Xcite Digital is an award winning, digital marketing agency that designs, builds, and markets websites for blue chip clients such as Pizza Express, BP, and Skoda as well as running digital marketing campaigns on their behalf. Founder, Robert Walker, tells inspiresme.co.uk about starting the business as an ambitious 25 year old in 2008 at a time when the UK economy was teetered on the brink of recession, and bucking the trend with continued growth though out the economic downturn.
‘‘While I naturally had some concerns about the economic climate; for the most part, I saw the imminent recession as an opportunity rather than a threat. During a downturn the market tends to change more dramatically. Change ultimately presents opportunities in one way or another if you know where to look and can adapt quickly enough. I knew that if I could build a company equipped to navigate a turbulent economic climate, it would be left in a stronger position for growth and expansion following the return of the economy to a healthier state.’’
‘‘I literally started the business from home by myself. I worked out that I needed to make £800 a month to live on and because I had minimal overheads and worked practically all day, every day I was able to work flexibly across a number of projects with the amount of work being taken on covering my own living costs, whilst determining cash revenue for the business.’’
Following its initial start-up period, the company began to grow, taking on some widely recognisable brands as clients. Today, Xcite Digital consists of 12 full-time staff and a few freelancers to cope with demand, recruited to bring the cutting edge technical expertise to the business demanded by such a quickly evolving and competitive industry. The company's annual turnover is approximately £1.2 million.
The services offered by Xcite Digital include digital strategy, creative, website design and development, and digital marketing which encompasses SEO, content strategy, and social media, as well as project and strategic management. Robert provides some insight into how the agency has been able to attract and retain such large clients.
‘‘Our services are client focused. We offer strategic, multi-channel solutions to suit their business, measured by results metrics that underline the real returns our activity has produced with the least amount of cost per conversion. On many occasions when it comes to winning contracts, we have stood out because we offer personalised solutions based on proven, secure approaches.’’
Robert, who currently shares his specialist digital knowledge as a blog writer for the Guardian online offers his thoughts on the future for an industry where the only constant appears to be change.
‘‘In the past, many companies believed that in order to get online, they need to pay an agency to develop and optimise a flashy website for them. However, with the introduction of commodity-based web packages, who offer clients the chance to create their own website in minutes, it’s so much easier for businesses to achieve an online presence with minimal effort. Going forward the specialist expertise offered by digital agencies will have to focus more and more on marketing that site successfully, integrating a range of both online and offline channels to maximise conversions and ultimately increase the turnover of that business.’’
Looking to the future, Robert says the company’s aim is simply to ‘‘create the most influential and best websites for our clients, while providing one of the best places to work.’’ He goes onto say that ‘‘when people are happy in their working environment, they are more creative which always benefits our clients.’’
Robert also offers some advice for other young entrepreneurs looking to enter into the digital marketing sector.
‘‘This is a great industry to work in, we all have have bills to pay but most of us work in this industry because we love what we do and incentivising the team comes from giving them pride and satisfaction.''
''Try something, fail, learn from it then start again and most importantly keep going and eventually you will be successful. By adopting a positive attitude you soon come to realise that not succeeding doesn’t exist, you only fail when you stop trying!’’