The Drum Awards Awards Case Studies Agency Culture

Inside 10 years of growth Harvard, medium B2B Agency of the Year 2021


By Awards Analyst, writer

November 18, 2021 | 8 min read

Harvard won ‘B2B Agency of the Year (Medium)’ at The Drum Awards for B2B in 2021. Accrediting its success to its culture, resilience and creativity, this agency came into its own in a difficult year. Get a look behind the scenes of these B2B specialists as they celebrate a tenth year of growth.


Harvard hired 19 new people, promoted 22 of our team, won 20 new clients and achieved Blueprint Ally status.

In 2020, and despite a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, Harvard achieved its tenth year of growth. Anchored in our proposition to help our clients and our people make their move, we helped some of the most exciting B2B tech brands globally stand out from the crowd.

And when we say we, we mean of course our brilliant people – who day-in, day-out drive outstanding results while collectively creating a thriving and inclusive culture, even virtually.

We hired 19 new people, promoted 22 of our team, won 20 new clients and we evolved our inclusive culture culminating in achieving the Blueprint Ally status.

From rebrands and campaigns to thought leadership content and digital events – we managed to push creative boundaries, launch new Harvard services and produce stellar work and results for our clients, whilst securing 94% client retention and 8.82 NPS from our latest client survey.

All-in-all we increased revenue by 1.6% to £7.55m, hit profits of £1.55m and with a 20.5% margin.

Wow, that was some year!

2021 Key initiatives and Achievements

  • Achieved the Blueprint Ally Status after zeroing in on our DE&I processes, from the way we hire to the way we engage internally

  • 18 employees / 20% of our employees are now from a BAME background

  • Increased revenue by 1.6% to £7.55million, profit hit £1.55m, 20.5% margin

  • Made 22 promotions across the business, hired 19 new team members, and added two new board members (maintaining a 50/50 gender split)

  • NPS score of 8.0/10 employees who would recommend Harvard as a great place to work and 91% staff retention year-on-year

  • 20 new client wins helped maintain agency growth, including iRobot, Bloomberg, SAP Concur, OPPO and Tata Communications

  • Client NPS score of 8.8/10 – clients who would recommend Harvard as a great agency to work with, and 95% saying we’re the agency to help them ‘make their move’

  • Launched Eat the Fox, our new consumer brand

Contribution to clients’ businesses

With a client retention rate of 91% and an NPS of 8.82% NPS, some highlights from the last 12 months include delivering wow work:

Connecting the Falklands with Square & Mastercard

Creative storytelling to help bring to life economic empowerment for remote SMEs, culminating in 223m reach and four creative awards so far.

Launching a new global brand for Vodafone VOIS

Impactful internal brand and comms to unify 27 services and 96,000 employees in 16 countries under one standout brand

Transforming higher education for Cisco

A digital thought leadership campaign covering media partnerships, user-generated content and hybrid events to drive 100s of leads and awareness of how Cisco’s tech solutions can have a tangible impact on higher education

Helping Kalibrate capitalize on the EV opportunity

A thought leadership program to guide retail clients on Electric Vehicles, providing 7m audience reach and $1.2m pipeline

Connecting with Vodafone’s SME customers in difficult days

An impactful series of inspirational webinars, practical blogs and eye-catching data stories, the Business Unusual series contributed to 78,000 site visits and over 450 direct customer conversations

We also have a long tradition of working pro-bono for organizations that use tech for good or lobby for change. Currently we work with WeProtect, a global organization led by Baroness Joanna-shields to end child pornography online.

Creative thinking

Beyond creativity within campaigns, we also pushed creative boundaries in 2020 by launching new solutions and services to support our client needs. These included:

  • H20 – we launched Harvard’s new creative code: a three-step process that blends data, insights and creative thinking to produce wow moments for our clients

  • Harvard i360 – our integrated Advocacy proposition covering media, employees, customers, thought leaders and partners – and already supporting our client Workplace by Facebook

  • A new Influencer Marketing service from identification to engagement, rolled out for six clients including Lenovo and Mendix

  • ABM x PR – an innovative solution to integrate PR activity with driving account-based marketing impact, successfully piloted with new fintech client Pollinate

  • Virtual and hybrid events offering created as the pandemic hit and supporting the likes of Cisco and Vodafone

Staff and community engagement

As the pandemic hit, after years of writing agile working policies (literally, years), we went agile overnight. It’s fair to say that alone posed significant challenges, not least trying to find a comfortable space in our homes to turn into our own offices!

We’ve had to learn new skills, new ways of pitching, new ways of communicating, and new ways of looking after our people, to ensure that the isolating effects of lockdown were mitigated and gave us and our people a chance to thrive.

We’ve done that in three ways.

  1. Connectivity & Communication: New tech solutions, a bi-weekly mental health pulse, monthly board coffees and increased internal comms

  1. Cloud Culture: Ministry of Fun, Virtual ‘hugs’, Kitchen talks and Harvard hobbies

  1. Body & Mind: Online learning, virtual gym and yoga, mental health support

On top of this we have helped engage our own clients and keep them at the forefront of the industry, with new initiatives including:

  • Trendivity: Our bi-annual creative and tech trends predictions - designed to kick-start ideas and conversations with our clients

  • Harvard HQ: A quarterly update we use to tell our story and share updates and insights from the agency

  • Marcomms Confessionals: Bi-monthly virtual client events to provide networking opportunities and updates on the latest trends in B2B Marketing

  • Heard@Harvard: our new podcast series that talks to people right at the heart of both the agency world and the tech sector

  • Life after Covid: We researched over 300 C-suite leaders to gain insights into the impact of Covid on businesses and produced two thought leadership reports to guide our clients

Diversity Stats

  • Our gender pay gap has reduced from 19.6% to 7% over the last 12 months

  • As a company we are 60%/40% female to male split

  • Our board is split 50%/50% male to female

  • Equal pay between genders at all levels

  • Currently 17% of our workforce identifies as from an Asian, Black or Minority Ethnic background – an increase from 12% in December 2020

“I have so rarely in my long and gnarly career had the opportunity to work with an agency of the caliber of Harvard, and it made my heart sing to see the quality of your concept and ideas.” - Head of Marketing, TRL

“Thank you for the exceptional work done by the Harvard team. I can’t tell you how supportive and beneficial this partnership has been for me over the last 6 months. I say this a lot, but we really appreciate your team” - Director of Comms, Webroot

“I love partnering with Harvard because of their great people, producing great ideas and great results." - Head of Innovation, Cisco

“I'd love to single out a member of the day-to-day account team for an honorable mention but the reality is they're all exceptional. they have all brought their unique skillsets to bear and haven't been phased by the complexity of Bloomberg. Love working with all of them!" - Senior Comms Manager, Bloomberg

This campaign was a winner at The Drum Awards for B2B. To find out more, including which competitions are currently open for entry, visit The Drum Awards website.

The Drum Awards Awards Case Studies Agency Culture

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