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There is a newer version of this report available: Digital Agency Rate Card Survey 2014


The Digital Agency Rate Card Survey is based on a survey of more than 350 UK digital agencies carried out in 2011. 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. We are confident that this report provides real practical value both for those working client-side who want to understand what the going rate is for different services, and also for agencies who want to benchmark their own fees.

The report also contains sections on business confidence and projected turnover increases which have once again enabled us to provide top-line data about the health of the industry. The report findings contain overall averages for the following types of agency job role, with a further breakdown of the day rate average by size of agency:

  • Director / Partner
  • Commercial / Strategic
  • Project / Account Management
  • Creative
  • Content, Usability and Accessibility
  • Technical
  • Media Planning and Buying
  • Online Marketing, eCRM and Market Research
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Social Media
  • Affiliate Marketing, Email Marketing and Web Analytics
  • Testing / Quality Assurance and Training 

Highlights include:

  • The proportion of agencies surveyed with more than 50 employees has increased from only 5% in 2003 to 18% in 2011. One in nine agencies surveyed now has more than 100 employees.
  • Decreases in daily rates are evident across areas including project and account management, creative, search engine marketing and media planning / buying.
  • Agencies now typically have more reliable income streams, with a significant increase in the amount of work done on a retainer-basis. For the largest agencies, 40% of work is done on a retainer basis.
  • The proportion of agencies surveyed that are ‘quite’ or ‘very’ optimistic about the future of their business over the next 12 months has increased from 90% in 2008 to 94% in 2011. However, slightly fewer agencies are ‘very optimistic’ this year (35% compared to 39% in 2008).
  • The most significant challenges agencies face include increased competition and commoditisation, staff recruitment and retention, declining client budgets and increased difficulty attracting clients.

Table of contents

  1. About Econsultancy
  2. About this survey
  3. Executive Summary and Highlights
    1. Summary table – Average daily rates by job role
    2. Summary table – Average daily rates by category of job role
  4. Profile of Responding Agencies
    1. Year company founded
    2. Average number of employees
    3. Projected 2011 turnover
    4. Geography
  5. Business Confidence
    1. How optimistic are you for your business over the next 12 months?
    2. Projected year-on-year growth
    3. Most effective business development methods
    4. Opportunities for growth within the digital agency marketplace
    5. Challenges
  6. Charge-out Rates
    1. Analysis by job roles
      1. Average day rates for Director / Partner
      2. Average day rates for Commercial / Strategic roles
      3. Average day rates for Project / Account Management roles
      4. Average day rates for Creative roles
      5. Average day rates for Content, Usability and Accessibility roles
      6. Average day rates for Technical roles
      7. Average day rates for Media Planning and Buying
      8. Average day rates for Online Marketing, eCRM and Market Research
      9. Average day rates for Search Engine Marketing
      10. Average day rates for Social Media
      11. Average day rates for Affiliate Marketing, Email Marketing, Web Analytics
      12. Average day rates for Testing / Quality Assurance and Training
    2. Change in day rates
      1. Change in average daily charge-out rate since 2009
      2. Expected change in 12 months’ time
    3. Rate card availability
    4. Average discount offered on rate card
    5. Reasons for variances in charge-out rates
  7. Nature of Work
    1. Retainer versus project work
    2. Work done by contractors versus employees
    3. Fixed fee versus 'time & materials'

Download a copy of the report to learn more.

A free sample is available for those who want more detail about what is in the report.


  • Pdf Disabled Digital Agency Rate Card Survey (1.38 MB PDF)
  • Pdf Disabled SAMPLE: Digital Agency Rate Card Survey 2011 (392 KB PDF)

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