What we do in brief

The DM Lab, The Digital Marketing Laboratory, is a multi-award-winning design and digital marketing agency established in June 2010. We help businesses grow by increasing their online presence, increase leads and ultimately generate sales. As our client grows, they are willing to invest more. As a result we can undertake more meaning we grow together. This can be achieved with an on-going retainer or with a single use of one of our services. We do this using multi-channel marketing methods mainly online but also specialise in graphic design and print for offline marketing.

The DM Lab offers Pay-Per-Click management. Thisn  includes Google Ads which we are recognised as a Google partnered agency. Plus search engine optimisation, email and social media marketing as well as web development, analytics and training. Working with businesses from all sectors, locally, nationally and internationally. We have a client base of over 160 and The DM Lab is built on client successes and ongoing relationships. We ensure that businesses are making more than they are spending on us. They can trust and rely on us to deliver results as we’re a results-driven company that makes brilliant marketing simple!

Our growth

The DM Lab was established in June 2010 at the height of the recession. Born out of necessity due to some unfortunate circumstances. We overcame these initial difficulties by persevering through the hard times. The two directors funded the business, so we had no external financial assistance. We identified a gap in the market for good quality digital marketing as a dedicated service. Not a ‘bolt-on’ extra to weeb development. We focused our energy into this and it proved to be a successful change of direction. In 2014 we rebranded to The Digital Marketing Agency, The DM Lab and have increased our turnover and profits considerably.

In the summer of 2018 we relocated into the city centre. Also taking the leap to recruit an apprentice to enable us to increase the workload and increase our turnover. Now we have established the business, we have been presented with opportunities to work with companies perhaps reluctant to engage before. We have certified ourselves as a results-driven company that delivers results. Our award wins have given potential clients the confidence to work with us and recently have taken on several good local clients of whom we increase leads and continually increasing their online presence.

Our future objectives and how we will achieved these

After establishing in 2010, the following 4 years were a learning experience. After we realised where we wanted to take the company. 2014 to 2016 we laid the foundations, built the client base and continued learning and developing skills. This paid dividends in 2017 when we won two awards because of our work. In 2018 we took the business a step further, relocating to the city centre and recruiting an apprentice. This addition to the team has allowed us to take on more work – both with existing and new clients. It has been a new experience for us, having run the business between two of us for 8 years. However, it’s proved very successful and we’re already looking at recruiting another as the business continues to grow.

With a projected turnover this year of £190,000, we’ve added impetus to push the businesses further. Couple this with space for additional team members and a continuously growing client base, we’re already planning for the future. Planning with regards to accommodating new clients while continuing to service existing clients to an impeccable level. Increasing the workforce is paramount to our future plans. We’ve been really pleased with the aptitude and enthusiasm of our apprentice.

The DM Lab’s achievements so far and how we accomplished them…

Our transparent and honest approach has gained the business notable recognition – locally and nationally. Winning ‘Entrepreneur / Business of the Year’ in 2017. Being selected as one of Small Business Saturday’s Small Biz 100 in 2018. Also being named as a finalist in the Best of Britain Awards and a ‘Creative Business of the Year’ finalist. We have also partnered with UKFast to offer a premium hosting service. Paramount to a good online presence. We’re also a Google Partnered agency, so clients are assured their paid advertising campaigns are in competent and qualified hands.

With the success of the business means we are also able to involve ourselves with local sports clubs, events and organisations. Helping where we can from a digital marketing point of view as well as sponsoring. As we continue to grow we will be looking to help the local community. A company that is genuinely passionate about gaining the county and everything in it recognition from within and afar. Everyone we work with and every community venture we associate ourselves with is chosen because we have a passion for what they do. It’s this added enthusiasm that ensures we and they are successful. Success is at the heart of The DM Lab’s existence.

