Arm Candy’s fourth year came to a close last week. Each year seems to pass faster and get better: we have more team members, longer and stronger client relationships, and we get a little wiser. This was another year of growth for us, but unlike years past, which have been characterized by hustle and topline leaps, this year was marked by significant developmental work. To use a sports metaphor, it was a rebuilding year, and not because our team didn’t deliver revenue growth last year, they did, but 2022 was our first year of focused effort on long-term investments and behind-the-scenes work that we think will pay future dividends. In honor of our anniversary, I’d like to acknowledge and celebrate the quieter, less glamorous work of our team over the past year.
From the beginning, John Lods, CEO & Founder, has believed that investing in people is the path to success. This same philosophy we’re now applying at scale. This past year was a year of significant financial and time investment.
- New office space: The first was in a new office space in Deep Ellum with a custom build out for our team. We are fortunate to work with some of the best in the business to bring our vision to life, with a special shout out to the design team at Perkins+Will.
- Proprietary tech: The development of our proprietary media intelligence technology, Cyris, is arguably our proudest accomplishment of last year with more coming soon as the product is rolled out over the next few months.
- Team build out: We brought on Andy Von Kennel, as President, Partner. In addition, 10 new team members joined us this past year to support growing and new accounts.
- Updated website: Launching soon is our new website, which will showcase the next iteration of our brand identity. As you all know, talking about others is a lot easier than talking about yourself. This project in particular has been a labor of love as we explored who we want to be and then distilled down the many things we want to say to the most important.
In 2022, we expanded our roster in terms of our total team size, but more specifically, we have invested in three agency operations roles to better support our team and our clients. President, Partner, Andy Von Kennel, joined us full-time, bringing a host of brand and agency experience to complement our young and ambitious team. Carla Benitez, hired in 2H of 2021, fully stepped in her role of HR lead and financial manager and has become a crucial resource internally. Lastly, we found that we required a dedicated business development resource (hey, that’s me!) as our agency partners invite us to participate in pitches and the referrals from our network grows (thanks to all of you who think of us for new opportunities!).
Evolved ways of working
If you’ve ever talked with us, you know that part of our special sauce is our obsession with internal efficiencies and a constant finessing of our processes to deliver the best product and service for our clients. With a larger team comes an increased emphasis on training.
- Enhanced client onboarding
- Stronger emphasis on agency certifications
- Depper tagging framework and testing process
- Full-team campaign QA prior to all campaign launches
- Evolved reporting capabilities
- Greater business development process
Since the beginning, we’ve always had the belief everything can be constantly improved which naturally led to one of our core values being the pursuit of getting 1% better each day. More so in 2022, than any other year, did this pursuit of improvement bring noticeable progress.
On a more personal note, I have had the pleasure of seeing the journey of Arm Candy from the beginning. It really doesn’t stop feeling incredible (or really, incredulous) to see what this group of people has accomplished in four fast years. As I’ve thought about this post, this quote keeps rattling around in my brain: “most people tend to overestimate what they can do in a day and underestimate what they can do in a month. They overestimate what they can do in a year and underestimate what they can do in ten.”
Being nimble, taking what comes day by day has been a part of our success, but now, as a team of 35, working with fantastic clients and partners in a brand new space and our tech product on the way, I feel the subtle shift of our time horizon. Reflecting on this past year, I can see what another six can bring. And even if I’m underestimating, that will still be a pretty great place to be.