No slowdown during lockdown, as 123 Internet Group continues its phenomenal growth
123 Internet Group are a full-service digital marketing agency based at their barn conversation in Kiln Farm. Award-winning and innovative, they support local, national, and international businesses using their own in-house design, development and marketing teams. Founder and CEO Scott Jones discusses how the agency has expanded over the past 10 years, and the plans in store for continued growth.
Starting life in offices opposite Campbell Park, 123 Internet Group prides itself on being forward-thinking and innovative; the team have a big company mentality with the agility of still being fairly small. With all the high-end systems, processes, and solutions that you would expect from a larger brand, Scott has been clear from the start that by investing in the best technology and building a young, dynamic team with key skills, 123 Internet Group could challenge their larger rivals. And this is exactly what his agency is achieving.
One of the primary services offered by the team is SEO expertise, ensuring the client’s website is featured on page one of Google under their chosen terms; as it currently stands, 123 Internet Group has sites listed on position one against over 5 billion results! Billion! Scott told us,
“This is no small feat, and testament to the skills and dedication of the team. We’re excited to have achieved these results for our clients, and with our expansion plans well under way, we’re well-positioned to capitalise and grow on this success.”
The team also act as a full outsourced marketing department for many clients, providing the full services of an in-house team, with the benefit of a much larger headcount and skill base.
Despite the Covid-19 lockdown proving a challenge to businesses throughout the UK, 123 Internet Group continued its growth, recruiting 5 new staff members throughout 2020 so far. Reflecting on the growth of the company, and the impact this could have on the benefits of so far being a small team, Scott reflected,
“Although we are growing quickly, agility, and being committed to supporting each of our clients in different ways, is ingrained in everything we do. I’ve no doubt that as we expand, the passionate and unique culture that makes 123 Internet Group so special, will only increase too.”
The facilities at the Kiln Farm headquarters make it the ideal environment to accommodate growing staff numbers and has allowed Scott to transform the original space in Campbell Park into a second base incorporating a photography and green-screen studio. The team moved into the converted barn 3 years ago and credit the open plan environment and inspiring backdrop, in encouraging free-flowing creativity and collaboration. Off the beaten track, surrounded by beautiful scenery, it’s hard not to feel motivated by the stunning location, which was exactly why Scott chose this space to house his growing business. Scott said,
“We can’t wait to welcome clients back to our office, once Covid-19 restrictions allow. Everyone always comments on what a brilliant space we have, and we certainly agree.”
The in-house design team has developed an enviable reputation for creating a range of graphical assets, from social media and marketing collateral, as well as full logo, branding, and website design. In addition, as the firm grows, they have broadened their skillset and now also create animation and videos for clients, including drone and greenscreen footage. With the opening of the second office, the volume and complexity of the work 123 Internet Group can produce was enormously expanded. Scott said,
“We are a very friendly and advice-driven company, always trying to offer as much support as possible. We are flexible, and although we deal with big brands, we are still focussed on supporting and growing smaller businesses too. Our team are young and passionate and highly skilled with ambitious goals.”
This ambition has led the team to be recipients of increasing accolades in recent years. In 2019 123 Internet Group was crowned Business of the Year (Less than 50 Employees) at the SME MK & Bucks Business Awards, coming in the same year as a team member won the Young Creative Person Of The Year at the Next Generation Chamber Awards. Scott told us,
“Every day I see the growth and support from our team and it’s the on-going positive feedback we receive from our clients that makes everything worthwhile. Every year we celebrate our success together, as a team, where we normally travel abroad to celebrate a pre-Christmas party together. We’ve been to locations as diverse as Iceland, Dublin, and Kent, and the atmosphere is phenomenal. We work hard, celebrate each other’s successes, and stay vitalised for the opportunities ahead.”
It’s not only the SEO, marketing, and design teams who have been working on exciting projects throughout the wider turbulence of 2020, with both the development and social media arms of the business enjoying their own successes. With 123 Internet Group’s development team creating bespoke websites geared towards producing a high level of ROI, as well as being easy to update for the clients using them, the team has been instrumental in driving the wider success of the company.
123 Internet Group is a founder partner of SproutSocial and the social media team now manage over 250 profiles across almost 70 client groups. Last year alone the team researched, created, and posted over 70,000 messages – this includes animations, custom images and blog-based content. Awarded the SproutSocial MVP Partner Award in 2018, the team not only manage client social media accounts, but also offer training and coaching on their expertise.
With the phenomenal pace of growth and specialist skills now within the business, it could be forgiven to assume that Scott would be satisfied to take his foot off the pedal and relish his significant accomplishments. However, nothing could be further from the truth. In considering the company’s plans for the next twelve months, Scott told us,
“By the end of 2020 we intend to have recruited and taken our staff numbers to 20. We have plans for a London base, and owned, dedicated offices here in Milton Keynes to enable our team to deliver continued excellence for our clients. The business has grown from a handful of staff to our current headcount without external investment or debt, which is something I take great pride in. Growth has come from reinvestment, and as one of the only agencies with 1GIG internet connectivity, we have no plans to slow down now! We have recently launched our LinkedIn lead generation and appointment setting services, together with launching our 3D Immersive Property Scans, where we have already supported high-profile, national clients. Every day is a new challenge, and with the wonderful team behind me, we’re excited to surpass all expectations.”