Important news: DBA Design Effectiveness Awards
Important news from the DBA regarding the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards. The new entry deadline is on 30 November 2018.
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Over-service has become an all too familiar term across the design sector, where more work rarely coincides with an increase in revenue. In a service based industry it’s easy to go over and above on those key strategic accounts that drive revenue and worry about the wash up later… why not make a New Year’s resolution to take back control of your real-time outputs to negate these issues?
The ability to identify which accounts the metaphorical kitchen sink is being thrown at in real time and acting on it quickly, should be a vision for every agency in 2018. On the other end of the spectrum those accounts that need a little TLC should also be flagged before it’s too late.
Knowledge to help you run your business efficiently requires real time information on how each job is tracking against the client estimate, real time information about resource requirements and whether jobs can be juggled to avoid additional freelance costs, real time retainer utilisation data, clear information on which jobs are in scope and which are not, real time information on which of your staff are performing and which are not, which accounts contribute and which don’t.
In our experience, agencies tend to see greater transparency of their business after big process reviews. These improvements, such as a systems upgrade, generally take time and effort to decide on but once implemented can save significant margin.
Leading agency, JKR Global’s account service staff used a myriad of complex Excel templates to prepare estimates before entering summarised data into their existing system, because it was easier. This led to a number of common problems:
Since the roll out of Pegasus at JKR Global, their FD Mike Khan has remarked at the range of agency process improvement the system has driven, leading to an increase in recoverability across many of the key metrics the DBA Annual Survey Report provides insight into, such as recovery rates of staff utilisation, rate card recovery and overhead management.
How many of the common problems detailed above do you encounter within your own business? If they seem all too familiar, then it’s time to take control. With another year over and a new one about to begin, be sure not to repeat the same mistakes of 2017 – instead empower your agency by gaining access to your data. With the right system in place let’s make the headache of using Excel and multiple other tools to prepare estimates, create revenue forecasts, allocate resources etc. a thing of the past. Once you’ve done this, your 2019 mantra will be ‘Profit is the power to do what you want’.
At Pegasus making agencies more profitable is in our DNA. We have vast experience of running agencies and know how to implement a system to improve the visibility of all elements of your business. We start by conducting a process review and audit of your existing system and then demonstrate how we can configure Pegasus to meet your requirements and make you more efficient and profitable.
Pegasus provides a specialised marketing services software solution focused on exceeding our clients’ expectations, developing the system with our user base and building long term relationships through innovation and exceptional client support. Our clients include all major international groups, plus a growing number in the UK with notable agencies such as JKR and Droga5 amongst them. Supporting over 130 clients with 6,000+ staff globally in London, New York, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Philippines, Japan. We are a private staff-owned company with over 30 years focused solely on the advertising and communications industry. All directors are previously agency FDs, all client service and product delivery staff have worked in agencies in senior financial roles. Our in-depth understanding of agencies’ processes is our strength!
Find out more: www.pegasussystems.com
Asking clients the right questions is an important tool for business improvement – ‘How can we do better next time?’ ‘If you could give us one piece of advice what would it be?’ ‘If you could choose one area of your business that you’d like us to know more about, what would it be?’ – And never take ‘You came a close second’ at face value.
Jonathan Kirk, Up to the Light
Take time to be aware of yourself and the needs and feelings of your staff, your clients, yourself! Be aware when you’re tempted to respond to situations with your reactive mind and don’t let your ego take-over. Notice when your mind creates a scenario that may not be reality!
Gary Baxter, Lightbox Consulting
Commit to doing something every day, however small, to deliver on your new business and marketing plan. Polish up your LinkedIn profile, update your CRM, ask for a testimonial, research a business you’d like to work for, arrange a coffee with an ex-client, delegate a case study write up, or ask someone to help fix that thing on your website. Happy Christmas!
Lucy Mann, Gunpowder Consulting
Whilst many of us bemoan Brexit it has led to opportunities. The weaker pound means our creative work is up to 20% cheaper outside the UK than it was pre-Brexit (depending on the country you are selling in). We have a strong reputation in many markets for our creativity so take advantage.
