The homework. The hormones. The zits. Sometimes, being 15 kinda sucks. But in agency land, a 15th year on earth is a milestone worth celebrating. And we don’t need a second invite for a knees-up. Rarely need a first.
So, throughout the whole of March (oh yeah, month-long bday), we set off party poppers like nobody’s business, celebrating the great people and awesome work that got us here. Aside from dredging up the odd dodgy hairdo, looking back reminded us what a big achievement it is to reach the big one five. It got us wondering, how the hell did we get here and what lessons have we learned along the way?
Lesson #1: Do one thing. And do it well.
When mobile phones were for phone calls and Facebook was just a silly idea, we were finding our feet as a DM agency. We hit the ground running, bagging SKY and 1&1 Internet early doors, giving us an enviable foundation. And before we could say door drop, we were 10 strong, then 20 with sights set on even bigger things. In those days, having a sole focus and honed expertise served us well. We did one thing and we did it bloody well. A lesson we live by to this day. And our DM heritage still runs strong though the agency.
Lesson #2: Don’t be shy.
One day, someone in the agency read a thing about how email marketing was now a thing. Like a proper thing. Not like a 1999 ‘electronic letter’ thing. So, we all went away and did some more reading. Turns out they were right. So we dabbled, and became rather good at making emails. That led to more digitally focussed projects, some big client wins including Camelot and Betfair, and a brand-new set of skills.
Lesson 3#: Be lucky.
Ugh – the 2008 recession. Yeah, that was a tough one. You’re expecting us to pin our survival on a ‘robust businesses model’ and ‘hard graft’. Sure, that helped. But more than anything, we were lucky. Because, as commercial clients tied a knot in their purse strings, our charity clients didn’t. That gave us a bit of breathing space and helped us to weather the storm. It also stood us in good stead going forward; we now work with the likes of Samaritans, Australian Red Cross and Battersea.
Lesson #4: Think big. Like, really big.
In 2015, we had our Christopher Columbus moment. There was a whole world out there, but our eyes were fixed on our own little bit of terra firma. Boring. So we set sail for Australia, sights on the Samsung Australia CRM account. We won it. And once we’d mastered the time difference, we pitched for and won Samsung Gulf CRM. Although it was air miles that got us there, thinking big got us off the ground. Something that’s encouraged and rewarded in the agency to this day.
Lesson #5: Keep having fun.
It’s the biggest lesson we could ever learn – enjoy the work you do. Whether it’s the fuzzy feeling you get from a DM pack that bolsters the bottom line of a worthy cause, or the kick you get from making a cool ad just because. We’ll always fly the flag for fun.
Turning 15 is a privilege. And even though we can be a little challenging, we’re proud of who we are: a fearless, driven and fiercely independent teenager.