2013 – A Year In Review

Daniel Ackermann

CEO

A memorable year is behind us! We celebrated our fourth birthday, opened a new office in Belgrade, signed a 1 million euro investment and that’s just the beginning!

We’ve seen a lot of growth and remarkable changes, all of which you can read about in this blogpost.

The year started off with an exciting office move in January. Our new building was 650 m2 and a lot more comfortable for our fast-paced, growing team. In only a couple of weeks, the space became our second home and now we can’t imagine spending time anywhere else.

Right around the time of our big move, our office in Bosnia and Herzegovina celebrated it’s first birthday and we were introducing iSTUDIO.rs, our new office in Serbia.
Igor Grmuša and his team in Belgrade excelled and exceeded our expectations, their growth in revenue was steady through all the year by a whopping 100% per month. So far, this is the first iSTUDIO office that has seen this kind of growth and we hope that iSTUDIO.rs success will continue in 2014. :)

We started focusing a lot on newsletter campaigns for our clients and became Mailchimp experts, getting the chance to use their advanced systems and APIs.

Spring flew by fast, because we were in the middle of preparation for our biggest milestone of the year – the RSG Capital investment . This was our first in many ways – first time negotiating with investors, first time doing extensive business plans of this magnitude, conducting due diligence and preparing sheets and contract terms that ultimately had a total of 116 pages. We came at full agreement on 07/28/2013, and the investment between RSG Capital and iSTUDIO was signed at 1 million euros! We are very pleased with our decision to partner up with RSG Capital because, in addition to the financial push, RSG team is really supportive with their expertise on international markets we’ve been focusing on.

The celebration was cut a bit short, because of all the work we were excited to do.

Our primary focus shifted to internal organization, education of the team and hiring new talent.
We decided there isn’t room for compromise at this point at set quality as our top priority. We hired amazing new people, some of them with more than 15 years of digital experience.

At the end of the summer we threw our traditional team building session. We gathered all of our teams from different countries to talk over plans and ideas for the next year. The best part is the work-play balance, but the pictures show that better than words! This was our “official” team-buliding, but we have a lot of after-work events like pumpkin carving competition we had couple of months ago.

 

2013. was the year of increased focus on performance-oriented digital marketing, this resulted in Google becoming a big part of our advertising activities. Today approx. 30% of our revenue comes from services directly connected to Google platforms making Google advertising one of the strongest pillars of our business. Besides Adwords, we oriented on tracking and measuring website traffic, performance analytics and optimization so we could increase conversions and revenue. In the autumn of 2013, Google confirmed we’ve taken this job very seriously and became experts in the field, giving us the prestigious Google Analytics Certified Partner status. Less than 300 companies in the world have this status and it’s a great privilege to be on the list.

Beside the status of Google Analytics Certified Partner, we’re also Google AdWords Certified Partner, Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer and Mailchimp expert. This makes us very happy because we’re only one of the two agencies in Europe to have this collection of certificates!

We find this very important because innovation, knowledge and investing in the future is something we really value. We motivate our team to try new things all the time and to emphasize that even more, we developed a project startupin24h.com. We gave ourselves a challenge to conceive, design, build and promote a project from scratch, all in 24 hours. There wasn’t room for sleep, we did everything from business model development to programming, design and PR campaigns in a 24 hours marathon and it was a team bonding experience. The result is hivepeek.com

Through the whole year, our utmost priority is the satisfaction of our clients and our team members. To be sure our clients are satisfied, we’ve implemented the feedback system that’s used on a regular basis. This fall, we got the average grade of 4.35/5 on customer satisfaction feedback and we’re very proud of that. There wasn’t even a one service or category that got the grade less than 4/ 5, and the most of our services got an average of 4.5/ 5. This is a great motivator, to push even harder and get even better feedback from our clients next year.

As for the satisfaction of our team, we’ve employed two HR experts and the third will be joining us soon. They’re very invested in making everyone happy and because of this we’ve won the “Top employer” award for 2013. Employees anonymously grade everything on a scale from 1-4 – working conditions, promotion opportunities, employee loyalty, corporate communications, work organization and the relationship with the managers. Our grade was 3.7/ 4 and, for us, this is the biggest recognition we’ve gotten so far. Our team is the main pillar of the success of our company and we’re pleased that our effort and investments in the culture of iSTUDIO is valued by its employees! Without them, iSTUDIO wouldn’t be the company it is today.

It seems like the year flew by, everything we did was to ensure a great 2014 and achieve our main goal: become a global digital agency.

2013 facts

  1. 23 new members joined our iSTUDIO family. They’re phenomenal individuals and we’re 23 times stronger because of them
  2. We grew our revenue of the whole iSTUDIO group by 90%
  3. We invested almost 5000 hours on internal educations and training
  4. Raised 1 million euros
  5. Moved into a great, new 650 m2 office
  6. Won “Top employer” award
  7. Became Google Analytics Certifed Partner + MailChimp expert

Keep an eye on our blog on future updates, we have a couple of suprises in store and will be writing about them soon!

Author

Daniel Ackermann

CEO

Performance oriented CEO with a strong sense for numbers and statistics, especially when it comes to measuring his employees' level of satisfaction. Loves spicy food and believes in lifelong learning.

All stories by Daniel

SIGN UP FOR OUR MONTHLY NEWSLETTER

Get more digital stories directly in your inbox.
Your email is saved
Join the discussion

1 Comment

1

Andrej Kovačević

Reply
Thank you for sharing Daniel, fingers crossed that 2014 will be even more fruitful.

Share your thoughts

Let's work together  →
Go to top
css.php