2021 hasn’t been without its troubles, but after 2020, it's seemed like a breath of fresh air. To round off the year, we asked our agency partners to share some of the highlights they’ve experienced over the past twelve months.

What’s Been Your Favourite Moment of 2021 as a Business? 

In a year where we were allowed back into offices and hybrid working is becoming the norm, we have seen a lot of success from our network of agencies and brands alike. For some, being able to interact with colleagues and clients in-person has been the highlight of the year. For others, forming new partnerships takes the top spot. What would yours be?

"Bringing everyone back successfully to the office after so many months of remote working." - Charlotte Green – Director, ICS-digital

"Returning to the office and seeing colleagues in person again. Being able to hold team socials has been brilliant for morale and creating cultural glue." - Laura Morris – Director, Trinity McQueen

"Seeing live sport come back and stadiums full of people. Something we've missed massively both as a business and as a society!" - Daniel Simmons – Founder, Populate Social 

"Winning a Gold Roses Award and celebrating as a team." - Liz Bryne – Client Director, Principles Agency 

"Agency growth & onboarding great new clients." - Natalie Patel – Managing Director, Found

If you could share one learning from this year, what would it be? 

The pandemic forced many businesses to learn new ways of working and operating without much warning or preparation. Many of us had to adapt to the challenges of working from home, some had to learn new skills, new tools and new ways to communicate with colleagues and customers alike.

"There really is no replacement for face-to-face working. Hybrid working is a great model to follow, allowing people flexibility while maintaining all the good things that come from in-person working." - Charlotte Green

A return to the office has been a welcome change to 2021

"Don’t be afraid to say no. If the brief isn’t quite right vs. your agency capabilities or if the deadlines are simply too tight for you to fulfil. Turning down business may seem like a terrible idea in a pandemic, but you earn much more client respect when you have clear reasons why and it can lead to even bigger and better wins later down the track." - Laura Morris

"Building a fantastically slick business which really cares for its staff is important, but it can't be everything. Don't forget about sales. Sales are key." - Daniel Simmons

"Great people are more invaluable than ever." - Liz Bryne

"Know when to say no." - Natalie Patel

What’s Been Your Favourite Ad Campaign of The Year?

Over the past 12 months, communication from brands have changed as we’ve gradually gone back to a more ‘normal’ way of living. When companies could no longer try to entice customers in store, the message was of community spirit and resilience. While the tone is still cautious, we’re now being encouraged once again to go out and spend, spend, spend. Brands have had to get creative, and this has meant that 2021 has seen some stellar marketing campaigns. What have your favourites been?

"I’m a sucker for all the Christmas ads. Although a direct copycat of the John Lewis format, I really enjoyed the Christmas McDonalds ad." - Laura Morris

"Free Cuthbert from Aldi - pure class." - Daniel Simmons 

Aldi's marketing team had a lot of fun with the Cuthbert saga

"Aldi Free Cuthbert demonstrates social media at its best." - Liz Bryne

What Are Your Hopes For 2022?

And now, in the last few days of 2021, we look forward to what 2022 brings. We enter the year in a better position than last, but with the threat of Omicron, we still enter with some caution and uncertainty. So, what are your hopes for the new year?

"To hire some talented people, keep doing important work for our clients, and hopefully see as little interference from Covid as possible!" - Charlotte Green

"More interesting and varied client briefs, a return of more face-to-face research (you can’t beat talking to or observing people in the real world to unearth important consumer insights) and continued business success." - Laura Morris

"World peace and a growing business." - Daniel Simmons

"Even more opportunities to create campaigns that stick in consumers’ minds." - Liz Bryne

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this article. Learn more about joining The GO! Network by getting in touch at: www.thegonetwork.com/get-in-touch

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