One year on
Andragogy grew from a really great idea and one year on we’re delivering and managing smart digital marketing programs for really great brands. Here we reflect on our start-up journey, and what an incredible journey it’s been!
Why we created Andragogy
Before we created Andragogy each of us were either leaders of agencies, digital marketers or designers. We’d all experienced challenges and pressures affecting our teams - the largest being the constant need to ensure both we and they had the right skills and current knowledge needed to deliver the excellent service to help our agencies grow.
We knew deep down that a person that was being invested in, so getting the right mix of skills and experiences, with real time face to face coaching and support, while gaining an industry recognised accreditation would help that person work harder, be happier, stay loyal and most importantly would just enjoy their job more. So we decided to give marketers just that.
Where we come from
Back in 2014, Paul Monteath started training company The Digital Co to help digital marketers ‘put theory into practice’. By offering tailored training courses delivered by a community of practicing digital practitioners and agencies, The Digital Co ensured everything a student learned could be implemented immediately.
Fast forward to today and we’re now partnering with some fantastic companies like The Digital Marketing Institute and Vortex Training to deliver a blended rich learning experience of eLearning and F2F coaching that gives marketers industry accredited qualifications that can be fully or part funded. We’re now working with great brands like Yard and the future is looking bright.
“Partnering with Andragogy gives us an advantage over our competitors by allowing us to provide our clients with transparency over training and levels of knowledge of the staff they work with. Yard is the first agency in the UK to be able to do this.
By providing staff with ongoing training and assessment plans and by working towards accredited digital marketing qualifications we are also improving staff retention and team morale.”
Richard Falconer, MD of Yard
The journey from 2014 to today has been incredible. Nothing could have prepared us for just how extreme the ups and downs have been. No-one who knows us well will doubt it when we say there’s been lot’s of fun and even some tears - mostly from Sarah :)
Here’s some things’ we’ve discovered about running a startup, and about ourselves, this year:
Things will change. Each of us brings something different to the business, and as such, our original proposition has evolved (more than once) from our first clear vision into something very different that we’re all incredibly proud of.
We’re stronger together. Despite having previously all worked at DigitasLBi - not quite at the same time and in very different roles and capacities - we had never all worked together as a team. Especially in a startup environment. One of the biggest learning curves has been the ability to understand and appreciate each other’s different strengths and weaknesses and turn them into a collaborative dynamic that really works.
You need to take care of yourself. No matter how busy our already hectic lives were it did not prepare us for how relentless life is in a startup. It’s very easy to slip into a way of working that has you burning the candle at both ends and forgetting that your physical and mental health are just as important as working hard.
The value of a mentor. Every business needs a Phil Gripton, someone who can turn all your wonderful ideas into a cohesive proposition and knows how to get the best out of people (or knock their heads together now and again). Phil’s been our non-exec director, board advisor, friend and very often the voice of reason.
The learning never stops. We’re constantly learning from our partners, from our clients and each other. We like to think we have become sponges who take on feedback, support and advice from everywhere we can. Something we need to keep doing as we scale up.
Keep the purpose clear: As much as we love our business - there have been times when we really haven’t. As long as we are always certain about our intended outcome and stay true to what we believe the business should be, we’ve kept moving forward and will continue to do great things together.
Celebrate the wins: One of our biggest, though less visible, achievements is the creation of a product that really works. It’s been easy to forget just how far we’ve travelled from an idea that makes sense to a piloted, marketable product that works and delivers great results. Feedback from clients and our partners tells us we’re on the right track and have produced something amazing - and that’s truly exciting and incredibly fulfilling.
What’s next for Andragogy?
We are really proud of how far we’ve come in one year. This year will see more exciting growth and great insights from the data we generate - and we’re certain there’ll be even more lessons learned.
Wishing you all a successful, happy and healthy 2019.
Sarah & The Andragogy Team