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The Drum Digital Census highlights value of the digital marketing sector in the UK

The Drum has published the results of its Digital Census, an annual report on the digital agency landscape in the UK, conducted in partnership with the Recommended Agency Register (RAR).

The research, sponsored by Green Square, ranks agencies on financial performance and client satisfaction, providing the most comprehensive review of agencies supplying digital services.

Of almost 200 agencies participating in the census, the majority showed positive growth over the most recent financial year, with fee income growth totalling over £188m.

UK digital agencies achieved a total digital fee income of over £1.1bn in the most recent financial year, according to the census, with an agency average of £6.5m, suggesting a healthy state of affairs in the digital industry.

The census classifies agencies by digital staff size, meaning agencies are ranked against only those of equivalent numbers of digital staff – a fairer approach that allows for more accurate comparison.

The top spot for financial performance, in the largest staff size group (agencies with 100+ digital staff), is taken by SapientNitro, part of Publicis.Sapient since its acquisition by Publicis Groupe in late 2014. The agency recorded over £165m in digital fee income in the most recent financial year, achieving growth of £22.6m year-on-year.

Also topping the financial table, for agencies with 51-99 digital staff, is independent The App Business, with a strong average rank across the three financial criteria, and highlights including the highest digital fee income and fee income growth figures in its group. Huge and Builtvisible topped the financial rankings for the 26-50 and 1-25 size groups respectively.

Media agencies are ranked separately by gross billings by digital, with MediaCom taking the top spot.

For more information, the Digital Census financial and elite agency rankings are published online, while the supplement is available from The Drum Store.