Find out how we helped Sleeping Giant Media Limited claim R&D tax credits for their ground-breaking process and software and development work.
Incorporated in 2008, Sleeping Giant Media (SGM) Limited has three shareholders: Luke Quilter, Anthony Klokkou and Tim Arnold. The company qualifies as an SME, so can take advantage of the best the R&D Tax Credits scheme has to offer.
SGM is a specialist search and social marketing agency. They specialise in delivering integrated search and social marketing strategies across a variety of sectors and markets. SGM dedicates a significant amount of time to staying ahead of the technology curve, so that they can always offer clients the most up to date and comprehensive approach.
The SGM directors have a strategy of allowing ‘innovation’ time to developers within the company. This policy is in place to stay ahead of the competition and allow ‘head space’ to work on products and services that current and potential clients will want to buy in the future. This commitment to research and development (R&D) is paying off, with a number of the projects becoming mainstream SGM services bought by blue chip clients.
Project – Internal Process Improvement – Data Management
Digital marketing is a fast moving technology with constant innovation in the industry. To stay at the top, companies have to research and understand market trends and needs. They also need the processes, systems and technology to lead ahead of the field. Three internal process improvement projects were identified by RIFT as qualifying for R&D Tax Credits:
A) Data capture and interrogation process.
There was no existing timesheet and work data capture system that could combine the data processes require to deliver fast and accurate reporting. SGM tried to adapt several ‘off the shelf’ systems, but nothing out there was up to the job. The company decided to create its own system from scratch, and now have a working solution that they continue to improve.
B) Knowledge Management system for tracking company innovation.
SGM need to keep all of their growing staff inducted and updated in current and future technology, alongside their own content strategy planning. This requires a Knowledge Management System with integrated training, development and content planning systems. Again, having tried to integrate and optimize several ‘off the shelf’ solutions, SGM realised they needed to develop their own.
C) Website Audit System.
SEO requires analysis of clients’ websites, many involving expert subjectivity rather than against an easily measurable “right or wrong” checklist or objective scale. SGM realized that they needed to analyse websites from several defined approaches and combine the data into real time, user friendly information. Existing tools did not easily work together, nor was their output easy to handle. The company had to create their own tools and so devised a working solution involving the integration of ten external analytics suites with two custom programmes designed wholly by the company into a single application interface.
Examples of Technical Uncertainties
The company captures a multitude of data from both internal and external sources and through different systems across numerous platforms. There was no system that could cross reference and interrogate the whole data. It was not known how to pull the data together.
If a system could be found it was not known at what speed, accuracy and efficiency it would work and if it would be economically viable.
Could a coding and classification system be devised that would fit the not just the Knowledge Management aspects of the company but also drive training plans, development projects and content management strategy?
Different analytic tools operate on different systems, platforms and languages. Running multiple tools together would require developing an overall structure and programme to combine the data and the diagnostics.
How many different analytics can be combined before the efficiency and effectiveness of the overall audit performance is affected or restricted?
Commercial Objectives and Technological Advances Sought by the Projects
To have an internal data capture and interrogation system that would capture all operational elements of the business, allow effective sharing of management information , technical experience and future content strategy.
To have a system where the company can effectively store its knowledge base so that all employees can access and benefit from shared experience and knowledge.
To have a semi-automated process to effectively analyse any website against an audit procedure that can identify quantitative key performance indicators alongside qualitative diagnostics.
To provide functionality and interrogation across multi-source data running on different platforms with multiple interfaces. To have automated analytics to assess external websites.
Testimonial from Luke Quilter, M.D. of Sleeping Giant Media Limited
"You do pay quite a lot of tax as a business owner in the UK. We were quite excited about the prospect of reclaiming some of it.
"Before we met RIFT we were actually aware of the R&D refunds. We took it to our accountants, who suggested to us that it wasn't possible to claim. We then came into contact with RIFT through the Kent Excellence in Business Awards. They started that conversation and we claimed back nearly £30,000.
"RIFT have worked with us and guided us through the process of reclaiming the money against Corporation Tax. They were able to understand the projects we'd been involved with. They're friendly, efficient, responsive - all the things that you'd ideally want.
"Ultimately, the R&D claim is something that can be done annually based on the time that you spend on research and development throughout the years. It's something we'll absolutely be looking to do again."
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