B2B marketing agencies are in rude health.  The B2B Agencies Benchmarking Report reveals that 62% of agency leaders (we spoke to 75 of them from the UK’s leading players) describe their commercial performance in 2016 as ‘good’ and a further 26% report that it was ‘strong’.  Their financial numbers reflect this confidence.  85% of agencies have grown revenues year-on-year, with an average increase in Gross Income of 9% and an average rise of 31% in Net Profit.  To fuel this, the number of people employed by agencies has jumped by 19% year-on-year.

But some agencies out-perform even these healthy benchmarks.  What’s their secret?

Well, after diving deeper into the data to see what might set these superstars apart, it seems that high and low growth agencies aren’t that different in most respects.

  • They’re all B2B specialists.  Amongst the fastest growing agencies 88% of Gross Income is from B2B services, and this rises only slightly to 89% amongst their slower growing peers
  • They’re all UK centric.  Amongst the fastest growing agencies 91% of Gross Income is from UK activities, and whilst this drops to 83% amongst their slower growing peers, that’s still a firm majority relying on their domestic market
  • They all focus on three sectors. High and low growth agencies alike report that their greatest expertise is in financial services, professional services and ICT

However, there does seem to be one critical difference.  The fastest growing agencies tend to have a much stronger focus on marketing planning and content marketing.  That gives them a double-whammy advantage.  Not only are these services with high ‘value add’, they’re in high demand, especially content marketing which is now a critical tool for most B2B marketers.

So if you’re an agency leader, it might be worth reviewing the focus of your business to ensure that you’re tapping into these valuable seams.

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About Andrew

Andrew has specialised in B2B research for over a decade and co-founded Circle Research in 2006. He is a columnist for B2B Marketing Magazine, a regular contributor to Research Live and frequent speaker at leading events such as the B2B Leaders Forum, Customer Experience Live and the Social Media World Forum. Andrew is a Chartered Member of the MRS, teaches the MRS B2B research course and holds an MA in Psychology from Aberdeen University alongside an MSc in Marketing from Strathclyde University.

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