According to the latest research from Econsultancy, predicted growth for digital agencies in the UK has reached an all-time low.

While it’s encouraging that only 15% of survey respondents expect business to remain flat in 2017, the proportion of agencies expecting their businesses to grow by 50% or more has more than halved in the last two years, from 24% in 2014 to 11% this year.

The research also found that on average agencies predict their daily rates will grow by only 2% in 2017.

This news comes from the Digital Agency Rate Card Report, which is based on an online survey of 398 UK digital agencies.

Predicted growth is down but positivity is up

So what’s behind the downturn?

Many respondents cited uncertainty over Brexit as the biggest obstacle in the near future, and more specifically, its impact on clients' budgets and funding capabilities.

A surprising number also mentioned resourcing, with difficulty managing freelancers and finding the right people in a competitive market appearing troublesome.

Despite this level of uncertainty, many agencies reported having a high level of confidence in their business for the next 12 months.

Though it might sound contradictory in relation to the previous finding, this positivity stems from the weaker pound and the opportunities it presents on an international level.

Offline networking growing in importance

Finally, when it comes to attracting new clients, the majority of agencies said recommendations and referrals are the most effective tool.

Though this method is seen as marginally less effective than it was in 2014, other practices like offline networking and email marketing have seen a spike in perceived importance.

What are the most effective business development methods or ways of getting new clients? (2014 vs. 2016)

For lots more on this topic, you can download the full Digital Agency Rate Card Report.  

Nikki Gilliland

Published 16 November, 2016 by Nikki Gilliland @ Econsultancy

Nikki is a Writer at Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

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