A Letter From Our CEO
9 min read
Hello 👋 I’m Luke, CEO and Founder of Digital Ethos (That’s me above) thanks for joining me and taking the time to read this little(ish) update on the agency, the marketing industry, our plans for the future and most importantly how we can support you with your goals today, tomorrow and beyond. So, get yourself a drink, put on a concentration Spotify playlist and let’s get into it.
In the Beginning
I started Digital Ethos seven years ago. Back then, it was just me, a strong coffee and an idea (The trifecta for all great business ideas). I recognised a huge gap in the world of digital marketing. It goes without saying, there’s plenty of talent buzzing around the industry, but what was lacking was the fusion of an out-of-house digital marketing agency with a business. Simply put, agency experience, tooling and high levels of support combined with the experience of the team you see and work with every day and so Digital Ethos was born.
Fast forward through those seven years and we have come a long way. Through natural growth and acquiring other businesses, we are now considered one of the leading digital marketing agencies in the country. Our HQ is in Leicester (go Tigers!!), but we have taken the next big step in our growth and entered the European and North American markets, with hubs in Germany and Canada. Our success can be attributed to a focus on three core areas. Technology, Data and People.
As an agency, we have always invested in the technology that supports campaign success. From tech that allows us to monitor keyword positions and content gaps, benchmarking PPC spend, Artificial Intelligence tools for idea generation and the leading tech for creative design. Moving forward, however, we’re developing our own technology designed to provide you with new levels of campaign optimisation. This project is still in its early stages – but it’s a game changer (hit us up and we’ll share the details)
Data & Processes
As well as our people, our processes provide you with unrivalled service. As I said earlier, my vision for Digital Ethos was to bridge the gap between in-house and agency marketing teams and provide a service focused on growing your business. So, each client gets. Are you ready?
- Their own dedicated project manager who is there to support and answer questions. They are part of our Client Success team, meaning you are supported by a network dedicated to ensuring your success.
- A dedicated strategist who will look at the big picture. The inclusion of a strategist means there is someone dedicated to driving new ideas and thinking of new ways to solve your unique problem.
- The opportunity to be included in our monthly ideation sessions. We come together as a business and deep dive into all things to do with you. We explore how things are going and come up with ideas to take things to the next level.
- A monthly campaign success call, where we report & analyse your campaign and how we have progressed toward your KPIs and Goals
- Regular touch points. These include weekly updates and regular conversations (digitally or in person) with the team. This includes the delivery teams, giving you an opportunity to speak directly to and ask questions of those working toward your goals.
As well as this, we have also designed and built our own bespoke reporting suite, giving our clients the data and transparency they need to have full confidence in their campaigns.
Our teams are made up of the most talented people in the industry (If I do say so myself). We continue to invest in our staff, be that through internal or external training, seminars and events or by hiring great people such as SEO Manager Gareth Torrance, who brings more than 16 years of marketing experience with him, and Digital PR Lead Saffron Shergill who comes with four years of Digital PR passion. Their experience is fantastic and I, for one, am excited to work with them.
We now employ over 50 marketing and creative experts with knowledge and experience in everything a business looking to achieve growth could need; whether that be SEO, PPC, Strategy, Email, Design, Social Media, Digital PR, Web Development, Singing, Dancing and Cooking, Ok, the last three are only partially true (we have some hidden talents). Having experts in these fields means we can deliver fantastic campaigns tailored to get you the results your business is looking for.
A Force For Good
One final shout-out and proud moment from me is our recent recognition as a certified B-Corporation. Becoming B-corp certified is about being a force for good in the industry and committing to being a business with a positive purpose. We’ll be doing our part to protect the environment and support our staff. Anyone who has gone through or is going through the process of b-corp certification knows it is a rigorous, comprehensive process. Was it tough, yes? Was it worth it? Absolutely!
Industry In Focus
The marketing world is ever evolving. Growing technologies, new platforms and shifting consumer habits and interests mean that keeping up to date, with an ear to the ground, is key to success. For example, five years ago, way back in 2017, not many social media plans would have included a little app called TikTok. Back then, it only appeared on 1.8% of smartphones in the UK, by 2019, this had risen to 8.7% 1
Estimates have current downloads at around 12 million people2 or 22% of UK smartphones for consistency3. TikTok usage in the UK has experienced a constantly growing trend, with a peak of 9.2 million monthly active users in October 2021. It is showing no signs of slowing and has, in fact, influenced the direction of other popular social channels such as Instagram and reels, becoming a part of many social strategies.
One of the biggest changes on the horizon (and one to which action is better sooner rather than later) is Google’s replacement of Universal Analytics (UA) with Google Analytics 4 (GA4) This will have a far-reaching impact on every business that uses google’s tool to track their web metrics. Why? Why would they do that I hear you cry, in short, GA4 was created to keep up pace with the evolving technologies such apps and adapt to the increasing privacy regulations in the future, with or without user identifiers or cookies. You can read more about GA4 in a blog written by one of the experts handily called – Everything you need to know about Google Analytics 4.
