With the end of 2019 racing into sight (how did that happen?), it’s time to reflect on a momentous 12 months in the life of We Influence.
It’s fair to say we have come a long way over the past year.
From a disappointing start when, being honest, we suffered a few client cancellations which left us scratching our heads, to the position we are in now – record client numbers, high level of client retention, highest ever staff numbers, best ever financial results, a new identity and position in the market and loads of exciting plans for 2020 – we have been on an amazing journey.
Let’s have a look back….
2019 has been a record-breaking year for We Influence as we have partnered with more than 20 new clients.
Whether you were with us for just a short-term project, or whether we’re still working together today – thank you all for being part of our epic 2019 story.
3PL, Bamboo Baby, Blue Vanilla, Bows Boutiques, Cheese+, Christmas Tree World, Dr Fertility, EZ Car Care, Flexwarm, Furniture Plus, Joanie Clothing, Larsson & Jennings, Millys Store, My Parcel Delivery, New Blinds, Orcha, Plumbworld, Predator Nutrition, Proporta, Sushi Daily, Timbuktu, Trads Radiators.
And, of course, thanks also go to our long-term partners with whom we have enjoyed great success over the years – and hopefully will do for many more years to come: Winfields Outdoors, Salons Direct, Miss G Couture, Direct Fireplaces and Direct Stoves.
We have been pleased to welcome lots of new and talented recruits to our Cheshire Oaks HQ over the past year, both to strengthen existing departments and also to increase business performance through the creation of new senior positions.
Gavin has joined as our first Director of Client Services while Paul has arrived as our first Head of Brand and Content.
In the Earned Media team, Ionie has been appointed as Head of SEO, Abi has arrived as SEO Executive and Nick has joined as Content Assistant.
We have a new Director of Paid Media (congratulations on your promotion, Agnes) while the wider Paid team has been strengthened with the recruitment of Simon, Faye, Declan and Josh, all of whom play a key role in the planning and delivery of our PPC and Paid Social services.
We are now a team of 20 – with plans to further grow that number early in the new year.
We’re looking forward to welcoming Neil to the team in the New Year as our first Sales and Marketing Manager.
Neil will add considerable experience and expertise to our business and will be responsible for generating and qualifying leads as we look to strengthen our position in the market during 2020.
There have also been a number of valued staff members who helped make 2019 such a big success for We Influence, but who moved on during the year for a variety of new challenges.
James was my Commercial Director for several years, Ben did a great job managing the Paid Media team while Chris and Hollie both played a huge role in the development and success of our SEO and Content teams.
Thanks, guys – it was great working with you all and I wish you continued success in the future.
We believe we have some of the North West’s top digital marketing talent in our ranks, but that doesn’t mean we’re not always searching for opportunities to improve our knowledge.
We’ve been all over the country this year sharpening up our expertise across all things Facebook, Google and SEO.
Ceri has been to the south-coast attending the inspiring two day BrightonSEO event; Faye and Emma went to Manchester for a Facebook session on creating market leading client campaigns while Josh and Ben were in London for an invitation only Google event to learn more about Google shopping.
More recently, Simon was at another Google event specialising in becoming a smart bidding ‘champion’.
We’re always keen to give our employees every opportunity to improve their skillset – and with We Influence being a Google Premier Partner as well as a Facebook Marketing partner, there are always lots of exclusive opportunities.
Change of direction
2019 hasn’t just been a year of business success for We Influence – it has also been one which has seen a change in business identity.
We have moved away from a generic service offering and instead repositioned ourselves as an eCommerce focused digital marketing agency.
We have taken the decision to only work with clients when we truly believe we can help catapult them to the next level of their growth.
We still offer the full range of PPC, social, affiliate, SEO and content marketing, but to ensure we deliver the best results for our clients based on our in-house expertise, we are now primarily working with businesses in the eCommerce sector.
It has been the best decision we could have made.
Black Friday success
Having made the decision to focus on eCommerce clients, it goes without saying that Q4 –and the Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend in particular – was a key sales period.
Working alongside our retail clients, we started the process of planning for Black Friday many weeks in advance.
Using our range of PPC, Affiliate, SEO and Social services, we are thrilled to report on average our client’s revenue figures were up 41% YoY for the Black Friday weekend. On Black Friday itself, revenue was up a massive 77%.
We are really pleased with these figures and feedback from our clients has been extremely positive, also. Now we want to make sure we build on this momentum and help all of our clients get 2020 off to a flying start.
We were delighted to be represented at the Insite Sessions seminar, hosted by Sentient Digital in Liverpool back in May.
The event was centred on how to engage, drive and convert customers to grow your eCommerce business and was attended by many of the North West’s top digital agencies, including We Influence.
Ben from our Paid Media team gave a presentation on ‘5 Ways PPC is Changing: How to ride the waves and make more money’.
As we are still a relatively young business, this was the first time we had been invited to talk at an event – hopefully there will be further opportunities in the future.
We’re thrilled with the progress we have made as a company, and the success our clients have enjoyed from working with us over the past year.
But that doesn’t mean we’re going to keep patting ourselves on the back. As the old saying goes, if you stand still then, eventually, you’ll start moving backwards.
We want to keep progressing, keep delivering for our current clients while embracing opportunities to work with new eCommerce businesses who are ready for the next level of their growth.
We have a new website ready to go live which will showcase our new brand identity, while we’re also looking forward to launching an email marketing service in 2020.
Going for gold
We have been shortlisted for ‘Best Affiliate Campaign’ at the Northern Digital Awards, to be held in Leeds at the end of January, 2020.
We are absolutely thrilled to have our affiliate work for Winfields Outdoors recognised and, win or lose, we are looking forward to a great night and mixing with lots of our friends from the industry.
(PS: If any of the judges are reading, this is code for ‘we’d love to win’…..)
In summary, I am so proud of everything we have achieved over the past 12 months and already can’t wait for 2020 to start.
Before then, however, it’s time for some relaxation and to recharge the batteries over the festive period.
On behalf of everyone at We Influence, I’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous new year.
See you all in 2020.
Founder & Managing Director.