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Born in the North: Why Innovation is Key in Bring Digital’s Six Nominations

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Published Date 27.11.2023

Manchester-based digital agency Bring Digital was shortlisted for six awards at the Northern Digital Awards 2024. The agency’s Head of Marketing, Jonny Taylor, explains why the shortlist marks a crucial point in the company’s journey from Bolton start-up to UK leader.

On Friday 17th November, the 2024 Northern Digital Awards judges revealed their shortlist to the world. The nominations featured a host of the North’s brightest and best brands, with creative titles offering a sneak peek into another year of excellent Northern-bred digital campaigns for the UK’s most prolific brands.

But for the team at Bring Digital, the shortlist announcement was special. The Manchester-based agency had landed nominations in six categories, including “Best Large Digital Agency of the Year.” 

Cue the celebrations.

“It’s been a crazy few months for our trophy cabinet,” says Jonny Taylor, Bring Digital’s Head of Marketing. “It was only in September when we climbed on stage to collect three big prizes at the UK Agency Awards in London. In a challenging market, we’re still able to celebrate these successes. That’s really refreshing.”

Bring Digital’s nominations at the Northern Digital Awards include:

  • Best Large Digital Agency of the Year
  • Search Agency of the Year
  • Best Marketing Campaign: Retail
  • Best PPC Campaign
  • Best Low-budget Campaign
  • Best SEO Campaign

The agency previously won “Large Digital Agency of the Year” and “Large SEO Agency of the Year” at the 2023 UK Agency Awards. It also made this year’s Prolific North’s Top 50 Digital Agencies list.

Celebrating a Northern heritage

While the number of Bring Digital nominations was impressive, Jonny argues that this shortlist is different.

 “We’re treating the Northern Digital Awards as a celebration of our Northern heritage,” says Jonny. “We’ve always been a Northern agency, and we’re proud of that.”

Bring Digital’s humble beginnings are well documented. The company started its life in 2012 in a spare bedroom in Bolton, and though Bring Digital moved to Manchester after outgrowing its Bolton office — now with a team of almost 60 expert marketers — the agency continues to thrive on Northern talent. 

“We’ve always believed that you can access the industry’s best talent in the North,” says Jonny. 

“And with every new hire we make, we’re proven right again. Not only is our team able to service clients from all over the UK, but we’re able to compete with the country’s best agencies for the biggest eCommerce brands.” 

“We have innovative thinkers in all our departments. They refuse to settle for the default approach for our clients. That’s why we have so many award-nominated campaigns under our belt and continue to invest in the impressive talent this region offers.”

Innovation the key to success in 2023

Jonny Taylor, Head of Marketing at Bring Digital

Having been in business for over a decade, Bring Digital has built a legacy of solid processes and expertise that has led it to where it is today: one of the North’s top agencies and a part of the Dark Matter Commerce group — which was named “Large eCommerce Agency of the Year 2023” at the UK Agency Awards — after it was acquired in summer this year.

But Jonny says that they Bring Digital’s willingness to dismantle old assumptions is critical to its success.

“One of the reasons we were shortlisted for so many categories this time is because all our entries show clear evidence of innovation,” says Jonny. “Brands have more complex challenges now than ever before, especially in digital. You can’t solve them with the same tired approaches.”

“Our web migration for CookServeEnjoy, for example, required a custom approach to their unique challenge of putting a brochure site on an eCommerce platform. And with Cotton Traders, we ran a series of SA360 tests to secure the buy-in we needed to increase their returns massively.”

“As an agency, we’re accelerating into a new era by adopting AI in our reporting and communications processes. We’re constantly streamlining the shallow work so we can focus deeply on solving the hardest problems.”

Bring Digital’s focus on upgrading the market-standard service-based model for a solutions-led approach is evident in its recent recruitment drive. The agency recently announced thirteen new hires to service its growing client base and its new Digital Strategy department, the second new department launched this year alone after Bring Digital’s Localisation team in March.

Justin Young, Bring Digital’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “The launch of our new proposition supports our continued investment into digital consultancy and strategic services. It allows us to provide our clients with sophisticated data, analytical solutions, and market intelligence to solve the increasingly complex challenges eCommerce brands face today.”

Past, present and future

“To win at the Northern Digital Awards would be particularly special not just because of our Northern heritage but because of our belief that the North will be the tip of the spear in digital innovation over the next decade,” says Jonny.

“We’ve been the underdog agency in the past. We could never have dreamed of winning Large Digital Agency of the Year when we were a much smaller team. Honestly, we were happy even to be nominated for one category, let alone six.”

“Looking at our growth over the past five years — from a team of twenty to now almost sixty — it’s quite humbling to know that, at our core, our values have remained the same. And they’ll stay the same as we continue to grow. We’re not the underdogs anymore, but we still have that fighting spirit.”

“The competition is fierce. The standards are sky-high. We’re thrilled to be in the running and wish the best of luck to all the nominees. See you in January!”

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