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Phuket: Spike Media - Making a point

PHUKET: It’s been a busy few months for British-born Leonie Murphy. She’s moved from Amsterdam to Phuket, got married, given birth and set up a mixed media agency, aiming to bring new ideas to the island.

By Jody Houton

Monday 29 October 2012, 10:45AM

Leonie relaxes at her Cherng Talay home

Leonie relaxes at her Cherng Talay home

In January, Leonie Murphy married her long-term partner Gary in Chiang Mai, then just four weeks ago gave birth to a baby girl. Ever ambitious, she has now launched plans to target every Phuket business that needs a ‘spike’ in its website traffic, or a complete overhaul of their marketing.

However, the latter was not the couple’s initial intention when they arrived on the island.

“We were originally just going to work on our other projects remotely when we arrived in Phuket, but when we were actually here, that all changed.”

When she talks of remote projects, Leonie is referring to their unique and hip foray into the city guide market. A sort of FaceBook meets Lonely Planet meets Vogue online venture that is already proving incredibly popular, Lost and Found has already been launched in four major cities with more to follow.

When Leonie arrived in Phuket four months ago she was introduced to AJ, an art director and graphic designer from England who’s been working in the business for over 20 years.

“He’d been working freelance in Phuket for a while and was interested in working on a larger scale and excited by the new approach that Spike was going to take.

“AJ suggested a friend of his, also from the UK, Steve, to come on board, who again has over 20 years experience in programming and 10 years in web optimisation. We now had our core team and from that set about employing the best programmers, developers and copywriters from here and Bangkok.”

Now the Spike Media Group, as it is known, has 12 members of staff, including graphic designers, content writers and app developers.

Although there are already many web and graphic design companies in Phuket, Leonie believes that there is a real gap in the market for high-end, beautiful and quality websites.

Laguna Golf Phuket

“A good website has to have usability, and be eye-catching yet simple to use. It needs to be optimised. This is important because people need to know how to find you. There’s no point in having a great website if people don’t know how to find you,” says Leonie.

As Spike Media Group employs full time content writers, graphic designers and programmers, 100 per cent of the work is done in-house. This is incredibly important she says.

“For somebody building a brand they need complete interaction with the designer, we can offer that interaction even if it’s a quick graphic to go on your e mails, to a full brand identity.”

This, she believes is also imperative to not only be more time-efficient but also ensure that the designer and the client are on the ‘same page’.

“AJ or another designer will spend time with a client in the beginning to get to know the business, from there we can work out with the client what the psychology of the brand is, what message you want to send out to customers, what it is you want to say and how you want to say it. This is incredibly important.”

Leonie said the Spike Media Group was open to the majority of markets on the island and believed that most hotels, resorts and restaurants could benefit from an overhaul, revamp or redesign in some way.

The company’s name, Leonie explains, was named after a soi dog they adopted from Thalang Dog Home upon first moving here. “Spike’s been really good luck for us.”

To find out how the Spike Media Group may be good for you, visit: spikemediagroup.com


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