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UK medium sized advertising agencies bounce back in 2019

by on January 28, 2019 in Advertising, Latest News, Lead Article, Marketing, News you can use, Nuggets

UK medium sized advertising agencies bounce back in 2019

According to the third annual JFDI New Business Barometer, the definitive guide to new business trends in the UK advertising and marketing agency world, it appears that medium sized agencies are now in the sweet spot for new business success in 2019.

In the previous year (2017), medium sized agencies (50-150 employees) found themselves squeezed between the well-resourced large agencies (150+) and the energised smaller agencies that were taking the lion’s share of new business opportunities. 

However, in 2018 the medium agencies reacted quickly to the squeeze, took actions to improve their new business operations and now appear to be benefitting from this change in strategy.

The JFDI Barometer covers small, medium and large agencies, and provides an in-depth benchmark of their new business performance for new business directors and business leaders.

In summary, it found:

New business targets: Small agencies £1.058M; Medium agencies £1.775M; Large agencies £6.318M

Sources of opportunities: For Small agencies it’s all about mining connections for new business; Medium agencies, client referral and lead generation agencies; Large agencies, mining connections and group opportunities

Agency Marketing spend: Small agencies £43k; Medium agencies £91k; Large agencies £225k

New business priorities: Small and Medium agencies, creating new opportunities; Large agencies, converting more pitches

New business opportunities pursued: Small agencies 21; Medium agencies 70; Large agencies 62

Opportunity to pitch conversion rates: Small agencies 37%; Medium agencies 38%; Large agencies 54%

Number of pitches from new business opportunities: Small agencies 8; Medium agencies 27; Large agencies 34

Pitch conversion rate: Small agencies 40%; Medium agencies 49%; Large agencies 49%

Value of pitches over £500k: Small agencies 31%; Medium agencies 73%; Large agencies 87%

Reasons for losing pitches: Withdrawn budget (31%); No reason (24%); Renumeration terms (20%); Team chemistry (19%); Proposed strategy (18%)

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Mark Clark, Managing Director of @jfdiwinnewbiz JFDI, said:

“We have seen a fight back among the medium sized agencies who are focusing greater resources and investment to new business development which is paying dividends. 

They appear to be taking the initiative from the smaller agencies.

“The larger agencies are relying more on their networks to drive new business opportunities but headwinds maybe on the way as clients move to project-based opportunities; relying less on agency credentials of size and scale as clients become more sophisticated buyers of strategy and creative work.”

The JFDI 2018 New Business Barometer provides a comprehensive analysis of the UK advertising and marketing and agency world. If you would like further information about the Barometer, please contact

JFDI is the leading specialist new business agency that works across the marketing and advertising sectors, having helped over 500 agencies to win more new business via prospecting, pitch conversion and existing client growth.

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