Adrian Day, Adrian Day Advisers
I keep seeing the same core values churned out time and again which are more marketing speak than values – ambitious, creative, passionate, loyal etc. I would urge founders to dig deeper for their true values or beliefs. Try this one in 2018: “Be impeccable with your word”. This means speaking with integrity, saying only what you mean, not gossiping, being positive and not speaking ill of others.
True values are promoted only by the founder living them, rather than putting them in a slide presentation.
Ian Cochrane, Tice Group
I don’t mean half-nelsons, assumptive closes, or any of that double glazing salesman stuff. I mean work hard at selling: identifying real problems, and defining real, unique solutions. People buy people, but there are lots of great people in our industry. Clients won’t buy what they don’t need. On that note, it’s pretty cold outside. Can I interest you in some double-glazing?
Jeremy Davies, Little Train BD
Commit to not getting carried away when a new client wishes to commission work, but rather consider carefully the terms of the contract upon which the studio is to be engaged. When a prospective client waves a nice bit of work in front of a studio subject to their terms of purchase, then good business sense often goes out the window. Always stand back and check the terms that are being offered or better still ask your solicitor to look at them!
Darrell Stuart-Smith, Humphries Kirk LLP
The “Now” is about improving business as usual by a deeper understanding of what clients need, what you do best, where you add most value and where you have the greatest right to win. The “Next” being a deliberate and parallel programme of ‘self-disruption’ – your Project You – to pioneer your future business-as-unusual business model, brand proposition, culture, services, methodologies and those ‘winning arguments’ that will transform and grow your business for the future.
Ralph Ardill, Ralph Ardill Ltd
Invest in training your staff in those soft skills that so often get overlooked. Knowing how to sell creative in the right way, to speak with greater presence and gravitas and to demonstrate genuine passion and authenticity can make all the difference to winning more business. In addition, agencies that ensure adequate investment in training and development are far more attractive to investors.
Surely that’s a commercial point worth serious consideration?
Catherine Allison, Master the Art
Agree to do your best at everything that you do. This is a clear signal that you want to succeed and as long as you have given it your all you won’t go too far wrong.
Rod Petrie, Coach
With GDPR coming into effect on 25 May 2018, content is now more important than ever in business development. To encourage new business prospects from not opting out from any communications from you, content has to be highly targeted and relevant to their job titles, remit, brands, companies as well as their issues/challenges. Highly relevant and targeted content also further positions you as a leading authority on the subject.
Andre Young, Angsana
New Year is a time to think, plan and dream about the year ahead – don’t set yourself up for failure by starting with a short-term target that can all too easily be lost in the ether of the back-to-work fug.
Think longer term – Write yourself a list of 5 things that you want to achieve in 2018, and set a calendar reminder for each quarter so you can see progress.
Jeremy Paterson, IF Media Consultancy
When there are pressures in an agency to perform, especially for new business, or when growing / nurturing an existing client, it is easy to sideline face-to-face contact and to rely on email and calls.
Take the time to meet with clients and prospects, you will get far more in return. There is no substitute for dedicated, regular contact in the form of meetings or workshops or events where you are in a room together.
Natasha Ellard-Shoefield, The Hand
Now then, let’s see what you’ve prepared for your business going into the year ahead. Vision? Tick. Finances sorted? Check. Marketing strategy and plan? Yup. Client relationships programme? Done. Team recruitment and motivation? Certainly. Active development of your core offer: design thinking, creativity and delivery? Um… well, maybe not that one so much. Make 2018 the year you remember why you went into design in the first place.
Shan Preddy, PREDDY&CO
If you have a particular business challenge or are looking to move your agency to the next level, we’ll work closely with you to connect you to an expert, whatever the issue. We’ve identified expert consultants with sustained and relevant experience in supporting the design industry, so you can rest assured that we can introduce you to the right one to meet your needs.