Challenges and how we overcame them

Our initial challenges were negotiating the recession back in 2010. That and a compulsory redundancy which saw the company form from a necessity to pay bills and mortgages. This ‘need to succeed’ helped us to see through the toughest of times. Couple this with completely self-sustaining the business financially ourselves, we truly have built the business from the ground up. However, our hand was forced with regard to the self-financing. We have struggled to find a good bank to assist with our growth. To this day we do not even have an overdraft. This has proved challenging, especially as we, as with many other micro businesses, often encounter cashflow issues.

We have ensured cashflow doesn’t cripple the businesses by forward planning and efficient workflow. If we expect to encounter difficulties, we will proactively complete jobs sooner than predicted. Much to the satisfaction of the client and financially aiding us. This adds to another challenge of a continuous flow of retainer work and new clients. Referrals and an active social media presence has attracted us a steady flow of new leads. As we expect further growth, we will be attending and exhibiting at a number of expos and business events this year. Something that we were unable to do last year due to workloads and training our apprentice.

Now we’ve found our feet we have one event already under our belt. We have purchased a stand for future events.

As a small team of 2, recently 3, we all have a designated role in the success of the business. If one was out networking, it would affect progress. However, we have a very enthusiastic apprentice bridging the gap. Weire now in a position to commit to more events and networking opportunities. As we feel we are at a point in time to help others in the local market and establish the business further. We’ve also secured some exciting new sponsorships with local events and clubs to both support them and further promote ourselves within the local market.

Local, national and international client base

We work online we have already broken international barriers by offering our digital marketing service to international clients. With our online project management tool, we are able to work with and co-ordinate projects from anywhere in the world from our office. With other software like GoToMeeting and Skype we are as accessible to international clients as they need us to be. We’ve worked with clients in Denmark and Spain. We also have connections in other European countries as well as America and Australia.

One of our longest standing clients, a translation company based in Cardiff is invaluable to us as a potential exporter. We have a fantastic relationship with them and the MD. So, language barriers are not an issue with existing or potential international clients. With readily available and accessible analytics, we have access to all the information digitally we would need to work with international clients. These insights allow us to be able to make informed decisions for international clients.

The figures do not lie and are at the heart of everything we do as a company.

With the world becoming ever more connected by the internet, we will continue to build the reputation of the company so that prospective clients will not be put off by distance or location. We can provide a service, creating an online presence, for anyone, anywhere. Our current reputation and achievements have gained us clients nationwide. We will continue to deliver a high standard of work. As we grow as a business will lead to recognition further afield. We’re already achieving this throughout the UK and increasing our global client base will only help the businesses grow.

The evolution and future of the business

As of last year, we experimented with new ideas to help us grow the business. A very successful activity was organising and presenting a talk on our services. In order to make the most of our ‘once in a business lifetime’ selection as one of Small Business Saturday’s Small Biz 100, we made the very most of our dedicated ‘day’. We hosted two talks that were intentionally not ‘salesy’. The event was completely free, but instead we explained the basics of what we do, so attendees could go away and action whatever they could or felt confident in undertaking. There is obviously a lot more to it but if they could see results from implementing a few tips, increase sales and then would perhaps be tempted to invest in further marketing, maybe even with us.

We had a good mix of people from a number of local businesses attend.

Some knew about us, some were clients who were intrigued as to what we do, and some did not even know about us. Following the event, we made some fantastic new connections and gained several new clients with a couple in the pipeline. It was a very eye-opening experience and we are planning some more (both because of the success of our event last November and also by popular demand with is very humbling!).

This new experience has opened our eyes to new opportunities. Opportunities to both gain more recognition for the business and to also grow the business. We videoed the event and have uploaded one talk to our YouTube channel. The other is privately linked for those who attended on the day. Following the event, we have gained the business enormous credibility. We have been able to increase our local client base considerably as a result. With such positive reaction we will be pursuing this as an addition to the business.

Couple this with our very active social media presence on all popular platforms, sponsorships, blogging, attending events and digitally marketing ourselves, 2019 will be our best year to date.

If you’re interested in increasing your online presence and increase leads, get in touch with us and we’ll see what we can do for you!