Our team are perfectly placed to act on any trends or changes that come our way. We dedicate time to training as a company and individually to ensure we always stay up to date ( if not ahead) of the game. So you’re in safe hands.
Other than changes within the marketing industry having an impact, external factors are also playing their part. There is a dreaded word in the air. It begins with R ends in ecession, and has been in the news quite a bit recently.
The R Word
The UK, neigh, the global economy has seen some pretty tough times over the last few years, and by pretty tough, we mean it’s gone 12 rounds with Tyson Fury. Between the pandemic of 2020, the hangover of 2021, the rising cost of energy, and the terrible conflict in Ukraine, there hasn’t been the chance for the bounce back we had all hoped for. On top of that, we are seeing reports of inflation reach highs not seen in many years, and now the UK government is even trying to get businesses to cut back on their marketing budgets.
All in, that reads rather downbeat, and that is not the Digital Ethos way, dear reader, so let’s inject some positive energy.
As scary as it may be, recessions can ( and have) provided growth opportunities for those willing to break the mould and move forward.
For example, let’s say you continue with your Paid advertising while your competition decides to cut back. Well, you’re now in a prime position to take advantage of those lower barriers to entry and costs, resulting in a better ROI overall.
Or, you continue with your SEO strategy, continuing to create new and engaging pieces of content. When potential customers are searching on google, your new content will climb the rankings over those who have let their website stagnate. Furthermore, you’ll build trust and credibility in a time when it is needed more than ever.
Research from Kantar estimates that brands who stop marketing to save costs will see a 39% reduction in brand awareness, which will have a knock-on effect on achieving those wider goals.
If you can keep your marketing budget stable or even increase them, you’ll remain competitive ( even edging out those who did decide to reduce their activity) and could even have the potential for higher conversion rates than in a positive financial climate. Previous recessions, the actions of other companies and, of course, hindsight show this to be the case.
During the 1990-91 recession, McDonald’s decided to reduce its advertising spending. Pizza Hut and Taco Bell saw the opportunity and took advantage. As a result, Pizza Hut increased sales by 61%, Taco Bell sales grew by 40%, and McDonald’s sales declined by 28%.
Amazon sales grew by 28% during the 2009 recession. They decided to continue innovating with new products, most notably the Kindle, which helped to grow market share.
It is important to plan and strategise to move forward during times of recession. You need a clear plan for what you want to achieve with measurable, attainable goals and excellent execution. Good job, you’ve got us, then. If you need any support at all, be it a strategy workshop to explore the next steps, a content writing team to produce fantastic articles or PPC campaigns that convert, reach out to us! We are perfectly placed to help support you moving forward.
We want you to succeed, so be sure to use us if you need to!
Skills To Pay The Bills
Luke, I can hear you say, Luke, it’s great that you are telling us this, and bucking that recession trend sounds great, but do you have anything to show your successes? Well, yes, of course. In fact, we have a whole page of case studies dedicated to the success stories we have for our clients. A few stand-out ones (Titles are links if you want some more info)
This leading optician and hearing specialist wanted to see an increase in online visibility and bookings utilising PPC and SEO. They haven’t been with us long but have already experienced a 583% increase in conversion YoY from PPC, 312 Keywords ranking in position 1-3, an increase of 6.8% and 806 online bookings being tracked using new measures.
The Belfield group was looking for strategic marketing partners to support them in every area of their marketing mix. They were looking for a partner who could handle every aspect, from strategy and design to communications and branding across both traditional and digital channels. As part of our work we
- Developed and designed new brand guidelines for print and digital media
- Redesign and develop their website – including their sub-brands incorporating the new strategic direction of the business
- Implement a communications strategy to improve organic performance
On the subject of success, recently, we’ve had some great new clients start their exciting journey with Digital Ethos, such as feminine hygiene brand &Sisters, sustainable, vegan meal subscription service DabbaDrop, M&S Opticians and commerce tool Flutterwave. A warm welcome to them and all the others. We’re looking forward to doing extraordinary things.
Phew, You made it to the end. It is quite an achievement. I hope you enjoyed learning more about Digital Ethos, how we started, our success and how we can support you and your business to continue to grow through tough times and not. We also hope you learned about all the great things we do, we are a far cry from the SEO agency we started as.
In case you forgot, or you skipped right to the end (TL;DR, am I right)
Through a combination of Tech, People and Data, we are able to deliver marketing campaigns across the full spectrum of marketing angles, offering everything your business needs, including SEO, PPC, Digital PR, Web Design, Email, Website development, Organic Social, Paid Social, Strategy Workshops, User Experience, Photography, Videography, Graphic Design, Brochure creation and everything in between.
We plan on continuing to grow. Hopefully, I’ll see you there!
1 (“• TikTok penetration in the UK 2019” 2022)
2 (“TikTok UK Statistics (2022) | Everything you need to know” 2022)
3 (“Smartphones in the United Kingdom- Statistics & Facts” 2021)