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Cheers to 15 Years (and many more to come)

8 minutes to read
Cheers to 15 Years (and many more to come)

Where it all began.

15 years ago a digital marketing agency merged with a web development agency. And just like that, Enjoy’s journey began. 

It was a brave move to launch a new business back in 2008, with the UK facing the ‘deepest’ recession since records began. Yet here we are, 15 years later and not only are we celebrating an incredible milestone for the business, but also all the many memories made, friendships forged, successes achieved, challenges overcome, and lessons learnt. 

Being brave and going against the status quo, being unafraid of failure, and persevering at all costs.

Andy Hey (Owner & COO) and Chris Jackson (Owner & CEO) were quick to identify these as key traits shared by our team. And that’s why they introduced “be brave” as a core Enjoy value. This is a behavioural trait that’s become synonymous with many decisions Enjoy has made over the years.

When we started out, we didn’t know we’d go on to work with over 275 different brands, across different sectors, countries and continents. But that’s where we are today. And this month we’re celebrating our 15th Birthday - a milestone that we’re particularly proud of.

To put this into perspective, there are 5.5 million SMEs in the UK (classified as between 0-250 employees). These account for 99% of the total business population in the UK. The average age of companies in the UK is 8.6 years, and we’ve joined just a small number who’ve made it to 15 years old - only around 6% can say the same.

The best thing? Enjoyment still runs thick in our DNA and we’re only just getting started!

A story of evolution and growth. 

With Google Ads launched in 2000, Facebook in 2004, and ecommerce accelerating exponentially from the late 90’s into the early noughties, it was an exciting time to launch a digital agency. 

In 2008, digital marketing was still a relatively new concept. Businesses approached it with trepidation and curious optimism in equal measure. Many had just started to dip their toes in the water, as they realised new opportunities to market their products and services, outside of traditional mass-broadcasting techniques.

The marketing world was facing a paradigm shift and consumer browsing and buying habits were changing with it. This presented an opportunity for a small start-up digital agency called Enjoy Digital. And our challenge was to navigate through this evolving landscape.

Skip 15 years, and we’re at the forefront of our craft, with a team of 60+ digital experience and performance marketing experts, all laser-focused on achieving our client’s objectives, while maintaining a culture that thrives and remains driven and grounded by our mission, vision and values.

Insight from the start (and at the heart).

When a brief comes into the agency our first thought is always “what would we do if it was our money?”. And our answer will always point to the need to be led by insight. Our clients don’t pay us for assumptions or guess work, they pay us to drive their results.

We’ve now evolved to a place where insight is truly at the start and heart of everything we do. Scale and growth has enabled us to double down on this resource wise, which as a small business in the first few years, we couldn’t do to the same extent. 

Now we have a fully-functional Insight & Strategy team to support every key brief that comes into the business; proactively offering up opportunities, insight, and thought-leadership. This means that every digital experience we build and every performance campaign we deliver is underpinned by a wider strategy, rooted in insight, and backed by data.

Dedicated Client Service and Project Management.

Previously we had a hybrid Client Services team working across all things service and project management. Now, scale has enabled us to have both a Client Services team - responsible as the voice of the client - and a dedicated delivery team with seasoned Project Managers. This has allowed the business to provide project management expertise and ensure scale is achieved through governance, rigour, and process.

This unison between our Client Services and Project Management team ensures that all projects are super streamlined, with the client input considered, every step of the way.

A space to Enjoy.

The COVID pandemic led to a dramatic shift in ways of working. And when lockdown restrictions lifted and we returned to work, our team shared a preference for a mix of in-office and remote working. In response, we introduced our hybrid working-model.

At the same time, we refurbished our Leeds HQ, and created a more collaborative work space that could be shared by staff and clients alike. 

This investment in our space has been a springboard for growth; allowing us to accommodate a scaling workforce while helping us continue to attract the best talent in our industry. 

While the refurb was underway, for a time, we worked from a temporary office space - a canal boat docked on the river Aire. But fast-forward to July 22', and were back on dry land, marvelling at our new and improved HQ.

Covering 5 floors, with multiple meeting rooms, break-out spaces, collaborative and social areas, we've been enjoying our time here ever since. It's a place we're truly proud to call home.

A new-look board at Enjoy.

