Matthew Leask

NB Communication's Review of 2016

December 22, 2016

The working year is almost over, and the NB team are looking forward to a well earned rest! We've had a busy twelve months opening a new office, expanding our team and working on a wide range of interesting and challenging projects. We've put together an overview of some of the month-by-month highlights below...


2016 began with a bang as we officially opened for business in Edinburgh. Until this year, NB had never had a physical presence beyond Shetland, so this was a pretty exciting move for us. Our Account Executive, Matthew Leask, who had previously held the role of Project Manager in our Lerwick office, relocated to the Scottish capital to get the new venture underway. Based out of one of the country's leading 'tech incubators', Codebase, Matthew spent the year meeting face to face with clients and potential clients not just from Edinburgh, but Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness, Stirling and London too.


With 2016 well underway, we expected that many businesses would be considering what they should do online to have a successful year ahead. We took it upon ourselves to give visitors to our website a head start by sharing our top 7 tips that everyone absolutely must do to improve their website. Looking back at how busy we've been, it's encouraging to see just how many businesses took our advice on board.

Click here to read the article.


Early in the year, we began work with perhaps one of the most well known clients now in our portfolio. Harper Macleod are one of Scotland's leading law firms, so naturally we were very excited by the opportunity. Following their takeover of Dowle, Smith & Rutherford, an NB client, we were tasked with revamping a dated site and turning it into a top quality modern estate agency website. Furthermore, Harper Macleod have an Inverness branch which had never had any sort of online presence. We worked on strategy with their marketing team in Glasgow from March onwards, and by the end of the year we had successfully launched two websites, which you can check out below:

Harper Macleod Shetland

Harper Macleod Inverness


Our Lerwick-based Account Executive, Alex Fenton, took several trips to our island neighbours down in Orkney. He was there to speak to existing clients but also to seek out opportunities to expand our presence there too. The trips proved essential in maintaining relationships with our Orkney clients, delivering traning and holding review meetings to work on marketing strategies for ongoing clients such as Jollys of Orkney. It's been a pleasure to work with so many Orcadian businesses this year, and here are a few highlights of websites we've worked on down there:

Alex will be travelling to Orkney regularly throughout 2017, so feel free to get in touch and arrange a meeting.


After a busy few months of getting up and running, we were delighted to launch the first project undertaken by our Edinburgh office - MTI. Working with this particular client was hugely exciting for us, as they're a leader in the field of technology venture capital. This project also highlighted just why we needed to expand to the UK Mainland. Throughout, we had regular meetings with MTI's Edinburgh-based marketing team, and we even had the opportunity to pitch our designs to the entrepeneurs behind the company at their main London office.


While Edinburgh was focussed on MTI, the NB team up in Shetland spent the previous month hard at work on some major developments for the Promote Shetland website. In June, we launched the new 60°n platform, a new video and radio platform hosting stories about all aspects of life in Shetland, from wildlife encounters, community events to interesting characters and local culture. Going into the new year, we recommend you keep an eye on this platform around the last Tuesday of January, you might just spot some familiar NB faces...


Like many of you, we spent the summer glued to the footballing action coming from the Euro 2016 tournament in France. Portugal may have taken the honours there, but there was a much bigger prize at stake back at NB headquarters - the Euro 2016 of Destination Marketing title. In the final, Wales faced off with the Republic of Ireland, but if you want to know who won, you'll have to click here and find out for yourself!


August means one thing in Edinburgh - Festivals! While most of you are probably well aware of the world-famous Fringe and International Festivals which take place in the city, you may not know that there is also a festival to celebrate all things digital. Managing Director David Nicol joined Matthew Leask from our Edinburgh office in attendence at the Turing Festival's 'Full Stack Marketing' event on Friday 19th August, where they networked with hundreds of digital marketing professionals from all across the country and witnessed interesting and inspiring talks from leading industry experts, including Rand Fishkin, founder of leading SEO software-makers, MOZ.


While the bulk of our projects involve the design and building of websites, the NB team do have skills in other aspects of development. In September we launched a mobile app for our client Venture North. We were already very interested in learning more about how we could use maps to create some exciting destination marketing tools for our clients, and this gave us a perfect opportunity to try out some new ideas. We made a map-based app that allowed visitors to the Scottish Highlands to find nearby tourist attractions, so if you're planning a trip to the area in 2017, we highlighly recommend you check the app out. It can be downloaded by following these links:


If it wasn't already obvious from what you've just read about the first nine months of the year, it was a pretty busy time for NB, and that meant one thing - we needed to expand our team. In October, we were delighted to bring Marcin Kaczmarek on board as a Project Manager. Marcin recently moved to Shetland from Poland, and brings with him an impressive eight years of experience from marketing agencies around the continent. So if you're a Shetland-based client working with us in 2017, you can know your project will be in safe hands with Marcin!


Around this time in 2015, we were honoured to find out we'd ranked 9th in leading industry publication, The Drum's, 'Digital Census' of the best small agencies for customer service. We considered breaking into the top 10 to be a real achievement, so we were absolutely ecstatic when we found out that a year later we'd moved up 7 places and are now considered to be 2nd best in the country! We'd like to reiterate our gratitude to all of the clients who provided such wonderful feedback to The Drum and helped us achieve this status, it's very much appreciated.

You can read more about our achievement by clicking here.


December is always a busy month for any business selling goods, and that goes for businesses selling online too. We've got a number of e-commerce websites in our portfolio (check some of them out here) and it's no surprise that many of these see a big increase in sales just in time for Christmas. One such client is Shetland Reel Gin, who we spent the tail-end of the year working with to build a new e-commerce system. We used our preferred system of Shopify to launch their new shop pages, and followed up by helping them arrange promos and email marketing. The result of this work was an astonishing '600% year-on-year uplift in sales. This just goes to show that a little investment in your digital platform can reap huge rewards, and we hope to help many more e-commerce clients out in 2017!

December 22, 2016

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