Year in Review: Peter Watson – A year of growth and recognition

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To say 2018 has been a fantastic year would be an understatement for us at Distract. We are just three years in as a business and are continuing to surpass all of our own expectations.

This year has seen us doubling our revenue and profit, expanding our services and picking up multiple awards.

As well as our existing paid social and search, eCommerce and social media management services, we’re proud to be adding three services to our mix. 2018 has heralded in SEO and Public Relations services as well as an expansion of our web department to further our clients’ reach and visibility.

If there is talk of agencies struggling or experiencing a shift in client expectations and demands elsewhere, we certainly haven’t seen much evidence of that.

For us, it was a year full of accolades, which I’m immensely proud of our team for being behind and constantly creatively adding to. We picked up the ‘Digital Campaign of The Year’ award at the Lincolnshire Technology and Innovation Awards for the third consecutive year, this time for our work with national charity Action On Hearing Loss. We were also Highly Commended in the ‘Creative Agency of the Year’ and ‘Business Person of the Year’ categories.

The awards kept coming, as the agency received a Highly Commended title for the ‘Best Use of Video’ category at the Digital Entrepreneur Awards, which we were incredibly pleased with.

We were also nominated at the UK Biddable Media Awards in the ‘Best Social Media Campaign’ category, narrowly losing out to a national company with more than 2,000 staff.

To add to the list of successes, we were also blown away this year after being included in the Startup100 Top 100 start-ups of the year, placing at number 56, meaning we were the best agency placed in the top 100 according to the report.

Our work with charities continues too, as well as Action on Hearing Loss, we also work with the UK Sepsis Trust on digital advertising. It’s great to be able to spread both charities’ messages to a receptive, useful audience for them.

Looking forward to 2019, we are seeing positive strides already, both our charities are pulling budgets away from traditional TV advertising to put into digital marketing, which shows the progress we’re making as well as the shifting mindset of national brands as to how they market themselves.

2019 will also be an exciting year for us away from Distract too, we recently launched Featured Ltd, which is an investment incubator business which helps start-ups grow their business. We’re passionate about helping innovators and disruptors to flourish and we’re doing that by offering investment, marketing support, business advice and coaching at every stage. We can’t wait to see which businesses take off next year. We’re constantly amazed with the ideas that we’re being presented with.

One thing it’s never healthy to do is stay still when it comes to business. We invested and exited a business this year and we’re already looking at starting one or two more businesses in the new year. One of these will be a professional services company and we’re hoping to start two eCommerce businesses too.

As well as this, we predict that we’re going to see the Distract team expand even more, as well as seeing around a 20% growth in turnover. This will further cement us as being one of the fastest growing agencies in the East Midlands. I think what’s truly amazing at the moment is that as well as turnover and staff, our reputation is growing. This has meant more national brands approaching us, which can only be a good thing.

Despite the gloomy predictions being seen in the wider business world in light of uncertainty such as Brexit, there’s plenty to be hopeful about within Lincolnshire and beyond. If you believe in your product and surround yourself with the right people, success happens.