.

You face the same marketing challenges as any business. You need awareness and trust to stay afloat and grow. You need to be able to map out the journey your clients or customers are taking. You need to be able to leverage existing partnerships to promote your work, and ultimately increase your marketing ROI over time. You need sector-specific digital marketing expertise. 

I have been running a digital marketing agency since 2006. In those 18 years there have been many times where I’ve been happy just to keep the business afloat. Now, however, we’re in a position where our team can make an impact – where we can get behind our clients because we actively believe in their mission, not just because they pay the bills. 

This is not just about helping organisations to do good. exceptional™ is about showing and proving that good can be commercial and profitable so that investors begin putting their money into projects which drive positive change. 

That’s how we’re going to have the impact we need, at the speed we need it. We’re excited for you to join us on that journey.

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Iain Scott

Iain Scott

CEO // Founding Partner

Iain has a strong background in digital, and brings high-level strategic thinking to client campaigns.

I’ve got plenty to say

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