The average digital agency daily rate has increased by 6% in the past two years, according to a new survey by Econsultancy.

Smaller agencies (with projected turnover of less than £1m) reported the most significant increases with rates up 8% since 2012.

In contrast respondents with a turnover greater than £1m reported an average rise of just 3%.

However the average results mask the fact that many digital agencies achieved huge increases in their daily rates in the past two years.

According to the results, more than two fifths (44%) of agencies said that their average charge-out rates have remained the same since 2011, but the same amount (44%) reported increases of up to 40%. 

Just under half of respondents (47%) said that their average charge-out rates have increased in the last two years, with only one in 10 having decreased rates. 

In the last two years, what percentage change has there been to your average charge-out rate? 

The Digital Agency Rate Card Survey is based on a survey of more than 320 UK digital agencies carried out in 2014. 

The principal objective of this Econsultancy research is to show what UK digital agencies charge for different types of skills and levels of seniority, and to understand how and why rates may vary, for example by size of company. 

The survey will help you benchmark day rates for more than 50 individual job roles including positions such as creative director, digital content strategist and social media consultant.

Expected change in rate card

The survey also asked respondents how they expect their daily rates to increase in 12 months’ time.

Overall the average rate of increase is predicted to be 7%, though the largest agencies (turnover of £5m+) project a rise of 5% compared to 8% for small and mid-size agencies (turnover >£5m).

The increase in digital rates is coupled with a rise in the amount of advertisers who are introducing performance-based elements into their contracts with agencies.   

A separate survey by the World Federation of Advertisers found that 11% of respondents already feature incentives in their contracts (up from 7% in 2011).

A further 37% of those surveyed say they planned to implement performance incentives, 36% said they wanted to explore value-based compensation and 66% said they wanted to link agency income more closely to their own performance.

However it should be noted that the WFA only surveyed 43 member companies, though they did represent more than $100bn in annual ad spend.