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Startups Awards Hall of Fame: Andy Atalla, atom42

Media agency boss Andy Atalla was our Young Entrepreneur of the Year back in 2009. We catch up to find out how atom42 has grown since

There’s a good reason atom42’s Andy Atalla was picked out by judges as a one to watch. The 2009 Young Entrepreneur of the Year now runs a multi-million turnover business with 30 employees.

The Camden-based company also has a client roster to induce envy. And the awards keep coming.

Here, Atalla shares his highlights and milestones, plans for the future, and what winning at the Startups Awards did for his business.  

What’s happened in the last six years since you entered the Startups Awards?

We won the Startups Award in 2009 and, since then, the business has tripled in size. In the last year, atom42 has worked with a record number of new clients, won two major awards and completed highly successful campaigns.

Andy Atalla atom42

Andy Atalla, atom42

Recent client wins include c2c Rail, where we’re helping out with SEO, PPC and display advertising. We’ve also started working on web design and online marketing work for Vita Coco, as well as SEO for Artisan Patisserie Anges de Sucre.

For Practical Action we’re now working on PPC and SEO, and the same for watchmakers Christopher Ward. Our two most recent wins are organic food delivery company Abel & Cole, as well as a content strategy project for Homebase.

We have achieved six award nominations in the last year, including two wins. In the UK Search Awards, atom42 won Best use of Search – Third Sector for our campaign ‘Drinkaware – A Force for Change’, a campaign which also won us SEO – Best Charity / Not for Profit Campaign in the Drum Search Awards.

What’s been the single biggest highlight for the business since winning?

The biggest highlight for us has been winning some fantastic clients, including match.com, Bounty, Care UK, AOL and The Huffington Post!

Meanwhile, working on major campaigns for clients is always very exciting. We’re really proud of some recent ones, including Future Legal Mind for National Accident Helpline, and Date Explorer for match.com.

Future Legal Mind was a national consumer campaign carried out on behalf of National Accident Helpline, who were keen to give two promising young law students (one undergraduate, one postgraduate) a leg up on the career ladder. The campaign achieved nationwide coverage from newspapers and universities, and proved so successful that it has now become an annual awards scheme.

Meanwhile, atom42 worked alongside match.com on their successful ‘Date Explorer’ campaign, helping to maximise the campaign’s reach online. The campaign, created by Brands2Life, involved commissioning a blogger to travel round the world and learn the best ways to date in five countries, and was borne out of the knowledge that only one in four Brits think we are good daters compared to other nationalities.

What are you hoping to achieve in the next year or so?

We’d like to continue with the growth of the business that we’ve achieved over the last six years.

atom42 is performing better than ever before and we’re always keen to showcase that, as our clients’ online performance is a sure way to continue our own organic growth as a business.

We’re currently servicing around 20 clients, more than we have done at any point in our history. We’re also continuing to grow in terms of the number of people employed by the company, with a current total of 30 staff.

Client satisfaction is a key strength for atom42 and is usually the way new clients hear about us. We’re therefore keen to make sure that we highlight the great client feedback we receive on a regular basis, which is clear from our regular online reviews.

What did winning at the Startups Awards mean to you?

It was absolutely fantastic for us to be recognised by the industry. Once you’ve achieved that first award as a business, it opens doors for others and benchmarks you as an ‘agency to watch’. We were therefore thrilled to gain that first big break that the Startups Awards title represented.

Why would you recommend entering awards like this?

It’s great to get yourself out there. We got a lot of positive feedback after winning, met lots of interesting people, and also – just got out there as a team and had a great night out.

To enter the 2015 Startups Awards, click here.

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