Web design and online marketing agency, Spindogs, celebrate their 15th birthday on 1 August 2019. Director of Client Services, Claire Swindell, shares her thoughts on the Spindogs’ journey and the development of Cardiff’s creative industries over the last 15 years.

When we say out loud everything that Spindogs has achieved since 2004, it feels like so much has happened that it should definitely have taken 15 years, but it really feels like the blink of an eye!

Over the last 15 years Spindogs has changed massively - from two people to 54, three office moves and two acquisitions and going from one CMS offering to a range of solutions in different tech stacks. What has never changed is our commitment to being a business where people are proud to work and who people are proud to work with. Developing and broadening the skills of the team has been essential in the growth of the business, and we have recruited incredible creatives who have studied or developed their skills locally. This has enabled us to broaden our service offering and satisfy the evolving needs of our clients, and also allows us to play our part in the development of the creative talent in Cardiff. 

As 'Your Digital Best Friend', we build long lasting relationships with the companies we partner with - our first client from 15 years ago is still a client today, and what started as a South Wales client base has now grown to cover the UK and overseas. We have seen continual growth globally with our specialism in the automotive sector and continue to develop new relationships in the Membership organisation, housing association and education sectors, all of which have had to undertake dramatic digital transformations over the last 15 years to keep up with the needs and wants of their audiences. 

When you stop and think about the digital landscape in 2004, you realise there was no Instagram or Twitter, and (can you believe) no iPhones! Facebook was in its infancy and no one could have predicted the monolith it would become. The main platform older than Spindogs is Google Ads, which launched in 2000 but I think we can all agree that the service has changed beyond recognition from its first iteration.

Every marketer is having to keep up with the ever changing landscape and adapt their strategies accordingly, and the questions that we now get asked regarding the various platforms or forms of measurement are extremely multi-layered in comparison to 15 years ago. People can become windswept in the excitement surrounding the latest online trend, and what always needs to be front and centre is the audience and what they need and expect of the client online, managing these expectations is a challenge I anticipate most agencies face, when everyone is looking to be number one with varying tactics and budgets at play. 

The constant evolution of our industry means that as a team and as a business we are in a perpetual state of learning, inventing, fine tuning and trying to stay one step ahead of what is next in our space. Our clients expect us to advise them on how to capitalise on new technology and so we need to understand, ideate and apply quickly, creatively and collaboratively as a team to generate work we are proud of and that gets results. If it sounds like that makes for a busy workplace, it really does! 

The creative scene in Cardiff has blossomed beautifully since 2004, the economic and political landscape we now find ourselves working in is very different, but what hasn't changed is the entrepreneurial spirit of the creatives working tirelessly to constantly innovate and deliver great work. It has been great to see the emergence of a thriving coworking culture in the city, as well as the level of collaboration that abounds within the sector as project requirements from clients become more diverse.

Where we need to support each other is in developing appreciation of the value of 'creative' work, to provoke a better understanding of what is being brought to the table and how it meets a business need, when the concepts are potentially poles apart from how a business has traditionally approached content and how they engage with their audience. 

Everything we have achieved over the last 15 years could not have been accomplished without the dedication of a fantastic team. To those who have worked at Spindogs, past and present, I will take this opportunity to give you a public thank you for your commitment to delivering great work and supporting each other day in and day out. Like anything in life, it's not always easy, but it is always worth it and any culture that we are reputed to have cultivated is driven entirely by you guys. To our clients, thank you for your continued trust and support, we literally couldn't do this without you! We hope that you agree that we take the work very seriously but feel like working together doesn't need to be, and that we continue to be your digital best friend.  

Here's to the next 15!