CloudKettle: Year 9 By the Numbers

Another year. Another batch of stats to share with you! Mostly good, a couple areas to work on… but in the spirit of ongoing transparency (one of the main pillars of our organization), we are determined to share the real numbers and the actual data on how 2023 unfolded at CloudKettle. So, here we go!

Growing across Canada
2023 was a year with some turnover for us (and not the delicious kind). We had team members make big life changes (like moving to other countries), which led to them leaving the team, but on the other side of the coin – we did a lot of hiring. Our team size increased by 19%. This is in stark contrast to the broader IT job market, where jobs growth was down significantly in 2023. The majority of our hiring was for fully remote positions across North America. Currently, our team is holding down the fort from coast to coast and with people working in the AST, EST, CST, and PST time zones. Where will we pop up next?

CloudKettle timezones Certifications
Over the past 12 months, the team has continued to place a major emphasis on growing our skillset and certs. As Salesforce announced new certifications (like AI Associate and Data Cloud Consultant) our team was quick to snap up these accolades, and we now have an impressive 4.3 Certs per Employee (and that’s across all employees, including HR/Finance/non-Salesforce positions), supporting our status as industry leaders.

The Salesforce Ecosystem and ESG
As a Salesforce partner, we focus on Certifications, Equality work, Sustainable Development, and Practice growth in order to solidify our status as a Summit Partner (the highest tier possible). In 2023 we made a concerted effort to go all-in on the Sustainability side of our business. We poured weeks of focused effort into our Ecovadis recertification. They recently made their standards far more stringent, but even so we increased our overall score by 20% and we maintained our Bronze ranking, meaning we are in the top 35% of companies world-wide in terms of sustainability of our Environment, Labor & Human Rights, Ethics, and Sustainable Procurement practices. As part of this process, we also purchased 198 tonnes of Carbon offsets, ensuring that as we grow we are neutralizing our carbon footprint and coming up with new policies to minimize our environmental impact.

 

Our Clients
In 2023 we added some big names to the list of organizations we serve and continued working with some of our long term clients who we continue to be proud to partner with. We’re excited to say that our client roster contains a diverse mixture of promising young start-ups and well-established institutions. Here are some fast facts about our clients in 2023:

  • It was a big year for growth. For 34% of our clients, this was their first year working with us and of our existing clients, 34% increased their investment with us.
  • 21% of our clients are less than 10 years old and 13% are over 50 years old (with 2 of them sitting at over 200 years old!)
  • Word of mouth continues to be one of our strongest marketing tactics. And as in previous years, over 90% of our new clients came to us via referral.
  • Our clients are split right down the middle at 50% Canadian and 50% American.
  • This year we saw revenue from our Canadian clients overtake our American revenue, with 53% Canadian and 47% US.
  • Maybe most exciting of all, our revenue was up an impressive 35%.

With our expertise in industry with high regulatory/high compliance requirements, we saw a fairly even distribution across Public Sector/Government, Financial Services and Health Care clients. Our SaaS clients are always near and dear to our heart, and continue to represent a solid chunk of our client base, as one of our main fortés is helping organizations scale.

The Year of Amazing Swag
Every year we commission a local artist to create a custom design for us which we use as the basis for our annual t-shirt. You can figure out how long someone has been at CloudKettle based on which t-shirts they have in their repertoire of company swag.

5 different tshirt designs for CloudKettle

This year, we wanted to go with a fun “80’s cereal box” theme, and Geordan at Quarrelsome Yeti knocked it out of the park again with his design. Not only did we create a shirt, but this time we couldn’t resist the urge to flex our creative marketing muscles and actually create a cereal box.

We also branched out this year and worked with the wonderful team at BStreet Shoes in California to get some custom Air Force 1s created for our in-house Salesforce MVP, Eliot Harper, when he took the stage at DreamForce. They were a hot topic of discussion at the conference!

Content that Crushed
One thing that we are good at: creating content. Even when we are wildly busy, our team still works diligently to create new content on the Salesforce topics that our community members are most interested in. In 2023, Kettlers produced 35 blogs, 22 YouTube videos, and 9 new downloadable resources – basically on par with our 2022 production – meaning we’re continuing to deliver roughly 1 new brand new piece of content per week to the Salesforce ecosystem.

Salesforce MVP Eliot Harper continued to be golden with his eBook on Salesforce Data Cloud raking in over 1200 downloads – our strongest performing asset ever, and his blog post on Salesforce Data Cloud Model explained amassing over 6000 views. (Honourable mention goes to Sab’s “Free Pardot Email Templates” which was visited over 2500 times.) On the video side of the house, Partner Dan Stratton’s How to Calculate Conversion Rates in Salesforce Reports video had over 7200 views in 2023 (and it was actually released last year), so we’re glad that people are continuing to get value out of that!

To make sure we were getting the word out about our fantastic content, we leaned into LinkedIn as our primary social channel (Sorry Twitter… or, um… X?). We grew our audience by 23% and our engagement rate by 25%. On the website front, our stats were a little wonky thanks to the cut-over to GA4 (which we weren’t loving at first, but we’re coming around). We saw over 20% growth in new users on our website, with just a slight reduction in time on site (down to 2:21). We did some paid advertising to get people to the resources on our site, but the bulk of our traffic – just over 70% – came from organic search.

Doing Well & Doing Good
CloudKettle continues to be a Pledge 1% Company – we give back 1% of our time and our profits to charitable organizations and non-profits. This year, CloudKettle employees gave an amazing 711 hours of time helping amazing organizations across the country including We Are Young, North American Indigenous Games, Easter Seals, YMCA, The Second Step, Build a Dream, and Bide Awhile (just to name a few).

Misses
While we had a successful year, it was not without some hiccups. 2023 was difficult for many tech companies, and we really felt that in Q2. That quarter alone was so soft that while we grew revenue 35%, that was unusually slow for us and we did miss our annual target. Also turnover was higher than forecasted and this matters because at the end of the day, without an amazing team – we can’t deliver amazing work.

Additionally, we were hoping to grow our YouTube presence and focus on producing more videos for the community in 2023, but our number stayed relatively consistent. And disappointingly, we are still waiting on our Health Check App to go live in the Salesforce App Exchange (we can count on us screaming it from the rooftops once it’s actually live!)

Wrap Up
We’re a company of high-performers and any miss against our annual V2MOM goals hurts (probably more than is healthy). That said, it was still a great year for CloudKettle. In 2023, most players in our space had layoffs, including all the ones that we benchmark ourselves against. We’re fortunate that we had years of great content to help generate amazing leads, clients who believed in us and continued to invest in the Salesforce ecosystem, and a dedicated team to deliver wins. Like previous years, I’m grateful that I get to wake up every day and do the thing I love with a team of people and clients that are fun, smart and interesting to work with. There is a trope about doing the thing you love and never working a day in your life, etc, etc. Yes, it is a trope, but I’ve been around long enough to know the misery of doing something I didn’t love, and that has made all the years at CloudKettle – including 2023 – all the more enjoyable. Looking forward to 2024.

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