The Drum's inaugural Independent Agencies Census, the most comprehensive overview of the independent marketing agency landscape to date, has been published.
The report showcases the success of marketing agencies that go it alone in a business space traditionally dominated by large networks.
Agencies were ranked against those of a similar staff size in order to provide valuable comparisons with their peers, and were scored on three separate performance indicators: financial performance, client satisfaction, and peer recognition.
In addition, the report has highlighted the success of agencies that performed average best across the primary polls, earning them 'elite' status.
In the group with the largest staff size, 100+ staff, SapientNitro took first place in the financial poll, while Zone and Karmarama came in as the group’s top elite agencies due to their performance average across all three measures.
Also to top the financial polls were Rufus Leonard in the 51-99 staff group; Aesop in the 26-50 staff group, and Energy Live among companies with 1-25 staff. Essence was ranked number one in the media agencies financial poll.
The results of the financial poll suggest that independence is no obstacle to success. 82 per cent of the 261 agencies in the financial poll showed positive growth over the most recent financial year, with the combined growth in turnover reaching an impressive £108m.
The analysis also reveals a positive correlation between small staff size and rapid proportional growth in turnover, with agencies in the 1-25 staff group achieving an unsurpassed average surge in turnover of 31 per cent.
The UK's independent agencies range vastly in terms of staff size, with the smallest to appear in the census, Planning Unit, operating with just one person, and the largest, SapientNitro, currently employing 1013 staff. The 261 agencies that took part in the financial poll are comprised of exactly 9,849 staff with an average headcount of 38 across the sample.
The Drum Independent Agencies Census supplement is published with the latest issue of The Drum magazine (14 May), while a comprehensive report, containing all tables and detailing all findings and analysis, as well as profiling all 274 agencies analysed in the research, is also available. Both can be purchased on The Drum Store.
A round up of some of the key statistics to emerge from the census can be viewed in the infographic below.
The Drum's Independent Agencies Census is sponsored by: