Celebrating 20 Years of Stratique 

Last month marked our 20th year in business, and so I have been reflecting on two amazing decades of change in business, society and of course, in the world of marketing.  I would like to thank all our loyal clients for supporting us and my team (past and present), who helped us shape Stratique from a start-up in my spare room into a bricks and mortar award-winning B2B agency. 

When I set out on this entrepreneurial journey in 2003, (following a successful career in the corporate world), the goal was to pay the mortgage, buy a nice car, not be beholden to a corporate management structure, and get the latest Blackberry phone!  

With a 5-year-old (Charlotte) and a 3-year-old (Sean) shouting ‘daddy, daddy’ EVERY time I was trying to drum up business on the phone, this journey was no smooth ride.  20 years on and they are working in top digital agencies themselves. 

Back in 2003, there was no Facebook or Twitter (they emerged a few years later) and LinkedIn was only a few months old with 245 users worldwide (all in the US). It now has close to a billion users worldwide and provides a third of our results and annual revenues. 

In 2003, the Yellow Pages were still going strong, the hit show Friends was in its final season, the PlayStation 2 and the original Xbox were competing for the top spot in the game console market. In the last 20 years, we’ve experienced a greater rate of change than ever before, and one of the reasons why we have survived and thrived during this period is our amazing team and our ability to adapt, pivot, and embrace these changes. 

In the early days, Google had just opened its UK office and was quietly establishing itself as the king of search, but it was under the radar and SEO was not an established discipline outside of the corporates. But the digital revolution was coming!  

We’ve seen incredible changes in both marketing and industry. Here is an overview of the ones that have made a lasting impression: 

  • We experienced the power of ‘Big Data’, the rise and life-changing effects of social media and social movements.   
  • We survived the credit crunch crisis and financial crash in 2007/2008 (months after remortgaging the house to buy our offices).  
  • We rode the Google wave and survived the ranking crashes imposed by algorithm updates such as Panda, Penguin, and Mobilegeddon.  
  • The rise of smartphones and a new mobile generation resulting in app proliferation and putting more computing power in the hands of every smartphone owner than was on the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. 
  • We figured out that a search-only strategy was flawed in many B2B markets.  
  • Brexit brought more uncertainty and slashed marketing budgets. 
  • COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of e-commerce, and LinkedIn usage not to mention the advantages of remote/hybrid working. I’m not sure if Elon Musk did though!   
  • The education of school pupils and university students was disrupted.  
  • Zuckerberg figured out how to monetise Facebook, Twitter rose, was acquired and recently rebranded as X. 
  • YouTubers have become boxing ‘superstars’ and boxers have become social media stars.  
  • We gravitated to the power of cloud computing, CRM automation and collaboration tools and witnessed the advent of influencer marketing.  
  • The Increase of Fraud and Malware: phishing and cybersquatting spawned a new cybersecurity industry focused on protecting data, computers, mobile devices, and web servers. As website builders we needed to keep apace. 
  • Social Endorsement: Trustpilot, Google reviews, and Feefo have all emerged as key elements of the marketing mix. 
  • Blockchain, video marketing, AI, and voice-activated search continue to reshape the landscape and our journey continues with AI-driven chatbots, integrated AI automation, hyper-personalisation, and more demand for instant results.  
  • A lost Uncle who is the Prince of Nigeria offered me £1m.  Apparently, the bank transfer will be imminent! 😊 
  • Smart Homes: 5G, smart speakers and personal assistants like Alexa have led to a new branch of search marketing and keyword analysis. 
  • The “we want it now” culture is here! Changing consumer behaviours that demand convenience and personalisation are expected. 
  • Ultra convenience continues to drive consumers to the point where some people now find it too inconvenient to type a query into Google or walk to the shop to buy a pint of milk.  

Here’s to the next 20 years of adapting, learning, and evolving! 

🚀 #Teamwork #MarketingEvolution #BusinessDevelopment