The full-stack marketing company is hiring local talent to serve its North American clients.
SAHARA, an Iceland-based digital marketing agency, is opening its first U.S. office in downtown Orlando and plans to create 10 new jobs with salaries averaging 30 percent higher than the average wage in Orlando.
The high-performance full-stack digital marketing agency and production company specializes in social media management, digital campaigns, web design, performance measurement, video and ad production, copywriting, and graphic design. It has built an international reputation for helping clients large and small develop customer-centric cost-effective strategies that strengthen the connections between brand and audience.
“We have an innovative business structure and believe in a personalized client relationship approach that motivates clients to trust us and continuously use our services to support their marketing needs,” says Sigurdur Svansson, SAHARA co-founder and owner.
“Our Orlando office has very diverse talent from different areas of the world so we can start thinking outside of the box and bring different cultures into the mix.”Sigurdur Svansson, SAHARA Co-Founder and Owner
Founded in 2009, SAHARA has 33 employees operating out of its Iceland office and seven employees currently operating in the coworking space Pipeline. The company is undergoing rapid growth and is currently hiring, with plans to scale the company within the next five years. Its current network of partners and investors includes 66 North, Lauf, Inspired By Iceland, Krauma, KPMG, BioEffect, Under Armour, Clear Correct, Great Place to Work, REMAX, Rue De Net, Icelandic Police, NetApp and many more.
“At Enterprise Florida, we’re proud to see more and more international firms like SAHARA choosing Orlando for their first U.S. office and the next step for their future,” said TJ Villamil, senior vice president of Enterprise Florida’s International Division.
“SAHARA is the newest addition in a line of international corporate expansions that recognize the value of Florida and Orlando’s global connectivity, depth of high-skilled talent, collaborative spirit and ease of doing business.”TJ Villamil, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Florida’s International Division
The agency has a highly skilled team in Iceland with many years of experience running international campaigns on digital platforms but sought a U.S. location to grow its diversity of experience and background. When first considering a U.S. expansion, SAHARA’s leadership sought a location with a large, diverse and highly skilled talent pool with a variety of experience in different social media platforms as well as accessibility to and from Iceland and cost efficiency to stay within budget.
“Orlando was a city I felt comfortable with since it has so many benefits and checked all the boxes. It is close to major universities, meaning we have access to talent for internships and hiring. It’s important to us to have the opportunity to hire talent that can help our global vision come to life.”Sigurdur Svansson, SAHARA Co-Founder and Owner
“Orlando was also a top contender due to the direct flights to Iceland and ease of traveling to and from. Due to the direct flights and the tourism here, many Icelanders vacation in Orlando so it only made sense to make this our home,” Svansson says.
In 2020, SAHARA received the GDXA Award in the category of the world’s best advertising agency in social media and was recognized as one of the top 10 digital marketing consulting/service companies in Europe at MarTech Outlook in 2020. The agency was also recently voted the No. 11 best place to work in Europe. Svansson says several factors led to that honor including the company’s open-door policy and supportive and collaborative environment.
“I encourage everyone to be included from the beginning and allow employees to try new things, explore other roles and be creative. I also have my team managers join me in the hiring process so they have a say in their team members and feel empowered,” Svansson says. “Another factor is also the team-building activities offered. We have done events such as client networking parties, wellness events, and team outings. We also work in an open floor concept which helps create a culture of belonging and openness for collaboration.”
Svansson says most of these factors have already been replicated in the Orlando office and have proven to be successful here as well. SAHARA also prides itself in following sustainable development goals in Iceland, which it plans to replicate in Orlando.
“The UN has defined 17 sustainable goals through which countries of the world have pledged to eradicate poverty, find sustainable and inclusive development solutions, ensure everyone’s human rights, and generally make sure that no one is left behind by 2030,” Svansson says. “SAHARA proudly supports and strongly believes in quality education, good health and wellbeing, gender equality, and climate action.”
“SAHARA’s focus on diversity, equity and inclusion as well as sustainability and investing in the community is directly in line with and a welcome addition to Orlando’s collaborative spirit.”Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer
“SAHARA’s decision to open its first U.S. office in Orlando is a testament to the strength of our business community, its talent and ability to serve as a hub for international companies to scale and expand into new markets,” says Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.
The Orlando Economic Partnership (the Partnership) helped SAHARA by making the business case for Orlando and connected the company to new talent and local partners to fuel its expansion.
“SAHARA’s decision to open its U.S. location in Orlando underscores major developments that our community leaders have invested in over the years, including our robust talent pipeline and direct international flight options.”Tim Giuliani, Orlando Economic Partnership President and CEO
“Our region’s flourishing business and professional services industry continues to attract some of the top companies from around the world and serves as a platform for rising international firms to reach new heights,” says Partnership President and CEO Tim Giuliani.
For more information, contact Justin Braun at 407.902.0211 or at Justin.Braun@Orlando.org.
At SAHARA, we provide you with the strategic marketing systems and resources you need to succeed online without compromises. We’re a full stack digital agency, which means our team of 40 talented digital marketing experts and content creators can provide a wide range of services to help you grow your business. This way, you get a high-quality service without having to worry about anything. SAHARA is a proud Google Partner, GDXA Global Digital Excellence Award 2021 winner, Global eCommerce Award 2021 and Global Marketing Awards 2021 finalist, Top Digital Marketing Companies in Europe 2020 winner. As well being nominated as the 8th Best Workplace in Europe by Great Place to Work. With our help, you can reach new heights and achieve your business goals. We’ll work with you every step of the way to make sure you get the most out of our services. saharaagency.net
About Orlando Economic Partnership
The Orlando Economic Partnership (the Partnership) is an economic and community development organization that is seizing the moment to advance Broad-based Prosperity® throughout the Orlando region by growing the diversity of the economy and driving investment into the region. The Partnership catalyzes Orlando’s collaborative ethos to fuel regional leadership and improve the region’s competitiveness. Learn why opportunity in Orlando is Unbelievably Real™ at InvestOrlando.org