Karen Ainley

Karen Ainley

Chief Executive, Mosaic - The Integrated Marketing Agency


Karen is the Chief Executive of Colchester-based Mosaic Publicity and the founder of Conscience Marketing, a new style of marketing and communications for organisations with a social conscience.   She is a journalist by profession, ex BBC radio and TV, having started her career as a reporter on the main Colchester newspaper, The Gazette.

How would you best describe your organisation and its values?

Mosaic is a progressive, innovation-led integrated marketing agency, at the forefront of digital marketing trends when it comes to website development and content. We also have a training division, Mosaic Media Training. Most of our clients are entrepreneurial in ethos and our remit is to make their ideas come to life.

When did your organisation begin and how has it evolved to date?

Mosaic launched in Colchester in 2000 after its Directors left the BBC. It began as a traditional PR and marketing agency but has transformed over the years to embrace digital technology. CEO Karen Ainley has a Masters Degree in digital marketing and runs the CIM Digital Strategy course in the area for the Academy for Marketing.

How big is the organisation now?

Mosaic has a 12-strong team, supported by a number of associates, and works with clients all over the UK, delivering integrated marketing strategies, creating websites, videos and content, running PR campaigns, managing events and designing a full range of marketing collateral, and more.

How do you see your organisation evolving over the next 5 years?

Mosaic always has its eye on the future and, because it is also a training organisation, is committed to ensuring its own team remain fully up-to-date in all relevant technologies, through the company’s in-house Mosaic Academy. Our ambition is to continue to grow organically, both in terms of staff and clients and we remain committed to staying in Colchester, where we see numerous opportunities for the future.

What are the advantages of being a Colchester-based organisation?

Colchester has become a leading player in the creative and digital sector in the region and we are proud to play an active role in the Creative Colchester community. Our CEO Karen regularly attends the Creative Colchester committee meetings. This gives us the advantage of understanding the many opportunities that are available to our own digital community, through investment in broadband, collaborating with specialists locally or taking advantage of the opportunities being offered through partnerships with the University of Essex. As a company, we also benefit from the great transport links, being close to the railway station and the A12, as many of our clients are based across the UK.

What are the biggest challenges for business in Colchester?

Any growing place faces the same challenges, particularly traffic congestion caused through housing growth. As long as investment follows in infrastructure – such as roads and rail, health and education, the city will maintain its position as one of the most charming places in the eastern region for people to live and to grow their businesses.

As the city expands, what opportunities does this create for business and for the city generally?

The great thing about Colchester is that it is full of entrepreneurs who have ‘made it’ – and although we are growing, there is incredible camaraderie and excellent networking opportunities which encourage people to trade with each other and to share skills, knowledge and experience. 

What do you see as the most important focus for Colchester’s future and why?

Colchester needs to remain entrepreneurial to stay ahead of the game. It’s one of our strongest USPs and provides opportunities to create jobs and wealth, which are then reinvested into the local community.