The Drum publishes its Independent Agencies Census for 2016, benchmarking the UK's independent agency sector

Independent Agencies Census

The Drum has published the results of its annual Independent Agencies Census, a research report providing an insightful overview of the independent marketing agency landscape.

The research, conducted in partnership with the Recommended Agency Register (RAR), highlights the performance of independent agencies in a marketing landscape dominated by large international networks.

The results were presented at a breakfast held in The Drum's London office this morning (27 July), hosted by The Drum's head of research Shane Taylor and attended by agencies featured in the report.

Over two-thirds (77 per cent) of the marketing services companies who took part in this year’s Independent Agencies Census experienced a positive growth in turnover in the last financial year. Meanwhile, combined growth for the entire census was over £83m, with a trend for growth across each of the four staff size groupings which categorise the census.

Agencies are ranked in the census according to financial performance as well as client satisfaction, according to the RAR system of ratings. The census also highlights agencies that have performed best on average across each of these comprehensive measures.

For this year's Independent Agencies Census, the classification of what constitutes a media agency was broader than in previous years, expanding to include those with a focus on digital media.

Some of these firms are pure media specialists, whereas others provide a broader mix of agency services.

Agencies were placed into this table based on recommended services on the RAR platform, and key financial metrics such as efficiency and profit ratios.

As a result of these changes, some of the agencies that appeared in our main tables in previous years are now listed in the media category.

Of the 180 marketing services agencies surveyed, Oliver ranked in first place for agencies with 100 or more staff, with a turnover growth of £15m in the last financial year.

For agencies with 51-99 staff, Red Brick Road topped the table after achieving the highest average ranks across the financial criteria for that group.

Topping the financial tables for the 26-50 and 1-25 staff size groups were Fold7 and Friend Studio respectively.

The Specialist Works, meanwhile, topped the media buying agencies table for financial performance. More results can be found here.

The Census also lists the independent agencies that have achieved the most effective balance across both the client satisfaction and financial performance polls. Referred to as elite agencies, the 100+ group was led by Leeds-based Intermarketing Agency.

Two agencies shared the number one spot in our 51-99 staff group, with Yorkshire-based MB Advertising and Marketing and London agency Bulletproof topping the elite table for this size category.

Bluesky Interactive took the crown for the 26-50 staff group, and Miramar held the top spot for our smallest staff size bracket.

Space and Time Media took our final elite number one position, in the media buying agencies group.

The Drum Independent Agencies Census supplement is published with the latest issue of The Drum magazine (27 July), while the comprehensive full report, containing all tables and detailing all findings and analysis, as well as profiling each of the agencies analysed in the research, is also available.

You can view the topline rankings at the Independent Agencies Census website.

Independent Agencies Census 2016 gallery

Friend Studio
Friend Studio, number one in the financial table for agencies with 1-25 staff
Red Brick Road
Red Brick Road, number one in the financial table for agencies with 51-99 staff
Bulletproof
Bulletproof, joint number one in the elite table for agencies with 51-99 staff
Total Media
Total Media, fifth in the media agency elite table
Space and Time Media
Space and Time Media, first in the media agency elite table
Elmwood
Elmwood, number one in the client table for agencies with 100+ staff
Omobono
Omobono, third in the elite table for agencies with 51-99 staff
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The Census also lists the independent agencies that have achieved the most effective balance across both the client satisfaction and financial performance polls. Referred to as elite agencies, the 100+ group was led by Leeds-based Intermarketing Agency.

Two agencies shared the number one spot in our 51-99 staff group, with Yorkshire-based MB Advertising and Marketing and London agency Bulletproof topping the elite table for this size category.

Bluesky Interactive took the crown for the 26-50 staff group, and Miramar held the top spot for our smallest staff size bracket.

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