Clear out the old and make room for the new with Leo Cosendai’s much-loved New Year’s Day Gong Bath! Tired from 2017? Or from New Year’s eve?! Then take a Gong Bath for an evening of calming relaxation and rejuvenation. Allow the powerful sound frequencies and energies produced by the gong to remove the stresses of 2017 from the cells of your body and create balance between the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system, the right and left hemispheres of the brain as well as in the meridians and chakras. The gong will produce a blissful state of meditation so you can unwind, restore your body and mind and step into 2018 grounded and centred, with energy and intention.
For a thoroughly Christmassy day, start by satisfying your spendings account at the Christmas markets at LASSCO, Bermondsey; the warehouse space features a late-night market during the Christmas season. You can browse through a medley of vintage bric-a-brac and one-off pieces to find something truly unique for your special someone. Even better, you can browse with cocktail in hand, from LASSCO Bar and Dining, the seasonally influenced small plate restaurant.
Follow on with a showing of “A Christmas Carol” with an immersive twist; there will be the usual sing-a-longs and audience participation, but also impromptu guitar renditions, eccentric and surprising moments of improv and parlour games, not to mention a sumptuous Christmas feast.
Take your Christmas celebrations back in time, 150 years to be precise, with a Victorian Christmas at York Castle Museum. The Castle and its cobbles will be decked out in traditional Christmas decor and feature gingerbread making activities and the Castle’s own Ebenezer Scrooge who will help visitors discover the true meaning of Christmas.
For a winter extravaganza south of the River Thames, Winterville in Clapham Common has something for every festive elf. Think ice rink, roller disco, mini golf, fairground, backyard cinema, market and even a spiegeltent with special Christmas show as well as the usual rotation of cabaret shows and brass band performances. Winterville is your one-stop-shop for all things Christmas with a touch of frost, in London.
Keeping south, why not stroll down to the local Christmas market at Pop Brixton? Supporting local traders, the market features artisanal one-off products all in the surrounds of shipping containers stacked one on top of the other to make the unique indoor/outdoor space that is Pop Brixton.
Short of a present for a cook? Get them this great new cook book from Aaron Bertelsen who manages Great Dixter’s vegetable garden. I’ve been cooking my way through it much to the delight of my friends and family.
Second gift idea is an edible Christmas wreath and if you’re too late to order then make your own.
And while you’re on the Rocket Garden site, why not take out a veggie patch subscription that delivers exactly what you want three times a year with all the instruction you could need; gardening for the non-gardener and you get to eat it all. Go on, rip out one of your flower beds for this, it’s much more fun.
The Welsh capital turns it on for Christmas. There are plenty of covered ‘arcades’, so you can shop whether rain, hail, snow or shine. There are also lots of Christmas market huts all over the city centre, for a more traditional Christmas market feel.
This Christmas, Rogue Village has partnered with The Biscuit Factory, SugarDaddy’s Bakery and set designers, Pyrus Botanicals to create an indoor winter woodland inspired cinema in the heart of Edinburgh. Taking the outdoors indoors and screening a smorgasbord of Christmas classics from family favourites through to pure nostalgia, all in a magical winter setting, with seasonal inspired festive cocktails.
The importance of sustainability is growing in all markets. The focus is clearly on finding sustainable solutions and materials that enhance natural capital and promote the circular economy. In practice that means optimizing usage of natural resources, safeguarding product recyclability and eliminating waste.
Ecodesign should be the start point for all product development, and concepts such as Label Life can offer a holistic understanding of the life cycle of labels in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, water consumption and waste. This enables you, the designer, to really understand the life cycle impacts of different label products, and provides credible information about the environmental performance of labels.
When it comes to paper labels, the basic minimum should be choosing papers that are certified as coming from sustainably managed forests. You need to know the origin of the wood and FSC and PEFC are two forest certification standards that verify responsible paper sourcing.
