Cardiff-based digital marketing agency, Liberty Marketing, has bucked the agency trend and secured an extra £1m in revenue since the beginning of lockdown, as well as winning eight new major clients.
Liberty is one of the few agencies that rather than making a loss, furloughs or redundancies, has instead grown. The agency is now up over 30% on where they were in March, putting them on track for their annual growth target set in January.
As well as winning projects close to home such as Motonovo Finance and Target Group, the agency has also won and grown the accounts of national and international clients, including Fresh Cosmetics and Imperial Brands PLC.
Mark Coles, Senior Marketing Manager at MotoNovo Finance, says:
“I have been really impressed having started working with Liberty in the past 6 months. They come up with innovative content for use in digital outreach campaigns, PR and site content. They have devised a significant growth strategy for us and are a great bunch to work with.”
The start of lockdown saw a 15% drop in revenue at the agency, so the leadership team focussed efforts on protecting the remaining income whilst increasing efforts to look for new business opportunities.
Gareth Morgan, Founder and Managing Director of Liberty Marketing, believes that now is the right time for businesses to invest more in their marketing:
“Brands need marketing more than ever if they are to come out of this situation stronger than their competitors. In the digital marketing world, we are seeing increased competition in most sectors, as businesses that have never taken it that seriously have now had a taste of just how powerful it can be, whilst those that have always cared about things like search engines and social media are not going to give up their market share to these new entrants without a fight.
“Cutting marketing during a crisis is a bad decision as it leads to long-term loss in market share, and fortunately most of our clients understand that and are pushing ahead, seeing now as a good time to grow.”
It has been reported that a third of agency employees in the UK have had pay cuts, while one in four members of staff have been made redundant since the beginning of lockdown.
Bucking the trend again, the business has on-boarded nine new members of staff and are hiring several more. These new positions cover service delivery roles such as SEO, PPC, and digital PR, as well as support roles in project management and account management.
“Sadly, growth hasn’t been an option for many agencies that I’ve spoken to and it’s heart breaking to see so many agencies shrink or even go out of business. At the start of this situation, I made a commitment to my team – that nobody here would face redundancy and we would avoid furloughing if possible. We put people before profit and it now shows that was definitely the right move.
“I couldn’t bear the thought of Covid harming 12 years of hard work, so as soon as we saw the impact it was having on other agencies, the leadership team at Liberty decided to double down on our account management, whilst focussing more on new business activity and finding brands that needed our help to navigate this situation.
“It hasn’t been easy, and we are all in need of a holiday, but we turned it around quickly, and instead of shrinking, we’ve actually had our best ever period of growth. It seems surreal to be saying that and I’m incredibly grateful to the entire team for how they pulled together and committed to not letting Coronavirus beat us.”
Additional account management activity included signing up to new data services such as Global Web Index and using this consumer insight service to help guide clients on behavioural changes throughout the lockdown, as well as fast-tracking new complementary services that clients had been asking for, such as affiliate marketing and Conversion Rate Optimisation.
Liberty’s culture and growth hasn’t gone unrecognised in the industry, having been nominated for Best Integrated Campaign at this year’s UK Agency Awards, as well as Digital Agency of the Year, Best Agency Culture and Integrated Agency of the Year.
The agency has also received to recognition in the digital marketing industry over the past fortnight. Last week Liberty won Retail Campaign of the Year at the Biddable Media Awards for the Google Ads campaigns that they run for furniture brand, Happy Beds.