The saying goes time flies when you’re having fun and although Covid-19 hit hard throughout the marketing industry, it’s great to have finally passed the light at the end of the tunnel. This month marks exactly 2 years (730 days) since we became a fully remote agency, and we wouldn’t change it for the world.
Both 2020 and 2021 were years of highs, lows and many, many challenges. We knew that to survive and thrive, we needed to be innovative in how with progressed. Here’s what happened:
We Said Goodbye To The Office
We may speak about it a lot, but becoming a remote agency was a huge step. Like many others, we thought we would be back together in a few weeks’ time following the first lockdown, but that time never came. With the full support of the team, we became remote, and re-invested the money that would have otherwise been spent on various office expenses into the health and wellbeing of the team.
Becoming Fully Remote
Midway through the pandemic we understood that remote working was right for us and the team. This is when we made the decision to continue being a fully remote agency, putting the teams’ minds at ease as to what the future looked like for us. Even though it was a move we had never considered before prior to the pandemic, it’s one we have absolutely no regrets about, recognising the additional support we can provide to our teams both mentally and physically.
New Team Perks & Incentives
Since the pandemic, we’ve implemented several exciting new incentives for the team, some of which include:
· The opportunity for the team to work from anywhere in Europe
· Private medical health insurance
· Three wellness days provided each year
· A birthday gift and the afternoon off on us
· Regular in person and online team building events
By being a remote agency, we’re able to support our team on a bigger basis and hire from across the UK, not just Essex, meaning that we have access to an even wider talent pool to progress us in the right direction.
Covid-19 meant that we needed to re-position ourselves. We noticed a huge shift in the types of clients we were attracting which, despite everything, was a huge positive for us. We know exactly where our strengths lie, so this gave us the opportunity to capitalise on the areas we excelled in. We now primarily work alongside gambling, finance, health, CBD and adult businesses with one of our latest clients including Lovehoney US.
We haven’t just updated our positioning in the marketing industry in terms of the clients we work with. Prior to Covid-19, we were a full-service agency meaning that we stretched ourselves to deliver everything we could to our clients. We’ve now drilled down deeper into our offerings, focusing on SEO, PPC and digital PR as our three core services.
Offering Digital PR
Our digital PR service offering was well in the works before Covid-19 came along but we didn’t let it stop us from rolling it out across the agency despite the risk of introducing a new service during a time when many were looking to reduce budget or pause their marketing altogether to survive. It was challenging, but we did it and we’re proud to be working with some big UK based and US based brands. We now have a team of 5 amazing digital PR experts and are in the process of looking for a Senior Digital PR Executive and an Apprentice Digital PR Executive to support the continuous growth of the service.
Working With Nick Eubanks
Late last year, we formally began working with Nick Eubanks. Nick is our Non-Executive Director, meaning that he supports Founder and CEO, Ben, in developing the agencies growth and overall business strategy. Nick is also supporting with our expansion in the US, whereby we’ll be hiring a new team to increase the businesses awareness. Find out more about it here.
Expanding To The US
If you didn’t already know (?!) 2022 is all about our expansion to the US. Following a difficult two years, we’re over the moon to still have made this possible for us and the team. We have a lot in the pipeline including exciting leads, the opportunity to hire a new team stateside and the chance to really ramp things up within our PR department. We’re keeping a lot of details under wraps for the time being so all we can say for now is watch this space!
We won more awards than ever in 2021 including at the UK Digital Growth Awards, UK Agency Awards and European Agency Awards and we are thrilled to already have our first few wins in the bag for 2022. We were over the moon to take home the award for Best Digital Marketing Campaign in the travel/leisure industry earlier this month.
Two Rising Star Awards
We are super proud of both Jasmine and Sophie for winning Rising Star 2022 at the Northern Digital Awards and Rising Agency Star Of The Year 2021 at the UK Search Awards. They both work incredibly hard to reach new heights for the agency and are a true asset to the team and business! We can’t wait to see what they next achieve as individuals and for us.
We’ve seen an impressive 49% increase in the agency’s total turnover since the start of the pandemic and have grown our minimum retainers by 51% alongside our larger retainers by 57%. Despite the difficult faced, we’re proud to have welcomed 41 new clients onboard including Lovehoney US, Stelrad, Voices.com and QuidMarket. Not to mention the 45 upsells of existing campaigns!
We knew that, in order to provide our clients with the very best marketing services, we would need to efficiently expand our team. We’ve hired 17 team members in the last year and promoted a further 7 to senior roles. To support them, we increased our team development initiatives by 68%, investing a whopping 950% more into the agency comparing 2020 to 2021. We’re proud of the diversity we have created amongst the team too, with 30% of our employees speaking a language other than English and 55% of our senior team women.
Fun Team Holiday’s
We wouldn’t be where we are without our team, so we introduced a very exciting new perk: team getaways. Last November we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to take the team to Amsterdam for the weekend following the lift of several European travel/Covid-19 related restrictions. We had an incredible few days which got us thinking… to celebrate our US expansion, we announced we would take the team to no other than NEW YORK CITY!
Fundraising For Charity
We’re a very charitable bunch and wanted to do our bit in helping those less fortunate. We raised more than £5,000 in 2021 for various charities including Cancer Research UK, Macmillan Cancer, Save The Children and Children In Need. We want to double that amount this year, with our sights set on taking part in even bigger charitable events such as Race4Business in June. As well as donating to charity, we wanted to do our bit in getting involved so signed up to support our local soup kitchen. We supply a night’s worth of hot meals each month and encourage the team to volunteer throughout the month should they wish, too.
Focusing On The Future
Like many other agencies, our eyes our now set on the future. We’re looking forward to continuing to focus on our US expansion this year and growing the PR team to become one of the best in the industry. In the famous words of our team, let’s go!
The last two years have been difficult for all, and we’d love to chat about how your business recovered from Covid-19. Call us on 0800 088 6000 today.
Jasmine has been a member of Absolute Digital Media’s team for almost five years now, having started her journey at the agency as a Digital Copywriter and progressing onto become read more.