The next step to consider would be to select paper products that can demonstrate a net positive environmental impact. UPM Raflatac’s new FOREST POSITIVE concept does just that and can credibly demonstrate that its RAFNXT+ labels are carbon positive, positive for nature, resource optimized and 100% FSC or PEFC certified. In fact the new labels are up to 20% more carbon positive than standard labels. Your kids would be proud knowing that you are buying raw materials that actually help mitigate climate change and promote wildlife habitat.
When it comes to filmic labels, there are multiple routes one can take to reduce environmental impact. Using radical innovation, filmic labels can be developed that are thinner and lighter, recyclable, biobased and even biodegradeable or compostable. All of these address growing public concern about the use of plastic in packaging and plastic pollution, which programmes like David Attenborough’s Blue Planet are increasingly drawing greater attention to.
Biobased films are also coming into focus. We have recently worked with MUS Verpakkingen to test a biobased PE film solution for can labeling. RafBio PE is a sustainable alternative to standard PE film and is made from sugarcane ethanol containing more than 80% renewable plant-based raw material. This film material reduces lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions and is recyclable within the same recycling streams as fossil-based PE.
Another example is the shrink sleeve films found on many beverages. These are one of the fastest growing label segments, growing at 5.5% CAGR. Global brand owners are actively seeking ways to increase the recyclability of shrink sleeved PET containers to reduce their environmental footprint. Did you know that RafShrink PO labels provided average detection rates of 92% versus 40% for PETG sleeve labels in NIR (near infra-red) sorting equipment, significantly improving PET packaging recyclability rates.
And to close the loop, we must consider the fact that labels come on backing liner, which ends up as waste. Our RafCycle® waste management concept is a good example of making the circular economy a reality – a recycling solution that gives label waste a new life in paper, biocomposites or as energy for heating.
There are many more possibilities for improving the sustainability of labels on packaging and it’s important to remember that the labels you choose as the designer, really do matter. Make sustainability your purpose for 2018 and let’s label a smarter future.
February found me in Bath having breakfast with half a dozen members from the area. I was presenting a look at financial benchmarks for South West agencies compared to the UK as a whole, but the biggest surprise for some of the agencies present was how much they enjoyed meeting with and learning directly from each other. The DBA is a community, and sharing for the benefit of all is a key aspect of belonging to the Association.
In March we ran a couple of workshops, in Leeds and London, on succession planning. The key idea I took away from the sessions was that you do not have to carve your future in stone, but you do need some sort of plan to both manage the surprises that life throws at you and drive the business forward in the right direction. As DBA Expert Jack O’Hern says “You will leave your business at some point. You’ll either go bust, die or sell – ideally the latter.”
Why not search for and download our Succession Planning Guide in Resources to find out more?
During April every year I meet with many DBA members who are looking to write case studies to enter the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards.
The biggest barrier is always the agency’s access to data – which is why I wrote this article The Secret to Capturing Data on Design Effectiveness. (Spoiler alert – it’s all about that dreaded “P” word – process).
The agency Member that left me with the biggest smile on my face was The Clearing who had a Road to Damascus moment of clarity and then changed the way they thought about what they did, and the value they bring to their clients. They explain their change of approach here.
May always sees the launch of our Annual Survey – a call for members to share their financial data to enable us to produce our Annual Survey Report later in the year. The survey can be intimidating for some of the smaller agencies but those that do complete it benefit from developing the financial rigour that is required to grow a profitable business.
During conversations on finances I am always asked about the ratio between income, staff costs, studio costs and promotional costs. DBA Expert Gary Baxter wrote the ultimate paper on this – all on just 1 side of A4.
Late spring and early summer was an ideal time for the DBA to go on the road organising member events on the subject of “business growth” and what it meant to our members. The series of case studies from members illustrating the highs and lows of growing a business received a fantastic response from those that attended.
In Edinburgh, Steve Pearce from Skyscanner talked about the challenges of recruiting a new person every week and how interviewing and on-boarding take up so much of his time.
