Looking back & moving forward: 2023 in review and a glimpse into 2024

As we close the chapter on 2023 and step boldly into 2024, we at BB Agency reflect on a year defined by both challenges and achievements. The past twelve months have shaped us in unexpected ways, strengthening our adaptability in the IT industry and deepening our commitment to innovation and growth. 

We can safely say that for us, 2023 was a year of resilience and transparency, where we adapted to market changes with agility, realigned our strategies for financial health, and achieved a commendable 10% growth in revenue. Remaining true to our human-first approach, we continued to innovate, crafting captivating digital experiences for our end-users, and sticking to our values in every project.

Join us as we revisit the key moments of 2023 that have set the stage for an exciting year ahead, complete with a brand refresh and a continued promise of top-tier service delivery.

Navigating the year of disruption

One might say that 2023, for the most part, was a bit out of focus and, because of that, difficult to navigate. It certainly kept us on our toes, unfolding as a year filled with its fair share of industry ups and downs. As we navigated through a series of industry challenges and market shifts, we stayed agile and adapted our strategies to keep up with the evolving demands.

This adaptability was crucial, especially as the crisis in the US tech industry significantly impacted our work, continuing to affect our client collaborations, retainers, and projects. The year saw a significant downturn in venture funding, the lowest since 2018. Global startup investment dropped to $285 billion, i.e. a stark 38% decrease from the $462 billion invested in 2022.

No wonder businesses became increasingly cautious with their spending, leading to a pause in all non-essential projects. Our existing clients and potential leads became more selective and cautious in choosing digital partners due to tighter budget approvals. This shift put considerable pressure on our production capacity and processes.

Many of our US clients decided to put their collaborations with us on hold, and similarly, numerous prospective projects were also paused. This created an overall atmosphere of uncertainty, affecting not only potential engagements but also the stability of ongoing projects and budgets.

Strategic adaptations in
challenging times

The financial challenges we faced were amplified when some of our clients, overwhelmed by market pressures, ceased their operations without settling their financial obligations with us. This put us in a difficult position. Despite doing our best to soften the blow, we found ourselves in a tough spot and had to make the hard call to reduce our team by 10-15%.

This decision was made against the backdrop of a broader tech crisis. Over a thousand prominent tech companies laid off nearly 262,000 workers, creating a ripple effect throughout our community. Interestingly enough, contrary to the expectation that freelancers might thrive in this environment, the reality proved quite different. The surge of talent entering the freelance market, due to full-time employees being laid off, intensified competition and reduced the volume of work available for external professionals, too. In other words, no one was safe. 

So, what was our game plan to get through it all?

In response to these challenges, we revamped our marketing strategy to widen our outreach. This included forming partnerships with lead generation, growth, and SEO companies to attract more leads and potential clients.

Our sales team had to adapt their approach, too, focusing on untapped markets. As a result, in 2023, we found ourselves working increasingly with early-stage companies and businesses from Europe and the Middle East.

The process of securing deals became increasingly intricate. To remain competitive, we adjusted our pricing strategy and streamlined parts of our processes. This did not simplify our workflow; in fact, we invested more time in detailed project estimations and thorough contract negotiations. As a result, our project proposals became more customized and tailored to meet the unique needs of each client.

Maintaining stability amid market shifts

Embracing the spirit of resilience, we maintained transparency as our guiding principle in all communications. We openly embraced discussions about the market’s volatility, adapting to the evolving landscape with flexibility in our staffing approach.

In our commitment to financial health, we made some strategic, albeit challenging decisions. Our leadership led by example, reducing their own salaries, and we smartly realigned our budgets, prioritizing core functions over non-essential expenditures like conferences and professional development.

Our plans for evolving our organizational structure took on a new shape. Our vision to transform our agency’s operations, process, hierarchy, and culture was recalibrated to align with the shifting market dynamics. This adaptive approach ensured that we remained agile and resourceful in these transformative times.

These strategic moves not only helped us navigate the year successfully but also resulted in a commendable 10% revenue growth. We laid out a robust strategy for 2024, gearing up for an exciting brand refresh and continuing our commitment to delivering top-tier services to our clients.

Committed to staying human-first

At the core of our agency lies a deep commitment to human-centric values. Even though we had to make some hard people-related decisions, we did our best to keep the existing structure intact and minimize the effects of the market on our trajectory. 

Internally and in client interactions, we experienced significant pressure. The necessity to deliver more with fewer resources added to the strain on our production team. Despite these challenges, we persevered. In dealing with our clients, we embraced flexibility, meeting their needs and seeking the best possible solutions, often going the extra mile.

Ultimately, our human-first approach is most evident in the work we produce for end-users. Our mission is to create digital experiences that captivate and engage people. Despite facing resource constraints and the need to be more flexible and efficient, the bulk of our projects are grounded in thorough research. This includes user interviews, tests, and behavioral analysis. 

We stayed true to our values, even when client suggestions diverged from our findings. Our dedication to maintaining our integrity led us to consistently seek win-win scenarios, ensuring the best outcomes for everyone involved.

The key lessons 2023 has taught us

If there’s one key takeaway from 2023, it’s that it has honed our agility and sensitivity to industry shifts. Moving forward, we are embracing a more short-term strategic approach. Rather than setting multi-year plans, we’re concentrating on what we can achieve within the next year, enhancing our ability to adapt swiftly to changes.

Probably the most significant lesson learned is the importance of transparent communication with our team. Ensuring that our workforce is fully informed about market fluctuations and their impact on our daily operations is essential for effective management. By doing so, we are fostering a culture where adapting to change becomes the new normal in our work environment.

What 2024 has in store for us (as far as we can see)

As we step into the new year, one of the first major milestones will be the launch of our brand refresh in early Q1, accompanied by a new website and a revamped communication strategy.

In response to current market trends and demands, we are planning to deepen our investment in motion design. Considering we started 2023 with zero in-house motion designers and now have two, our goal for 2024 is to further expand this team.

In terms of client relationships, our focus is shifting towards building stronger, more strategic partnerships. We aim to support our clients’ growth over multiple years, applying a strategic lens to their branding, products, and marketing efforts.

We’re excited to announce that we have already lined up some promising new partnerships for the first half of 2024. These partnerships will require the expansion of our Product Design and Development teams.

An important aspect of our growth is the way we’ve made the most of our experiences. The lessons learned have been essential in shaping our agency’s maturity. For the first time, we conducted a comprehensive bar-setting exercise that set a clear and intentional path for our growth and expansion. 

Looking ahead, 2024 appears to be just as unpredictable as the previous year. However, armed with the lessons we’ve learned, we feel prepared and ready to take on whatever challenges and opportunities it may bring.

Check out some of the projects that defined 2023 for us

Explore our case studies


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