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2021 Year in Review: The Same, but Different

January 2022 4 min read

It’s been another challenging, but incredible year here at Cantarus HQ. As we come into the New Year, we wanted to reflect on some of the exciting things we’ve achieved over the last 12 months…

New Faces 👋

This year, we’ve scaled up once more. Even in the face of the ever-changing pandemic, we have continued our extraordinary growth trajectory. In fact, we recruited throughout 2021, significantly increasing our team size through an incredible 20 new full-time recruits, leaving us with the strongest team in our history.

We’re now at more than 55 full-time employees, with even more set to join us in 2022, not to mention the several roles we’re actively recruiting for. We’re looking forward to growing even more in 2022 – every new team member we recruit brings with them new skills and a fresh perspective, and we’re here for it!

Cantarus team collage

A New Director 🎉

Our COO, Mike Cundall, was appointed as a Director of Cantarus in March. Mike was the company’s very first employee back in 2009 and joined the Board in 2021 – what an incredible achievement!


An Award-Winning Agency 🏆

We found ourselves shortlisted for an amazing 6 different awards this year, including ‘Large Digital Agency of the Year’ at the Northern Digital Awards, ‘Best EdTech Innovation’ at the Prolific North Awards, and we were the very proud winners of the prestigious ‘Agency Team of the Year’ award at the memcom membership excellence awards!

JJP accepting memcom award

Online Community 💻

One of our major growth areas during the last year was the launch of our online community offering. We knew at the beginning of the pandemic that in-person events and networking wouldn’t be viable for some time, and we had to be agile in helping our customers switch focus to the emerging opportunity represented by online community.

Uniquely within the UK, we now offer a depth of community expertise, both in consultancy and technical delivery. We’ve helped launch almost 20 online communities for a variety of organisations over the past 18 months, including the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport who now receive 11.8K unique pageviews per month on their community pages.

CILT testimonial

Flexible Working is Here to Stay 🏡

We’ve been working from home since the pandemic started and this continued in 2021. The situation gave us a chance to trial a more hybrid approach to work, allowing our team to be remote when they wanted, but visit our Manchester HQ office when they needed to (following government guidelines and social distancing measures). The feedback has been positive, and it has given us chance to maintain our company culture whilst providing improved flexibility to our team. Given the ongoing uncertainty, we don’t exactly know our long-term working model, but we do know that hybrid is here to stay at Cantarus!

Digital Experience Platforms (DXP) & Kentico Partnership 👨‍💻

Content Management Systems (CMS) are no longer enough and 2021 has seen a continued industry shift to Digital Experience Platforms (DXP) for a more holistic approach to digital engagement.

We’ve therefore supplemented our offerings in this space to add Kentico Xperience, a leader in the DXP market. We became Kentico partners in 2021 and are very much looking forward to working more with them this year.

Kentico Xperience, alongside our existing long-term Gold Partnerships with Umbraco and DNN, has resulted in an unparalleled level of expertise and experience in delivering world-class solutions for the web.

Going Headless 🗣️

As we partner with ever-growing sized organisations, we need to ensure we are experts with all industry trends. 2021 allowed us to expand our experience and expertise with Headless Content Management Systems. We became Contentful partners, a leading Headless CMS option for enterprise, and look forward to delivering more Headless projects during 2022.

New Partnerships ✨

We partnered with the Institute of Association Leadership (IAL) and subsequently delivered their new brand, as well as extending our partnership with MemberWise for another year, reflecting our ever-deepening commitment to the membership sector.

Man using computer
IAL branding before & after

Exciting New Projects 🤩

We secured some really exciting clients this year including BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, and delivered some amazing projects (we’re biased, but we do think you’ll agree!) including a new accessible website for Youth Sport Trust, the MyECA app, and an eCommerce site for the Road Haulage Association (RHA).

World-Class Customer Satisfaction ❤️

We use the Net Promoter Score to measure client satisfaction. Our current score is a whopping +82, which is well above the +28 industry average and even the +70 ‘world-class’ score. Our customer support satisfaction rating is 99.6%, with only 1 downvote in the last 12 months, and we’ve grown our client partnerships to 87 (with a 95% client retention rate!).

Our customer satisfaction ratings really are outstanding, and we’re proud to be able to equip our clients with the ability to continually evolve their digital solutions, provide industry-leading support, and build lasting relationships.

What’s Next? 👇

We’re really excited to see what the future holds for us. We’ve got ambitious plans for 2022 and beyond, looking to continue doing what we do best, but with some new, exciting challenges on the horizon – just watch this space.

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Written by Tabby Duff Digital Marketing Executive

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author unless explicitly stated. Unless of course, the article made you laugh, in which case, all credit should be directed towards our marketing department.