In Bristol Kinneir Dufort, Taxi Studios and Workbrands told their stories, while in Manchester Love Creative and Uniform took the stage. The stories were different, but the themes of having a strong plan, recruiting wisely and maintaining your culture ran through them all. Read more here
During August it seemed like the design industry shut down for a bit. Are we going a bit French? Well, maybe we should be.
David C. Baker and Blair Enns, in their fantastic 2Bobs podcast series talk about the importance of taking time off – and switching off. You should not be working yourself into the ground trying to earn some time off – which you then spend checking your email everyday anyway. Your downtime is the period where your batteries get re-charged. To paraphrase David, if you cannot take the time off (and cut yourself off) you are either not charging enough, not good enough, or you are more interested in your job as a hobby than as a means to having a better life. Listen to 2Bobs here.
What is it about September that highlights the financial issues in a business? Is it the reforecast with only four months of the year left? Was it the lack of a holiday during the summer? Either way, this is the time of year when I seem to have the most conversations with agencies that are struggling.
My advice would be that early action is always the best course of action. Health check your business regularly and if you have concerns on any areas of your business, contact us and we can put you in touch with someone who can help you address the issues before they become entrenched.
In October we explored an issue affecting many of our corporate members – how to embed design throughout an organisation. Design leaders from global businesses such as GE Healthcare, PepsiCo, Heineken, The Hershey Company, and Fjord shared their thoughts along side those of our agency members, resulting in 100 attendees, like StudioLR’s Andy Gray, taking much food for thought away.
“A high quality event, of real value to members and in fuelling the DBA’s work of highlighting the value of investment in good design.” Michael Taite, MD, Blue Moon Creative.
In October we also launched the 2017 Annual Survey Report to a packed room at Kingston Smith. The drinks went down far quicker that at other events this year – something about having to deal with excel on an endless basis maybe?
Two of the most popular consultants in the design sector made a joint trip to the UK in November to record a couple of episodes of their 2Bobs podcast live with the DBA.
Both Blair Enns and David C. Baker have new books out and the event gave us a fascinating insight into their new thinking. Both are expert at distilling ideas into short sentences. Here are a few of my favourites:
“We can’t read our own label from the inside of the jar” – David on understanding your agency positioning.
“Value, like beauty, is entirely in the eye of the beholder” – Blair on value pricing.
“Expertise renders your work less interchangeable” – David on how a specialist can charge more for their expertise.
“It’s not the price you charge, it’s how people feel about the price they pay” – Blair quoting Reed Holden
And so to December. This is a busy time for everyone. So many people have Christmas as a project deadline (for no other reason that they want it to be done and dusted). The world tries to fit four weeks of work into the first three – before eating themselves into a sugar coma for a couple of weeks, then starting all over again.
So lets break the cycle. Join us if you can on Thursday, 14 December for a chat and a drink at DBA HQ – maybe even a game of ping pong. Talk to some of your fellow members. Share and learn. If you can’t make it, pick up the phone. A conversation is always better than an email, and you never know where it may take you.
So, we decided to change that. We analysed how more than 200 of the leading agencies – drawn from the Design Week Top 100, the Campaign Top 100, as well as agencies from the global groups not represented in those lists – are using social media. We looked at which platforms they use, how frequently they post, how many connections or followers they have on each platform, and how much that network engages with them. We also spoke to 50 agency leaders to get their views – what they do on it, what they hope to achieve from it, how well they achieve those objectives, and what, if anything stops them being more successful.
Some of the responses were as we expected. It came as little surprise, for instance, that almost all agencies are on Twitter and LinkedIn, or that there is a wide range in performance, from the likes of BBH with its 100k+ Twitter followers, highly active and engaged pages on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, and nascent YouTube presence – right through to many agencies with barely any presence at all.
Some, though, were more surprising. Perhaps the most striking finding was that whilst half are not getting what they want out of social media and the greatest obstacle for them is time (68%) rather than budget (20%), only 4% employ a specialist social media team member, and not one works with an external partner on social media.
