Gartner maps the digital marketing agency playing field highlighting industry leaders


By John McCarthy | Media editor

April 9, 2018 | 4 min read

AKQA, Isobar, R/GA, Accenture and Ogilvy & Mather are among the companies named as leading global digital marketing agencies in a comprehensive magic quadrant study from Gartner.


Gartner ranks digital marketing agencies

The firm ranked leading digital marketing agencies across categories like client growth, marketplace understanding and delivery of next-gen marketing tech. Performance was visualised on ‘ability to execute’ against ‘completeness of vision’, highlighting challengers, niche players, leaders and visionaries. The results were formed from qualitative and quantitative data and the compiled scores were not shared by Gartner, rather each agency's position in respect to each other.

Scoring as leaders were the likes of AKQA, Isobar, R/GA, Accenture, SapientRazorfish, IBM iX and Ogilvy & Mather. Agencies in this quadrant shared their joy at being ranked.

On the other hand, firms like Huge and Mirum, were ranked as ‘visionaries,’ Deloitte Digital, PWC Digital Services, Havas and Wunderman as ‘challengers’ and networks like Merkle, Epsilon, Proximity and Cognizant as ‘niche’.

Although agencies dubbed leaders have been celebrating the accolade, Gartner analyst Lydia Leong, has previously said that there is “a user tendency to misinterpret the magic quadrant, and the correlating vendor tendency to become obsessive about which quadrant they’re placed in”.

She said the beauty of the system is to “is that it reduces a ton of quantified specific ratings (nearly five dozen, in the case of my upcoming MQ) to a point on a graph.”

Gartner’s FAQ said that the data is not composed solely on “strictly mathematical calculations” but added it takes into account “publicly available information, feedback from the client base and industry contacts” in ratifying the score.


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