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How Fanbytes overhauled its marketing strategy to take on the giants


By Awards Analyst, writer

December 5, 2022 | 4 min read

Fanbytes by Brainlabs won at The Drum Awards for Agency Business 2022 in the Best Marketing Strategy category. Here, we find out what went into this agency marketing campaign.

A live shot from the Fanbytes Live event

The Fanbytes Live event was a cornerstone of the agency's overhauled marketing strategy / Credit: Fanbytes

The industry space for influencer marketing agencies is becoming ever-more crowded, making it tough to stand out. So London-based gen Z specialists Fanbytes knew it needed smart ways to get noticed and build fame. A busy slate of activities, from live events to internal reorganization, led to growth, major new clients and acquisition by Brainlabs earlier this year.

The brief

Up against well-established players and with new agencies entering the space seemingly every day, gen Z-focused influencer marketing agency decided to overhaul its marketing ecosystem. The goal? To join the ranks of the best-known and best-regarded agencies in the UK.

Starting April 2021, under new head of marketing Joanna Hughston, the team devised a slate of measures to boost brand awareness as a leading gen Z partner to brands; drive lead generation; overhaul effectiveness; and bolster its internal cultures.

The idea

Working with less recognition and a smaller team than many competitors, brand awareness plays included a raft of self-written reports and whitepapers, and partnerships with brands and publishers to distribute those publications.

Events were core to the strategy – central to which was the inaugural Fanbytes Live, alongside sponsorships of Mad//Fest and YMS London. As were a range of digital plays, across social media, email marketing (via newsletters), a website redesign, SEO keyword targeting, digital ads across LinkedIn and Google, and video-first content.

All of which was underpinned by internal restructuring: integrating the agency’s sales and marketing teams under a shared strategy, operating under an effectiveness tracking system for marketing spend and revenue by channel.

Elsewhere, culture-focused campaigns clustered around calendar milestones like International Women’s Day and Pride.

The results

Thought leadership efforts like the 11 Fanbytes Guides have driven thousands of downloads; while two weekly newsletters each have over 2,000 subscribers. Findings have been published in a spread of media outlets, including The Drum.

These efforts and others have precipitated almost a doubling in year-on-year revenue, while average order values have tripled. Impressively, the vast majority of the agency’s business now comes from inbound marketing channels.

All of this has attracted impressive new clients, including Adidas, Back Market, Unidays and John Lewis. It also attracted Brainlabs, which acquired Fanbytes in May of this year.

This campaign was a winner at The Drum Awards for Agency Business 2022. You can see all the winners here.

The Drum Awards for Marketing are currently open for entry. Find out how you can enter now.

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