Just under two years ago, we appointed Alex Ellis as our new Managing Director, taking over responsibility for the overall running and performance of Enjoy. Alex has worked in the digital industry for as long as we’ve been around, in Leadership roles at Digital Experience and Digital Transformation agencies for the last 10+ years. He’s worked with brands of all shapes and sizes, from Royal Canin and The FA, to Roquette and The Open. 

Alex was brought in to lead Enjoy through its next stage, setting the foundations for a focus on growth, restructuring the agency to support our future facing ambitions and bringing in a number of key hires to support this. 

As part of this restructure, Andrew Ash, who's worked at Enjoy for 14+ years, moved up to the board from his previous SLT position. Andrew started out at Enjoy as Digital Marketing Manager back in 2009 and has progressed through the agency to the position of Operations Director.

As Operations Director, Andrew oversees and streamlines the day-to-day business operations, ensuring efficiency, productivity, and coordination across departments. Leading the Delivery, Creative, Performance and Development teams, he is responsible for ensuring Enjoy upholds its commitment to delivering exceptional digital experiences and results for clients.

Finally, just short of a year ago, we appointed Growth Director, Si Muddell, to help further drive our business growth. Si has worked in digital for the past 18 years, 50:50 client and agency side. In this time, he's worked both at home and overseas, and in the commercial and NFP sectors for brands such as Setanta Sports, Hanes, Champion, Audi, Heineken, Knight Frank, Weber, and Scope. As Growth Director, Si leads three core teams within the business; Insight & Strategy, Client Services, and Marketing & Sales.

Along with Alex Ellis, Andrew Ash, CEO Chris Jackon and COO Andy Hey, Si’s appointment represented a new look board at Enjoy and consolidates the team who will be leading our agency into our 15th year of business, and beyond.

Looking forward to a world of opportunity. 

While it’s been a lot of fun reflecting on the journey that’s brought us here, it’s even more exciting to think about what lies ahead…

Growing and scaling sustainably.

Last year we chalked up a record increase in revenue, up 25% year on year. This commercial growth is really positive, and we have even more ambitious goals in the pipeline, targeting >6m turnover in the next financial year.

To achieve this, we’ll need to amplify our reach on a global scale. And we’re exploring options to extend our office locations, both in the UK and overseas.  

As always, we’ll be looking to bring in new clients and deliver projects across new and existing sectors. We’ll also continue to build our offering, introducing new capabilities and ensuring we remain at the top of the digital curve. 

Empowering our people.

We’ve said it before (and we’ll say it again); it’s the people that make the place. Our wonderful team, clients and partners have elevated us to where we are today. Over the past 15 years, we’ve worked hard and grown together, sharing successes, challenges (and everything in between).

And we recognise that developing our team - encouraging professional development, training, industry exposure and more - has played a key part in our recent successes. And we’ll continue to invest heavily in our people.

At the same time, we’re working to attract the best talent in the industry, who are wholeheartedly aligned with our vision, philosophy and values. And we’ve got a number of key hires planned, so be sure to keep tabs on our careers page

Investing in culture.

Culture is everything at Enjoy. And it’s key to us that everyone lives and breathes our philosophy, “Work hard. Grow together. Enjoy”. 

So, when we asked our team what they enjoyed most about our agency, many of them called out the culture. And that was great to hear; reaffirming our belief that culture eats strategy for breakfast. 

Spearheaded by our Life at Enjoy initiative, developing a culture where everyone feels valued, supported, and motivated to do their best work, will always be a key focus for our agency. From our weekly all agency stand-up to our monthly last Thursday club, we have a number of great initiatives in place to help us do that. And as we grow and scale, we'll continue to improve and expand on those. It's all about succeeding together.

Festina Lente - ‘make haste slowly’.

To continue growing at pace, we need to ensure we continue to sweat the small stuff. That means keeping a firm attention to detail, balancing scale with growth, maintaining a focus on culture, developing our people and attracting new talent, and keeping at the forefront of an industry where technology is ever - and rapidly - evolving. Knowing about the band wagon without having to always be on the bandwagon. Think AI.

We evolve as the industry evolves, and that’s an incredibly exciting place for us to be.

Ready. Steady. Grow!

Since starting out, over 275 brands have trusted us to grow and transform their businesses - and we think you should, too. Get in touch today