We hear from Ian McIntosh, founder of Performance Marketing agency Evolved Search, about his experience working with Waypoint Partners and the difference this has made to the growth of the business.

The Evolved Search story before Waypoint

Performance Marketing agency, Evolved Search, was established in 2013 and had successfully grown revenues organically from a standing start to a little under £2m in 5yrs. They were moderately profitable, had lots of ambition and energy and were on the first steps of establishing a leadership team. 

That was the good news…

Behind the scenes, there were lots of challenges and struggles common to a growing agency and a feeling that the business was often ‘winging it’. The leaders of Evolved recognised that they lacked the critical thinking and processes around delivery, financial control, the value they delivered to clients, and ultimately the knowledge around what would make them an attractive asset in the future. They needed someone to help them organise and focus themselves, create a meaningful strategic growth plan, a standout value proposition based on what they were good at and to reduce their reliance on certain key members of the team releasing some of their growth bottlenecks. 

In summary, Evolved were searching for support and direction on their ‘go to market strategy’, organisational structure, delivery efficiency and management. There was a strong feeling that if Evolved could grow and achieve an ideal shape and scale, they would be able to push past these challenges and accelerate their growth and value of their business.

What has working with Waypoint delivered?

Evolved Search engaged with Waypoint Partners in 2018 and they have come a long way over the past five years supported by Waypoint’s expert growth advisory service: 

  • They have completely changed how they think about the business they run, the value it has to their clients and how they should position themselves to win in their market
  • They have revolutionised the way they sell to clients, deliver services, and measure and ensure performance
  • Their business is organised with an established domain specialist leadership team and financially they are in a strong position. So much so, they now have a balance sheet to support winning larger corporate clients and an underlying growing profitability that makes them an attractive acquisition proposition to interested parties, which was one of the key goals
  • The two founders no longer need to take as active a role to manage the day to day running of the business, empowering the team whose quality of work has gone from strength to strength.
  • Evolved has since won many industry awards as they have scaled, also tucking in ‘best place to work’ accolades and have innovated with innovative working structures to create a compelling and market leading Employee Value proposition, all of which are further testament to the new upgraded confidence and strength of the organisation

The delivered outcomes and metrics:

During its partnership with Waypoint Partners, Evolved has:

  • Grown from 20 employees into a team of over 60 people
  • Turnover has trebled
  • The average client retainer has more than doubled in value
  • Their underlying profitability has moved from single digit to market leading  
  • Signed multiple long term strategically significant large scale deals with their clients
  • Developed a significant market specialism in the Automotive sector

Waypoint has also helped the business to reposition itself as a strategic ‘think with and for me’ partner with key clients, adding value to their growth strategies rather than simply being a supplier to them. Evolved now work with senior executives in their clients to co-create strategic digital marketing plans to deliver on their corporate goals.

Evolved’s underlying profitability has significantly improved to levels that lead the industry thanks to a new focus and strength in servicing clients in line with contractual commitments and delivering on their forecasted results.

Finally, Evolved have expanded their service offering, building a significant new line of business in Paid Media and improving the performance of their client’s web experiences with CRO, expanding the business far beyond its original SEO focus.

Hear more about the Evolved Search story in our Waypointers Podcast titled: Act big, be big: a recipe for agency growth