It is not that agency leaders see no potential benefit here. The agencies we spoke to clearly understand this. Five or ten years ago there were still many agency bosses who saw social media as a distraction, an amusement for Millennials, or a passing fad. Now, there is a widespread recognition of it as a space to communicate market positioning, to make connections, and to grow a business.
Everyone you want to influence, from new business prospects to potential hires, will look at your social media presence. Agencies are using it to recognise and publicise the best work their team is doing. Others use it to get noticed by influencers like journalists. Those at the cutting-edge are actively engaged in social selling.
There is much that social media can do to aid agency growth and it is not that creative agencies see no potential here. It is simply that they lack time. More specifically it is time in two areas.
Firstly, they lack time to work out the precise mechanics of engaging on all the different channels (36%). This is about getting answers to all those nitty-gritty questions like are tweets with images better, or should my LinkedIn posts have links, or how do I use hashtags on Facebook, or how often should I post, or is it ok to retweet or does that just look spammy, or when is the best time to post, or what about image rights on social media?
Secondly, they lack time to create the content to post on social media (34%). This is getting an answer to the simple question: what am I going to say?
So, we’ve produced the Red Setter Guide to Social Media, which concludes by offering a seven-step process for creating your agency’s social media strategy. Our report on social media is aimed specifically at creative agencies – it offers facts not hype, and it offers straightforward practical advice to help you overcome those obstacles, and to maximise the potential of social media as a tool for your agency’s growth.
Leading PR and new business agency for the creative industries, Red Setter is based in Brighton’s North Laine. Its team of 20 senior marketers, journalists and PR professionals work with some of the world’s best creative agencies helping them grow their reputations and win major new accounts with global brands.
Its writers work with clients to create high quality thought leadership, and it then ensures widespread distribution of that content across a wide range of channels – from coverage in national newspapers and leading sector press, right through to practical workshops for clients on mastering the practicalities of social media.
Image credit: William Iven | Unsplash
No one needs to tell you that the design consulting industry is over-proliferated and under-differentiated. There are too many design firms in every area of expertise, on both sides of the pond, who use the same process, who have a great portfolio of relevant work and who work hard every day in getting their message in front of prospective clients. And yet, our industry’s hyper proliferation – combined with our clients’ ever tightening ‘blood from a stone’ squeeze on our fees – has much of our industry in ‘a race to the bottom’. Agree?
The question remains, how do you meaningfully differentiate your firm, justify your fees, increase your influence and optimise your profitability?
One exceptionally successful way to create meaningful and disruptive differentiation is to quantify the value you generate through winning DBA Design Effectiveness Awards. Nothing is more powerful than proving your value.
Another successful strategy is hyper specialisation. Some firms, like Stranger & Stranger, have focused exclusively in one category, e.g. wine and spirits. Others have expanded internationally, specifically in Asia to better address these emerging markets. Still others have joined large management consultancies, like McKinsey’s partnership with Lunar. However, most of us remain independent, unchanged and under-valued.
There are a growing number of consultancies forming strategic alliances with other independent firms of complementing expertise. Together they offer truly synthesised, omni-channel communications. Together, they integrate insights, innovation, strategy, naming, product design, structure design, graphic design, web site design, social media, advertising, merchandising, etc, all coming from allied experts in each of these deliverables. This is what I believe will define ‘the next-generation design consultancy’.
Be well aware that building effective strategic alliances is not easy. You will need to embrace synthesis in its every manner. If you simply claim integration as a ‘sales tactic’, you will surely fail. Clients will actively challenge you, looking for the chinks in the armour, wanting to expose the chain’s weakest link.
To become truly allied you will need to think and behave differently (checking your ego at the door). You will need to find the overlap in your and your partners’ processes and eliminate these inefficiencies (passing the savings on to your client). You will need to become more strategic so that you can contribute to the clear and actionable direction you and your allied partners will generate at the onset of every project. You will have to act on your partners’ direction on your work – knowing that you have as much influence on their deliverables as they have on yours. You will need to embrace mutual accountability for each other’s work. And again, that takes a full commitment to change.
