We are excited to announce that we have been shortlisted in not one, but two categories in the 2019 Suffolk Business Awards, which occur yearly and are hosted by the East Anglian Daily Times.
Firstly, we are privileged to have been chosen as a finalist in the ‘Best Employer’ category, sponsored by Birketts and Pure. Over the past year we have continued to improve the learning and development, engagement and wellbeing of our employees – which has been cemented by being shortlisted for this particular award.
That’s not all! We have also been shortlisted in the SME of the Year category, which is sponsored by Beckett Investment Group and helps illustrate the growth of our business both financially – but more crucially – in the success of our employee and customer experience strategies.
Building a Better Business
StrategiQ has achieved many successes in a short period of time. In just five years, we have grown from two staff to 35+ employees, adding 13 employees in the past year and opening a second location in the Midlands. We also picked up a number of industry awards in 2018 including – most notably – Best Small Integrated Search Agency at the UK Search Awards. We were also shortlisted for the EADT’s Best Employer Award and named Best Employer in Digital and Technology in the Best Employers Eastern Region Scheme.
However, the most important evolutions that we have made – which we attribute our success to – lie in our continuous investment in our people, our brand, innovation and the positive experiences we endeavour to provide our customers.
Employee Development, Engagement & Wellbeing
In 2018, we took part in the Best Employer Survey as part of our entry process last year. As a relatively young company (five years), it was an opportunity for us to essentially assess where we were – and where we could go – regarding employee engagement, company culture and employee wellbeing. For us, assessing these things earlier on – and continuous assessment – helps keep us on track as we continue to grow.
After receiving the feedback from the survey, our leadership team got together and analysed the data, resulting in a list of actionable changes that have gradually been implemented across the organisation. While we received mostly positive results in all areas – we identified a few areas of improvement including employee wellbeing and mental health. So, in addition to evolving our learning and development and talent attraction strategies – we also more formally introduced mental health and physical wellbeing strategies which included:
- Introducing a “Wellbeing Mood Matrix” on every coaching document to help us employees share their emotional state, so we can work with them on feeling more satisfied, happy and able to cope effectively in the workplace. In a coaching session, an employee will tell their ‘coach’ how they previously felt and are currently feeling. We analyse percentage change, with the common goal of working with them to create positive change in their mood, motivation and stress/ anxiety levels.
- Hiring Sue Firth, a published author and psychologist, to help employees manage the factors that may inhibit their personal performance. Following a group session at our quarterly strategy day in January, Sue is now employed by StrategiQ to deliver one-on-one sessions with employees who would benefit from third party, neutral advice from an experienced professional. As part of the sessions, employees are given tasks to complete before their next session. These tasks are designed to make employees think differently about the challenges they may be facing and take positive action to tackle them. Employees are also welcome to book in time with Sue on an ‘as and when’ basis.
- Introducing a ‘Corporate Gym Membership’ scheme through Airborne Fitness for all of our employees.
The Customer Experience
Over the past five years, client growth and overall customer experience have been positively reinforced by:
- Our on-boarding process, which includes a fact-finding, needs analysis & goal-setting session
- Our strategy documents, which break down a client’s goals, key facts, KPIs & channel budgets
- A dedicated account manager for each client
- Training and development of our team
In 2018/19 – through analysis of our processes and customer feedback, we identified a few areas we could improve upon in order to provide a better service and maintain best-in-class standards. Some of the initiatives we put in place included – but are not limited to:
- Introducing client ‘Welcome Packs’ – which are posted to each new client and include a personal letter and StrategiQ brand pack to formally welcome and thank them for partnering with us. The pack also outlines our way of working so the project process is clear for the client from the outset.
- New Creative Briefing Processes
- New automated reporting dashboards that directly pull in client KPIs and other key stats from Google Analytics, Google My Business and other data sources.
- Launching StrategiQ GitBook – where we record all of our repeatable processes in a standardised format so any employee in any office can use it to guide them in their work. In turn, we are able to provide high quality, cost-effective processes to our clients.
- Development of our own new CRM – StrategiQ App – which allows us to be more organised in our collection of client information including budgets, audits, fact finds etc. As we continue to roll it out – clients will be able to access their strategies – which is presented in a clearer format than ever before.
Besides employee and customer related initiatives – our team have also been making a lot of noise in the marketing industry in the past year – with a few of our biggest achievements highlighted below.
In January, one of our developers, Simon, launched Spark – which allows SEOs in our industry to implement changes on a website without the need of a developer – and has been featured on Search Engine Land, Web Design News and other industry publications.
In addition to this, last week, Hannah, one of our Senior Search Consultants, launched her ‘Cannibalisation Tool’ – which allows marketers to easily identify occurrences of cannibalisation on both a query and page level.
However, the most recent is the launch of ‘gtrends.app – A Google Trends Connector for Data Studio’ – which enables marketers to pull Google’s search trend data directly into our reports.
Will we see you at the awards?
We will be attending the Suffolk Business Awards’ ceremony on the 4th of July at The Hangar at Kesgrave Hall in Ipswich, where we hope to take home the prize(s)! If you would like to learn more or want to buy a seat to accompany us, please get in touch!