Research from both Econsultancy and other sources consistently shows that marketing spend on digital in the UK continues to grow, particularly as marketing becomes more strategically important.
With companies looking to provide the best experiences for their customers and fend off the competition, agencies have been pivotal in driving continuing success in this sector.
The Top 100 Digital Agencies Report, sponsored by Sitecore, ranks agencies according to fee income from their UK digital activities. The total fee income reported by the top 100 agencies this year is £1.18bn, up 23% from the £962m that these agencies earned last year.
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The new media age Top 100 Agencies Report has always been one of the highlights of the digital calendar, and following the merger with Econsultancy we’re happy to say that it’s back and better than ever!
The report is a who’s who of the digital industry, detailing all the big agencies you need to know and some of the work that helped to build their success.
And here's how you can get involved...
There's a long history behind how agencies are compensated for their efforts, but that doesn't mean that everybody is satisfied with agency compensation.
At one time, agencies were typically paid a commission. Clients didn't like that. Today they're generally paid by the hour, something that both agencies and clients alike find reason to complain about.
Last year, Unilver, one of the world's largest advertisers and a bellweather for the ever-important CPG market, spent $8.6bn on ads, an 8% jump over the prior year.
And it invested heavily in digital, upping its digital ad spend a whopping 40%.
That would normally be reason for agency execs to cheer, but you like won't hear any champagne bottles popping.
The reason? According to Unilever CFO Jean-Marc Huet, the company is working to reduce "the part of the advertising spend which is used to make films, pay agencies and the like." And it isn't where it wants to be yet.
Almost 90% of digital and design agencies believe their clients now expect more work for less money, according to a new survey.
The Design Industry Voices report, which interviewed 500 agency staff, found that 80% said client budgets have been reduced and more than two-thirds (70%) said clients expect more work in pitches for free.
The survey by Fairley & Associates, Gabriele Skelton and On Pointe Marketing is now in its fourth year and suggests that digital and design agencies are feeling the squeeze as a result of the economic downturn.
This is despite the fact that the Econsultancy and Experian Marketing Budgets 2012 Report showed increasing levels of investment across a range of digital channels and disciplines.
In the past few years, companies and brands’ digital ambitions have grown.
More and more sites and apps are being built for longevity, and customers increasingly want fast and functional websites that are both reliable and easy to use.
All of this has meant that in-house technical teams have seen their remits broadening and their capacities stretched. Now, as well as working on complex creative concepts, they’re expected to deliver the support and maintenance to sustain these technical builds.
The number of search queries for the term 'content marketing' has more than doubled in the past two years, reflecting an obvious fact: despite the fact that content marketing isn't new, it's of increasing interest to a growing number of companies.
Just how much interest is there? According to research by the Custom Content Council and ContentWise, marketers are increasing how much of their budgets they devote to content marketing and all told, 79% of marketers report moving into branded content "at a moderate or aggressive pace."
Companies have more opportunities than ever to reach consumers thanks in large part to the proliferation of digital channels, but taking advantage of those opportunities can be difficult.
From display and mobile to social and video, figuring out the best way to use digital channels is no small undertaking.
So it's no surprise that many companies turn to agencies for answers.
It's a seemingly great time to be a brand. Our digital world has created numerous challenges in reaching consumers, but thanks to digital channels like social and mobile, there are arguably more opportunities than ever to create connections.
For agencies, whether the digital revolution is a boon isn't always so clear. Yes, agency services are in great demand as a result, but the complexity of digital advertising is creating some significant pain.