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Think Design, The Corner and Space & Time named top recommended digital agencies of 2021

The staff of Space & Time, which won one of this year’s top awards alongside The Corner and Think Design

The Drum Recommends is a platform designed to help brands find their next agency partner, and to support agencies by closing the feedback loop with clients. Brands rate the services they receive, and agencies with enough good ratings achieve recommended status.

Each year, The Drum collates these ratings to identify the teams that consistently go the extra mile for their clients. The ratings process makes these awards unique in their class: with no reports or entry form, winners are determined by the high scores given by their clients.

Cat Hartland, head of The Drum Recommends, believes the ratings function as a system of honest recommendations. “In a recent survey, brand-side marketing and digital experts told The Drum that peer recommendations are their preferred way to find new agency partners, more so than Google and intermediary companies.

“Like-minded peers can provide a proven, honest indication of what an agency is like to work with, and our unique platform makes it easy to see top-ranked companies and awards.”

Of the teams that specialize in digital services and campaigns, the best are recognized at The Drum Recommends Awards for Digital. This year’s winners were revealed at a virtual ceremony on Thursday October 14.

Hartland says she is always honored and excited to see comments from thousands of clients each year because they vouch for the quality of the agency winners. “I can genuinely say that every winner of The Drum Recommends Awards for Digital is worth considering when you’re in need of a great digital agency.”

If you missed the ceremony, you can catch up below, or read on to find out who this year's winners are.

The winners

Awards are given for service categories – the specific marketing and advertising services offered by an agency – as well as performance categories, five measurable areas that indicate a successful client relationship. Each category is divided into small, medium and large agencies.

This year’s grand prix for the Under 40 Staff category went to Think Design Agency, a Manchester-based company that describes its staff as “curiously creative minds.” Feedback from their clients said the agency “demonstrates the effectiveness of a small business on a global scale.”

“We are so very pleased to be working with such wonderful creatives, who are clearly knowledgeable and trustworthy. We can’t recommend them highly enough.”

London agency The Corner took home the grand prix in the 40-99 staff category. Its clients said it “brings value, talent and a drive for results” to every project. “This is a passionate, solution-driven agency that works hard. They are flexible, efficient and have a positive ‘can-do’ attitude to briefs and feedback.”

In the largest agency category, the grand prix for agencies with over a hundred staff went to Space & Time. With 20 years in the business and five offices across the UK, this year it also won six other awards. Its clients had this to say: “They consistently deliver results. We have seen a marked improvement in conversions since we started working with them and they consistently bring new ideas and maintain an excellent level of client service.”

If your agency is not yet a member of The Drum Recommends, but deserves to become officially recommended by The Drum, you can sign up here.

Here is the full list of winners for 2021:

Service categories

Analytics

  • Under 40 Bind Media

  • 40-99 RocketMill

  • 100+ Adapt

Digital content strategy/creation

  • Under 40 Ambitious

  • 40-99 Brilliant Noise

  • 100+ Purple Agency

Digital animation

  • Under 40 FDG Creative Ltd

  • 40+ The River Group

Digital full service

  • Under 40 SO Marketing

  • 40-99 Hallam

  • 100+ Space & Time

Digital innovation

  • All sizes FX Digital

Digital strategy

  • Under 40 The MTM Agency

  • 40-99 RocketMill

  • 100+ Somo

E-commerce

  • Under 40 Aware Digital

  • 40-99 The Pixel

  • 100+ Adapt

Email marketing

  • Under 40 Burn

  • 40+ Torpedo

Mobile

  • Under 40 SO Marketing

  • 40-99 FX Digital

  • 100+ Parkhouse

Online advertising

  • Under 40 Bind Media

  • 40-99 The Corner

  • 100+ Space & Time

Online media buying

  • Under 40 Bind Media

  • 40-99 AMS Media Group

  • 100+ Space & Time

Optimization/conversion

  • Under 40 Bind Media

  • 40-99 Hallam

  • 100+ Adapt

Search

  • Under 40 Launch Online

  • 40-99 RocketMill

  • 100+ Space & Time

Social

  • Under 40 Storm

  • 40-99 The Corner

  • 100+ The River Group

Software development

  • All sizes Somo

Usability

  • Under 40 The MTM Agency

  • 40-99 Coast Digital

  • 100+ Rufus Leonard

Web design

  • Under 40 Think Design Manchester

  • 40-99 Torpedo

  • 100+ Parkhouse

Web development

  • Under 40 Storm

  • 40-99 Coast Digital

  • 100+ MMT Digital

Performance categories

Client service

  • Under 40 Bind Media

  • 40-99 Accord Marketing

  • 100+ Space & Time

Creativity/innovation

  • Under 40 Think Design Manchester

  • 40-99 The Corner

  • 100+ Parkhouse

Effectiveness

  • Under 40 Launch Online

  • 40-99 Hallam

  • 100+ Space & Time

Service delivery

  • Under 40 Think Design Manchester

  • 40-99 Hallam

  • 100+ Parkhouse

Strategic thinking

  • Under 40 Launch Online

  • 40-99 The Corner

  • 100+ Gravity Global

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