Wolfgang Digital, the largest independent Irish digital marketing agency, plans to double its workforce to 120 people over the next three years, with 10 of the 60 new roles set to be added by the end of 2021.
Alan Coleman, founder and chief executive of Dublin-based Wolfgang, said the 14-year-old company had seen its revenue resume climbing this year after the pandemic stalled growth in 2020.
It is now targeting a doubling in revenue to €10 million by the end of 2024, and has also doubled its Dublin 2 office space to facilitate the expansion. The new roles will be based on a hybrid working model, split between the office and remote work.
Mr Coleman said Wolfgang had been close to having 70 employees just before the Covid-19 crisis, which prompted a worldwide collapse in marketing spend in the second quarter of 2020. This pushed the company into its first “backwards step”, with advertising outlays by travel sector companies “absolutely smashed” and its revenues running down about 40 per cent at one point.
However, the sudden surge in the importance of ecommerce as non-essential retailers were forced to close their doors in the months leading up to Christmas 2020 helped its business return to growth.
“Retailers realised it was Christmas, it was make-or-break, and the only way to do it was online, and that turbo-charged it,” Mr Coleman said.
The agency’s most recent online economy report showed Irish online marketing spend in the first half of 2021 was more than treble that seen in the first half of 2019, suggesting “the online opportunity is now considerably larger than it was pre-Covid”.
Amid this rapid evolution in the industry, digital marketing teams have also been grappling with privacy concerns and new restrictions, making their work “considerably different” than it was before the pandemic.
Wolfgang had already started to experiment with remote working before the pandemic, with some employees working from home one day a week, Mr Coleman added.
Work practices are likely to tip further towards remote working in the future, he said, but with an element of office working retained to assist direct mentoring, “learning by osmosis” from colleagues and the social aspect of the workplace.