When Scott Jones set up a digital marketing agency more than a decade ago, he had a bigger vision than just making a living. He wanted to create a legacy.
The ambitious entrepreneur aimed to create a business that boasted a rich, inclusive and meaningful culture, as well as being efficient and capable of servicing any client.
He wanted to build a team who would not only take on board his values and ethos but run with them and champion all that they stood for, understanding them so thoroughly that he would eventually ask them share in the company’s success.
Scott reached that milestone at the beginning of this year, when he invited longstanding staff members to become shareholders in the now award-winning 123 Internet Group.
CEO Scott said:
“It was a logical move for me. Seeing the team leaders grow and take these roles gives us the growth and stability for the future that we need. These people are the future of our industry.
“When I started out, I always wanted to create something that would last, like a legacy. The goal was always to build a business, but scale was never a thing in my head.
“I wanted to have a team, definitely, and I wanted the right cultural fit. My aim was to create a structure that other team members could grow into and then lead.
“Fasttrack to where we are now and the team is probably the most important part for me. The team are the business.”
It’s an exciting time to be part of that team. The Milton-Keynes based full-service agency, which has seen impressive growth in the past two years, is very much seen as a go-to for everything and anything related to digital marketing in the region.
The team provide a full service offering from start to finish, bolting on to a company as an outsourced marketing partner. By doing this, they can meet a client’s requirements whether they need a single piece of content or the running of a whole campaign.
“We very much partner with our clients to support them with their marketing efforts,” said Scott. “We use our inhouse design development team to create logos, branding, and launch and create websites and our digital marketing team to offer social media support, email marketing, organic SEO and everything else that connects that together. It’s a 360-degree approach.”
123 Internet Group, who work from offices in Kiln Farm, have a very relaxed, open-door policy for clients, which also encourages the unity.
“For most of our clients it’s about that partnership,” said Scott. “Quite few clients will drop in for a coffee and bounce around an idea for a campaign and then leave it with us to write the content and make it fly.
“We are very versatile; we can offer the full range of services and we believe in that partnership. It’s not just about the marketing, we get involved, support them from the ground up, and make sure they get the right return on investment.”
The award-winning approach has seen the 123 Internet powerhouse secure large local and national brands such as Domino’s and the Dawson Group as retainer-based contracts and win various prestigious tenders.
They have scooped numerous honours, the latest of which was the New Normal Award at the Northamptonshire Business Awards and the Local Hero Award, presented by the Mayor, to recognise their response to the pandemic. They have also been named a finalist in the Milton Keynes Business Achievement Awards (MKBAA) for 2022.
As a company, 123 Internet Group received no government support during the Covid lockdowns, but they continued to give to the community, creating a funding support package with major banks and helping companies to take advantage of the funding to enable them to adapt to homeworking and have greater digital access.
They also produced useful guides to help business adapt to, and embrace, the digital economy.
“We were giving back to the community, staying front and centre. We stayed busy as clients understood that they needed to stay visible. We actually grew throughout that time and put six people in employment.
“The team didn’t want furlough and to be honest we were so busy it wasn’t an option. From a financial point of view, it could have benefited the business, but I didn’t want to split the team. Instead, we sent chairs, desks and monitors home so people could work properly, and we now work a hybrid approach. It was the right call, and we’ve felt the ramification of that since.”
The firm, which has a £1m turnover, has a big business mentality for a small company. Everything is cloud based and process driven, which helps with growth as they can scale up quickly where necessary.
123 Internet Group are the only local agency with a gigabit connection of 1GB and invest heavily in the latest technology, including state-of-the-art Macs, curve screens and a Zoom phone system, which helps them to be most effective and efficient.
The company are also the largest UK agency and the one of the first in the country to hold the title of founder and platinum partner for social media management solution, Sprout Social.
Scott said: “We are market leaders and have our fingers on the pulse. We understand industry trends and are very reactive. Because we have a young team they are prime in terms of marketing. They understand what they do and they are in it everyday.”
They are keen to share their passion and this spring, The 123 Internet Group team will host an industry-leading conference to give local businesses the chance to learn about the impact of digital transformation.
The fourth annual MK Digital Summit will be held on Wednesday 18th May at Red Bull Racing in Tilbrook.
Delegates will learn how to push their business to the forefront of digital marketing through knowledge sharing from renowned industry leaders.
Scott said: “Our MK Digital Summit is ultimately an amazing opportunity for knowledge sharing and industry insights from the biggest industry speakers. Our industry is fast paced and ever changing, so staying abreast of trends and learning from the best in the business, alongside likeminded people, is a must.”
Tickets for MK Digital Summit are on sale now. Visit www.mkdigitalsummit.co.uk