"What an extraordinary accomplishment for our business in an unpredictable year when no one actually knew whether we would make it or not," says Judith Middleton, CEO at DUO.

"We are incredibly honoured to have survived 2020, but the cherry on the top was being nominated for this prestigious award by our clients," adds Middleton.

According to the agency, the highlights in 2020 for DUO Marketing and Communications include:
  • a 94% retainer client retention rate
  • a 40% increase in upselling to existing clients as they switched on more digital solutions, and
  • a 35% increase in new business opportunities.
"What brought the most relief was the fact that we had no retrenchments or salary reductions across the business," says the agency. "People are what make our business exceptional and we made sure we were investing in and protecting our core staff with regular check-ins and a bi-weekly management training workshop. [This was] for all staff to learn and grow but also to authentically express their fears and concerns."

The agency says that the process unified the team and it has now made it a permanent fixture. "The process helped navigate a lot more than just the short term runway. It really has set us up as a winning team, clear on our purpose, aligned in our values and committed to our next objectives," adds the agency.

"Remote working, fortunately, has had a really positive outcome for our business in that we are now enjoying the benefits of really skilled consultants from across the world including London and Amsterdam," says Middleton.

Founded in 2004, DUO has a 17-year track record as a niche PR and digital marketing agency that specialises in servicing B2B tech brands in sub-Saharan Africa. The company represents growing South African tech companies that are ready to scale into other African countries.

"This is our sweet spot and Africa remains a great opportunity for so many of our tech companies. Our goal is to partner with them to make this a reality," adds Middleton.

"2020 marks the fifth year that MEA Markets magazine has hosted the MEA Business Awards. 2020 has also been one of the most challenging years the region has faced, with little in the way of precedence to guide solutions," says awards coordinator Katherine Benton.

"In the circumstances businesses of all sizes found themselves in, this vast region's entrepreneurial spirit took hold, acting as a guiding light when other options were lacking. It is with this in mind that we organised the 2020 awards," adds Benton.

"While it has been a difficult 12 months, all of those recognised have managed to succeed in a time where success has an almost unachievable goal. I hope you all have a fantastic 2021 ahead," concludes Benton.

For more information, visit www.duomarketing.co.za. Alternatively, connect with them on Facebook or on Twitter.