If you reference my blog from last year, we set our sights on a growth goal of 40%-50% with a hashtag of #HereWeCome. Well, I am thrilled to share that we organically grew at 61% for 2019, surpassing even the outsized goals we set for ourselves (and 2018’s growth of 43%). How did we accomplish this? Here are a few of my observations.
- We were incredibly fortunate to have two outstanding Executive Creative Directors (ECD’s) that previously led large creative teams at well-known agency brands. One even started his own agency in the past. To have this caliber of talent, as an agency of our size, is a blessing. And, I believe had a direct, positive impact on our 2019 success.
- We signed an average of 1.3 contracts per week throughout the year. The result of two forces working hand in hand. One, our BD team’s tireless efforts to put our brand in front of new prospects and turning those prospects into clients. And two, our incredible account and project managers turning those new clients into long-term, successful relationships that want to continue to work with us. Yalo’s 2019 success doesn’t happen if both forces aren’t performing at the top of their game.
- Our BD outbound program kicked into high gear the second half of year. Our brand is getting in front of more prospects than ever. Those prospects are taking a keen interest in Yalo’s approach of leveraging film, art, music and sports to generate truly creative, unique ideas. These conversations are creating opportunities at new prospects.
- We have a balanced client portfolio. We have large and small clients. A mix of project work and retainer work. In some of our clients, we are their entire marketing department. Two of our clients each are about 17% of our revenue. We have clients in multiple industries from healthcare to education, within multiple states across the CT and ET time zones.
What about 2020? How do we fuel the rocket ride?
We just returned from our team offsite in Nashville (dubbed NashYalo), and it was the best one yet. We covered A LOT of ground, 92 slides to be exact! We had A LOT of new faces in the room. In full transparency as I do every year, I shared all the good, bad and the ugly of Yalo 2019. We discussed and debated areas for improvement and ways to attack and fix them. With the addition of new faces, we had fresh energy and ideas flying all around. Our expertise and our skillsets (creative, writing, tech) have expanded to better serve our clients. We continue to diversify our culture with young talent and leaders (captains of their collegiate swim and soccer teams respectively). And of course, we spent a lot of time bonding over good times, good food and good drink.
As we set our sights on 2020, the Tribe shared what Yalo could be next year. Here are a few key words from that exercise:
Now doesn’t that sound like FUN? The Tribe can’t wait to get rockin’ in 2020.
To wrap up our NashYalo 2019 experience, I needed to close the meeting with a BANG. We discussed the veracity of the article published in 2019 by Newsweek (maybe you’ve seen it?). And, since we leverage film, art, music and sports in our creative approach, I felt we needed to walk the walk and talk the talk.
So, I introduced a new, innovative health benefits program. The first and only Concert Benefits Program in the marketing industry. The Yalo Tribe will get compensated for attending concerts because it is clearly GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH! In 2020, you can expect to see the Yalo Tribe anywhere and everywhere loud, live music is happening.
See you on the flipside of 2020!