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Peak Ace: 2020 in review

2020 was truly a year like any other; very unremarkable, nothing to report really. See you next year!

No, of course as it was for anyone, this year was rife with challenges. However, we were fortunate enough to find that 2020 gave us many opportunities for growth, care and success. We’d like to give you an overview of what a historic year it was at Peak Ace.

An outstanding year for industry awards

It was an astonishing year for awards at Peak Ace. A major push for European and global industry prizes saw Peak Ace become the toast of the 2020 marketing awards season, winning a total of 35 titles (not including commendations and silver awards). With successes in the European Search Awards, Global Marketing Awards, European Content Awards, Global Agency Awards and Global Digital Excellence Awards (to name a few!), we were delighted to receive more recognition than any other agency in 2020. This was not only a triumph for our content marketing team, of course, but also for our clients. Our campaigns with Sephora, faireparterie, Yours Clothing and kartenmacherei scooped a combined 14 awards this year, which we could not have earned without effective, productive work with our clients.

Crowning our achievements, however, were our numerous prizes for Best Agency and Best Agency Culture. As an agency, we know that it’s our Peak Acers that make Peak Ace great – so ensuring a strong, caring company culture is essential to us. Seeing this recognised was an incredible honour, and something of which everyone at Peak Ace can be proud.

A strong company culture was more essential than ever this year. That’s right, it’s time to bring up the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw companies worldwide having to adapt very quickly to ever-changing circumstances. Peak Ace’s HR, IT and back office teams worked tirelessly this year. Here’s just a few of the things they accomplished:

  • They ran weekly employee happiness surveys to gauge how people were adapting to 100% remote work, to keep track of where extra support was needed;
  • Working with the IT team, they successfully set up every Peak Acer with a home office station, delivering monitors, adapted desks, cables and ergonomic desk chairs within days of the shift to remote work;
  • Fully adapting the office for social distancing, the HR team:
    • rearranged desks to maximise space, installed protective transparent shields between workstations and organised the entire workforce into separate groups to minimise contact;
    • brought in branded Peak Ace masks, and then upgraded them to state-of-the-art, sustainable WingGuard masks;
    • hired Celine, a social distancing and hygiene monitor to ensure everyone keeps themselves and each other as safe as possible.
  • Arranged a simultaneously virtual and safely in-person office Christmas party at the end of the year, with take-home meals for people to participate from home and on-site corona tests for those coming to enjoy the dinner with their colleagues.

Thanks to our HR team’s efforts, we managed to transition back to working from the office two to three days a week for most staff members since July 2020, with no COVID-19 cases linked to the office. Our focus on taking care of Peak Acers first extends beyond social distancing measures too. After almost a year of cost-saving efforts and securing new clients to cover shortfall, our management team succeeded in achieving their top priority: Peak Ace retained its entire workforce, with not a single job lost to the crisis.

Fever pitching: new business in 2020

With various clients in the travel and hospitality industry suffering from the crisis, our teams really pulled through in 2020, winning a whole host of new clients to put Peak Ace back on track. We are immensely proud of the enormous effort that was put in by our Peak Acers to land us new business, with thousands of slide decks meticulously put together for endless pitches.

Just a few of our new clients from 2020 who we’re excited to mention include:

  • a multi-channel partnership with payment provider Mollie;
  • organic SEO contracts with furniture e-commerce site porta and sound equipment giant Sennheiser;
  • software company Qualtrics;
  • computer and gaming equipment retailer Caseking.

And that’s not to mention the pitches still in progress and coming in – thanks again to our teams for their tireless work and welcome to our new clients!

Going virtual: conferences and speaking engagements in 2020

2020 may not have boasted crowded conference halls and massive after-parties. However, there was a benefit of this year’s influx of virtual events: we could be everywhere at once!

Here’s a selection of the places we delivered talks or sat on panels this year, both virtually and in person.

  • Search Y! 2020
  • Friends of Search
  • Advanced Technical SEO Workshop
  • All New Digital Virtual Summit
  • SMX Munich in March and September
  • SEMrush connect
  • SEO NextGen
  • hallo.digital

Missed us at some of these events? You can find Bastian’s slides from one of his most popular talks, at SMX, right here.

We look forward to migrating from our laptops to in-person events as soon as they’re possible – and to welcoming you to events at Peak Ace again, too!

Peak Ace x Google Ad Grants

2020 also saw the start of our collaboration with Google Ad Grants. Much like Google Ads Advertising, Google Ad Grants works by displaying advertisements, but specifically to people who are searching for non-profit organisations.

Peak Ace helps NGOs take advantage of the Ad Grants programme offered by Google. If you’re eligible, you will receive up to $10,000 a month (a total yearly budget of $120,000!) of free advertising budget to achieve your online marketing objectives.

As part of our partnership with Google Ad Grants, we offer clients support with their Google Ad Grants application, all the set-up (including tracking, keyword research, etc), ad development as well as ongoing Google Ad Grants support, reporting and management to ensure you remain compliant long-term.

Here are some of our Google Ad Grants clients:

Corporate social responsibility has always been a central part of Peak Ace’s core values. When we couldn’t have our Peak Acers out working at soup kitchens together ot painting houses due to the pandemic, we found other ways to do our part. With more and more people suffering from unemployment and homelessness during the pandemic, we successfully organised a drive with Kältehilfe to collect coats, jumpers and any warm winter clothes from the office.

Our partnership with Google Ads Grants wasn’t our only new initiative to help businesses with their digital marketing: we also became go-digital certified. In conjunction with the German government, Peak Ace can provide consultancy services and online advertising budget for participating small to medium sized companies.

Content marketers -> content creators: Peak Ace on Air

If all the speaking engagements weren’t enough, Bastian also found a way to reach even more people “in these uncertain times”, by creating weekly livestream vidcast, “Peak Ace on Air”. Originally born of a need to address how COVID-19 was impacting the online marketing industry, Peak Ace on Air quickly evolved out of its pandemic-influenced roots to address a wide range of subjects related to marketing and search.

In each instalment, Peak Ace’s own Bastian Grimm and Dominique Seppelt discuss broad-ranging trending topics in content marketing, SEO and more, with special guests dropping in to lend their insights. We have now produced a whopping 27 episodes, with many more slated for 2021.

This has been an exciting new venture for Peak Ace, allowing us to showcase some of our team’s extensive knowledge and connect with industry experts. We’re looking forward to broadening our scope in 2021 – make sure to tune in every Tuesday at 4pm for the live edition, or follow our recap posts on our website.

 

Closing the year in growth mode

After a long, arduous and successful year, we closed out 2020 with new clients under our belt and ready to get growing.

What with our host of new and international clients, we have been able to begin expanding again. In fact, we’re hiring now for tonnes of positions – maybe one of them is a perfect fit for you?

Thank you again to all our teams and clients for their dedication, support and hard work in 2020 – we’re excited to see what 2021 holds!

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