10 years of Unity Online

2 April 2024

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This year marks 10 years of Unity Online. It’s both an exciting moment to look ahead as well as a point of reflection for the team, and Managing Director, Alex. 

Looking back 

In lots of ways, the Unity Online you see today is a far cry from where we were in 2014. For starters, there are a lot more of us. We also have more capabilities and services available within our team, so we can do that much more for our clients when it comes to providing a holistic digital marketing service. Despite the changes however, the core values that defined us from the start remain rooted in the same commercial pragmatism.  

When Alex first came up with the idea for Unity Online, he saw a gap in the market in Suffolk for a digital marketing agency focused on working with SMEs. The options for small and medium sized businesses looking for digital marketing support was either to work with a big national agency, where you were just a number on their list, or to employ a freelancer who didn’t have the scope to deliver everything that was needed. The vision was to provide a practical, affordable, ROI focused service that made sure businesses had the right web presence and digital marketing strategy to achieve their goals.

In the early days, the office consisted of Alex and two team members, a couple of laptops and his car, driving to see clients and explaining why they should give them a shot. The concept quickly caught on because in a world where people spoke a lot about “pretty websites”, they were talking about business strategy and tying it directly to digital marketing. Alex says: “I didn’t ask ‘what do you want your website to look like?’ but ‘where do you want your business to be in three years time?'”

Moving on up 

By 2016, Unity Online consisted of a team of 10 driven people who wanted to learn and work in a dynamic business. By 2017 we had outgrown our initial home and moved to an office at The Buntings in Stowmarket. 

By the time 2020 rolled around, the team had more than doubled to 26 people and 150 clients, but we still felt like we were just getting started. Once again, we had outgrown our space, so we moved, taking up three floors at the iconic Needham Market railway station building. 

Covid broadened the competitive landscape in many ways, with an increasing shift for companies of all sizes to have a strong online presence. As more organisations woke up to this reality, we were able to react quickly, using the strong processes we already had in place and expanding our team to meet growing demand.

We also expanded our services to provide end-to-end digital support exclusively in-house, whilst also being more accessible for our clients and the best digital talent in the region. The company’s two-pronged dedication was to driving tangible, commercial results as well as delivering client experiences that ensured they felt supported by a transparent partner who can help their business grow.

We took specific action to place the client’s interests and objectives at the forefront of everything we do, enshrining that ideal in the structure of the company with the appointment of our Head of Client Experience. This role acts as the guardian of inclusive, collaborative working relationships with clients, a mindset which then runs through Unity Online as a whole with carefully curated communications and processes that make sure everyone we work with enjoys transparency, value and clear communications.

Scaling up

The Pandemic was a rapid period of growth for Unity Online where we didn’t hold back. We scaled our team in all directions, attracting clients who, like us, wanted to use that period of time to supercharge their business. 

Leveraging that position, in the last four years we have become a major player in the digital marketing space thanks to putting robust procedures in place and having formalised our ability to deliver great results. We have also invested in our team and our working environment, making it an even more attractive place to work as we’ve transitioned from being a start-up to an established business. 

Crucially, our dedication to customer experience and results is no mere ideology, but reflected in customer feedback. For example:

“From the initial pitch and all the way through many stages of the build, Unity Online have been professional and easy to communicate with, providing regular updates and working closely with us to deliver a product we are very happy with. We are now utilising their SEO services to improve our web performance, which has so far yielded impressive results in our current rankings and engagement on our website.” – Tru7 Group

“We are delighted with our brand new website built by Unity Online. They managed the whole process with care and efficiency, working closely with us at each stage to fully understand our needs. Special thanks to Oscar who was so attentive and made the whole process absolutely seamless, using his technical knowledge and ‘know how’ to bring our ideas to reality. We highly recommend Unity Online!” – SnakesAndLadders Brentford

“Unity Online listened to our brief and produced exactly what we were looking for. We now have a new website to be proud of and for that reason we wouldn’t hesitate in recommending Unity Online. Communication throughout the whole process was swift and efficient and it’s clear that the Unity team has a wealth of knowledge behind them. Thank you for making the process very painless!” – Russell Bedford

Looking ahead 

Never ones for slowing down, we completed 2023 with a strategic rebrand to reflect our journey to date and to ensure we remain at the forefront of the digital marketing wants and needs of businesses.  

The first quarter of 2024 has seen us welcome another seven new team members, bringing our total to 40. To cap it all off, we have some very exciting news to share in the coming weeks. We look forward to telling you more in the not-too-distant future.

As we look forward to the remainder of this year and the next decade of Unity Online, we’ve got our foot firmly on the accelerator. Priding ourselves on having a team that’s distinctly insightful when it comes to bringing together digital marketing skills with a deeply ingrained understanding of business strategy, we remain unique in the market; energetic, enthused and eternally focused on the client’s bottom line.

As Alex puts it: “We’re very grounded as a team. There’s an immense amount of talent amongst us, covering all aspects of digital marketing, but underpinning everything we do is the knowledge that clients come to us to make their phone ring. We never lose sight of that, and that’s exactly what we do.”

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