Securing votes with promotional marketing for Croydon BID 2021 Ballot

We have been working with Croydon BID for over 10 years, helping them communicate to their Levy payers and the local Croydon community the value they provide to businesses and residents. We’ve achieved this through a powerful combination of words and images that convey their campaign initiatives, activities and strategies that strive to make Croydon a more attractive and prosperous place in which to live and work.

As with all BIDs (Business Improvement District) the maximum period that a levy can be charged for is 5 years, after which they have to go to ballot in order to be able to continue to operate. In September 2021, Croydon BID ballots its Levy payers to encourage them to reinstate them for another 5 year period.

As we all know, with the devastating impact that COVID has had, the last 18 months have been a particularly hard period for all businesses globally, with a lot of smaller local businesses struggling to stay afloat due to financial hardship brought on by loss in trade.

It was therefore essential that in a Ballot year Croydon BID clearly communicated to its levy payers, what it does, the services it provides and the contributions these make to Croydon as a whole. Without a ‘yes’ vote and without Croydon BID these services would literally stop overnight.

Establishing key messaging

In our initial discussions, and follow up workshops with Matthew Sims (Croydon BID CEO) and his team, about how to acknowledge this difficult year and what form the messaging should take for the ballot, we quickly realised that the local business community required support, direction and more importantly a strategy, not only to help them survive this period but to help them thrive in the future. This collective challenge and strategy was encompassed in the phrase “ Together we can. Together we will”.

To provide a clear narrative throughout all the materials, we then broke this down into 4 digestible steps entitled:

  1. The challenges we face together
  2. The value we add
  3. Our path to recovery
  4. What ‘we will’ deliver

To reinforce what Croydon BID would endeavour to deliver in the future, we created a pledge section entitled “What we will deliver”. Two Double page spreads were then used to cover each of the following pledges that the BID team had agreed on:

All of this messaging was created to reassure the Levy payers and the public that Croydon BID were working hard on their behalf to not only get through this period but to have a clear strategy for the future.


This messaging needed to be reinforced across all print and digital materials, starting with the printed A4 business proposal document. It was important that the document had a sense of gravitas, have visual impact and high production values to engage with the reader.

The mixture of large format photography, which covered a number of double page spreads, provided the impact and created natural section breaks for the key messaging. The commissioned photography used in the brochure was a mixture of Matt Livey photography (art directed by our creative director Kevin Cox) and Glenn Foster who was given free reign to take shots of Croydon that encapsulated its personality and people.

Information graphics were used throughout the brochure to visualise and highlight key messaging such as Croydon BIDs vision, purpose, achievements over the last five years, and their consultation results. We ensured the high quality aspect of the document with PUR binding and using one of our most trusted print suppliers, Scanplus, to run up the CMYK colours on press to ensure the pages were vibrant and colourful.


Once all the content was approved and fixed in the brochure we could then use some of the same messaging and imagery to great effect on the website landing page as a series of carousel images at the top of the page.

These images provided links and click throughs to core information such as ballot deadlines, vision, purpose, and the call to action to ‘VOTE YES’. Tiles underneath the carousel provided click throughs to other information such as consultation results and talking head videos.

Talking head videos

The website contained a series of campaign branded talking head videos that could be accessed via tiles that sit beneath the carousel of images on the landing page. These consisted of interviews with a broad spectrum of levy payers, where they talk about the value that Croydon BID has provided for their organisation or business.

From local Chief Supt. Dave Stringer regarding Croydon BIDs policing strategies to Martin Hewitts (Hewitts of Croydon) talking about Croydon BID representing small local businesses, we interspersed the filmed footage with key messaging taken from the brochure that was animated by our digital team.

Social media – twitter and LinkedIn

The same content that was used on the website landing page carousel imagery was also reformatted for use on social media feeds such as LinkedIn and Twitter so that the message was consistent across all digital media.

The combination of all these various materials meant that the message of “VOTE YES’ for Croydon BID was constantly being run home to the viewer

Representing what we do as a business is so incredibly important. Imagery speaks a thousand words and delivers an impression of the sheer value we bring to Croydon town centre. Working with the team at tothepoint, we have encapsulated our breadth of services, projects and initiatives in eye-catching, engaging and vibrant ways across our print and digital communications for the ballot. The messaging is clear, without the BID much will be lost and with a clear strategy, brought to life visually by tothepoint, much can be achieved in the next term. Together we can, together we will, if we achieve a ‘YES’ for our renewal in October 2021. Matthew Sims, Chief Executive, Croydon BID