In the design industry, success is now defined as ‘the survival of the fastest’, meaning the fastest to adapt to change. International expansion and truly synthesised omni-channel strategic alliances may be the change your agency needs.
R&D tax credits are a valuable government tax incentive that reward UK companies for investing in innovation.
– Whatever size or sector, if your company is taking a risk by attempting to ‘resolve scientific or technological uncertainties’ then you may be carrying out qualifying activity.
– R&D tax credit rates are the equivalent of up to 33p for every £1 of qualifying expenditure.
– They can be used as an alternative to innovation grants for research and development funding.
R&D is done by real businesses developing new, better ways of doing things. To understand if your design business could be eligible, ask yourself three questions:
For design businesses, your R&D could be:
ForrestBrown has put together a helpful video to answer the question ‘Am I eligible?’.
If a project meets the government’s definition of R&D, you can recoup a percentage of your qualifying costs – up to 33p for every £1 spent.
“The money we have recouped through R&D tax credits, with the help of ForrestBrown, has allowed us to continue investing heavily in the business, and has enabled us to double our revenue, head count and profitability over a three year period.”
Nick Howe, Managing Director, Uniform
You have two years from the end of your accounting period to submit an R&D tax credit claim. If your accounting year-end is 31 March, you should act now so that you don’t miss out on the money you spent on qualifying activities between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 20116.
ForrestBrown’s strong technical expertise means that they can maximise the value of your R&D claim, while ensuring the claim is robust and uses a rigorous methodology. ForrestBrown has a strong reputation with HMRC and has won numerous awards for their work.
Contact Lisa-Marie Smith at ForrestBrown, stating that you are a DBA member, for an initial discussion to see if you are eligible.
Says Sir Bazalgette, “Not only are the Creative Industries themselves likely to grow as a proportion of our economy, other industries rely on creative disciplines – such as Design and Advertising – to thrive. The cultural and creative sectors are the engine of the UK’s international image and soft power.”
• Average gross income generated per head has grown by 3.8% to £89,992 (up from £86,700 in 2016). (NB this figure includes freelancers as well as permanent staff to give a realistic representation of how income is earned)
• 67% of agencies are expecting an overall rise in gross income over the next 12 months, with 18% expecting a rise of over 10%.
• Income from overseas clients has grown 3% in a year, up from 20% of overall income to 23%.
• Many agencies are looking to ‘staff up’ over the coming 12 months, with 56% of agencies planning to expand their workforce.
• Over three quarters of respondents have a positive outlook on their business’ health: 77% reported that business was ok or doing great and growing compared to 65% after the EU Referendum vote in 2016.
• And the number of businesses that are concerned about business health or are struggling to stay in business has dropped: Down from 17% in 2016 (post Referendum) to 9.5% in 2017.
• In a further sign of confidence, a majority of staff are likely to receive pay rises in the coming year: 79% of senior staff, 81% of middleweight, 83% of junior.
Says DBA CEO Deborah Dawton, “We are seeing that in the current economic and political landscape both Business and Government are placing ever greater value on design’s intrinsic capabilities to solve complex challenges and deliver competitive advantage. As confidence in design investment grows, so should the confidence of the industry itself grow and despite difficult trading conditions, it’s heartening to see this being translated into a positive business outlook by DBA members, as demonstrated by the findings of our Annual Survey Report.”
The 2017 DBA Annual Survey Report includes analysis by Esther Carder, Partner at Kingston Smith and is published exclusively for DBA members.
The report analyses in detail design agency fees, salaries, utilisation, income, recovery rates and benefits to enable DBA members to benchmark their businesses as well as helping them to develop pay and benefits strategies to attract and retain the best talent.
If you’re not yet a DBA member and would like to join to access the Report’s findings, call the membership team on 020 7251 9229 or email email@example.com
“The DBA Annual Survey Report is essential in helping us to benchmark what we pay our staff and what we charge clients, in order to remain competitive.” Andy West, Director, MultiAdaptor
The Report is supported by Pegasus Systems.