2016 Year in Review: BrightWave Catches More Wind, Demonstrates Significant Momentum >

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It’s been an action packed, exciting and genuinely fantastic year on all fronts. In fact, 2016 once again will take the cake as the best year ever for BrightWave when it comes to all performance metrics. Not bad for a company approaching its 14th anniversary.

Let’s get to the highlight reel.

Named the Leading Independent Email Marketing Agency – the Best of the Best – by The Relevancy Group. 

This was a “signature win” for us outpacing any direct competitors and placing ourselves in elite company. The Relevancy Group, which is headed by former Forrester/Jupiter email analyst David Daniels, called out BrightWave for high marks but in many areas highlighted strengths including data, analytics and technology services, not to mention strong account management and the most partnerships in the industry. This sums it up nicely: “BrightWave is an excellent choice for data-driven organizations that seek an agency partner with strong strategic, creative and analytical capabilities.”

Inc 5000 – Leading the Email Pack

BrightWave made the list of America’s fastest growing private companies for the fifth consecutive time, a feat unmatched by any in the email industry, which is remarkable given the amount of high growth companies in our field and BrightWave being a company without any outside capitol to fuel that growth. All of our growth has come from good, old-fashioned hard work and client success, not someone else’s money.

 Revenue & Headcount Growth

A key performance metric, of course, is our revenue and employee growth and this year has been exceptional on both fronts. While 2016 financials are not complete, this year will be our best ever, combined with a very strong growth rate and meeting our performance goal. Equally exciting is our team growth to handle this new business and expand our capabilities. The team we hired this year will position us well for bigger growth and more client success over the next few years.

 Client Wins

Our new business team has had an extraordinary year, blowing all historical records out of the water here at BrightWave. The number and quality of clients (all leading and growing brands) brought to the BrightWave family is quite impressive and our Q4 alone would make most growth seeking company’s drool in envy.

Client Success/Critical Business Partner

While I can’t share much of the goodness baked up by internal teams for clients in 2016, this year our approach, thinking and execution brought our clients significant success on many levels and this is what we are in business for. Over 90% of our clients say we are a critical business partner, according to our annual client survey.

Tech Team Evolution

One growth area has been our technology team and they have been outstanding in providing a depth and breadth for our clients that we have not experienced until this year. The importance of this team combined with our plethora of deep training, platform certifications and experience on the key marketing clouds make us an agency that can handle just about any enterprise client email need.

Partnership Expansion

Our partnerships continue to be deeper and stronger than any other agency in the MarTech services space. While most agencies may align with just one of the clouds (if any), BrightWave continues to believe strength in numbers is the best way to serve our diverse client base. This year we announced new partnerships with Oracle and Adobe while also expanding our capabilities with many partners, including language translation company, Global Path Translations, anticipating needs for our clients as they develop global content and campaigns.

Big New Guns Added

As I mentioned, we added a lot of great talent to the BrightWave family in 2016. The most notable hires were adding MarTech/agency legend Raj Choudhury as President and behavioral marketing star Rich Wilson as Vice President of Customer Experience. The impact of these two has been momentous and is helping us pave the way to bigger and better things.

Keeper of the Talent

BrightWave added a Director of Talent Management (see what Quinn Giardina had to say about his first year) earlier than most firms of our size typically do. We did it because we felt it was fundamentally critical to making us the one of the best places to work in Atlanta and in our industry. It has paid off in making our culture stronger and many other ways. We also promoted four strong internal leaders to new positions which is part of our strategy for allowing for growth internally for our top talent.

Millennial Research

Our team developed some well-regarded and highly anticipated proprietary research on millennials and their usage and views on email (they use it, respond to it and have some nuanced views on what to do and what not to do). Check out the infographic, white paper and more here.

BW Takes on Email at 48×48

Our team went deep to cover email needs for 51 organizations over a weekend, building out templates for all of these worthy organizations in 48 hours. Raj covers the inspirational weekend here but this was a phenomenal team and community building effort.

Launch of EiQ

We think this will become the definitive email event for the next decade but our launch of EiQ has been incredibly well received. Check it out here and be sure to attend on March 30, 2017 in Atlanta. The initial speaker lineup is quite impressive and this day will go down as one of the best in 2017.

Our team continues to be the best in email and 2017 looks to be huge, exciting and once again will be a ground breaking year for our agency.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and (hopefully) being a BrightWave supporter. I will leave with a link to our Holiday card: A year mightier than the sea…

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