2016 seems like an age ago now and 2017 has started off at full pace for the team at Quba, so I’ve only just now had the chance to complete our 2016 review. We had an amazing year thanks to our clients, partners and fellow Qubans.
2016 was definitely quality over quantity when it came to new logo acquisition. Projects with our retained clients have allowed us to be picky with new clients and it shows on our logo wall which now boasts London Luton Airport (LLA), Kodak Lens and The Pensions Trust. We also launched a sizeable e-commerce website and stock system for Amrita built on the recently launched Magento 2 platform.
The LLA project was a particularly pleasing achievement. The new website boasts 7 business critical integrations which have delivered some dramatic improvements in user engagement and conversion. It’s a project that has got a tremendous amount of interest both here and overseas and I’m looking forward to entering it into a number of awards next year.
Other divisions of Quba have also performed well. Our search and marketing team have had some great results for their work with the recruitment divisions of Capita PLC and also National Numbers one of the UK’s largest private number plate companies. Our event management software is now running internal events for two significant new clients: Allen and Overy (one of the UK’s largest law firms) and The University of London.
We’ve had a surprisingly big switch around in staff terms this year and now I’m really happy with the make-up of the current team at Quba. The loss of some senior staff in the first six months of the year led to new opportunities for existing and new staff. Jon Eaton stepped up from New Business Manager to Client Services Director. This move allowed us to bring in Mike Wilkins as Marketing Manager helping us to consolidate and extend our customer proposition.
Working with Jon on improving the service we offer our clients is Katy Baker (new Account Director). Katy recently returned to the UK following a 5-year stay in New Zealand where she worked as an Account Director with Clemenger BBDO. With a background that spans both pure digital and marketing/advertising agency roles, she brings new ideas to Quba. We’ve already made some significant operational changes and we’ve been able to bring some fresh thinking to some of our existing client relationships.
As I speak we also have new positions starting in business development, project management, account management and testing.
Trends in Digital
One of the biggest bits of news for us this year was that three of the Content Management Systems (CMS) we work with made it onto the Gartner Magic Quadrant. For Sitefinity and Kentico joining Sitecore in the quadrant is a great statement of intent. For us, it is pleasing to see that our technology preferences are increasingly being listed as market leading by independent experts.
More broadly the digital space is seeing more and more opportunities for integration. Increasingly we are seeing design and UX as a combination of disciplines, where specifically technical specialists are coming up with ideas on how access to data can dramatically enhance customer experiences. As an agency owner, this is an interesting and challenging time. We’re having to think much more laterally about “the customer” and it is impossible to think about “the website” in isolation these days. We’ve recently started talking about websites as icebergs; the good ones have much more going on below the surface than you can see in front of you.
We are continually reviewing and improving our accreditations, processes and systems. In this industry, you simply cannot afford to stand still and become complacent. During the last year, we successfully renewed our Investors In People accreditation and we are currently renewing our ISO 9001 status.
Recently we have invested in new software to help us further improve the analysis of our customer's web performance.
The Next 12 Months
As we move into a traditionally busy period from a new enquiries perspective I’ve been talking to the team about what I want us to achieve. For me, the next 12 months is about building on the strong foundations we’ve set by raising awareness of what we do within client and prospect organisations. If we can do this with the team we have on board I’m very confident we will have more happy customers to talk about next year.