Main Content

  • Adam Fennelow, Head of Services at the DBA reminded us of the importance of harnessing the information in the DBA’s Annual Survey Report in the current context of wage inflation; it’s never been more important to understand the ratio between your charge out rates and salaries. 
  • The DBA’s Annual Survey is segmented by job roles between different agency sizes and different geographic locations so will help you to benchmark salaries and charge out rates. You only get access to the full report if you complete the survey and the deadline for this year is Monday 13th – the email is in your inbox – email Adam if you can’t find your link. 
  • One member shared a useful tool from the ONS that helped them make their decisions about salary increases in light of inflation.
  • Garen Kouyoumjian, Associate Partner at McKinsey shared his top take-away from their latest report that design needs to be embedded within an organisation to create the most value, which we also explored with Eric Quint at our last webinar
  • There was a discussion around why numerically more designers in a business didn’t lead to better outcomes, with one member sharing that they can’t grow their team fast enough to keep up with the demand. The report looked at a cross-section of businesses.
  • Garen also shared insight into the changing profile of designers businesses are looking, with “other” experience alongside designing being increasingly important. 
  • Jonathan Kirk, DBA Expert and Founder of Up to the Light, discussed the stat that ‘89% of clients believe their market is moving faster than ever’ from the latest What Clients Think report.
  • His top three tips to counteract this trend are; to schedule quarterly strategy meetings with your client, extract data for analysis in real time and build a stronger approach to creative briefs.
  • There was a discussion around meaningful KPI’s and one member shared What Matters as a source of inspiration.
  • A question to those present was what information did they think is missing from any of these reports that they’d like to see next year? Do let me know.
  • John Gleason, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of A Better View Strategic Consulting brought us The Conference Board – a non-profit that can help you be smarter in the work you do.
  • You can watch two webinars from 2020 to hear John explore this in more detail.
  • More useful sources of business intelligence shared by members were; Sales Navigator, HBR, FT, Interbrand, The Conversation, Deloitte for sector specific reports, Edelman.

Our Members’ Forum takes place on the first Monday of each month, at 4 – 5pm. If you would like to attend, get in touch here

Our next members forum will be taking place on Monday 4 July.

shortlist

Meet the DBA’s new Chair


At our recent AGM, we we were delighted to welcome a new Chair of the DBA Board, ELSE's Founder Warren Hutchinson.

17/05/2022


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My Life in Design: new podcast series


Lifting the curtain on some of the design sector's most respected names, tune in to the Design Community Hub's new podcast.

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DBA Members’ Forum | May summary


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Free Pitching: how to respond


How do you tackle client requests to free pitch? The DBA's Head of Services, Adam Fennelow shares valuable pointers on how best to respond.

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We're delighted to welcome three new Directors to the DBA Board. TDC PR Founder & Managing Director, Tim Duncan, A Better View...

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DBA Members’ Forum | April summary


In the latest DBA Members’ Forum we were joined by guests Matt Hocking, Creative Sustainability Officer and Founder at Leap, and Sigrid Brewka-Steeves, Head of Global Retail Environments at PUMA.

06/04/2022


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Five key take-aways from the What Clients Think Report


The 2022 What Clients Think Report was launched recently in a DBA webinar with the results illustrating how the client/agency relationship has changed as the world emerges from the Covid pandemic. The report is packed with useful insights. Here are five key take-aways.

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Keep on top of how the conflict in Ukraine is impacting business and how we can support the unfolding humanitarian crisis with these resources.

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DBA Design Effectiveness Awards 2022 | Winners shortlist announced


We’re delighted to announce the shortlist of winning entries in the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards 2022.  This year’s DBA Design Effectiveness Awards shortlist demonstrates a courageous commitment to proving and isolating the impact of design against a challenging backdrop. At a time when priorities for businesses were understandably diverted in early 2020, this set of winners were able to show what investment in design can deliver, transforming businesses, enhancing society and improving people’s lives.

09/03/2022


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Main Content

Warren has been working within the emergent digital disciplines of design for over 20 years and is the Founder of ELSE, a London-based experience design consultancy that helps business leaders accelerate product and service innovation.

During his career, Warren has worked in client-side and agency environments such as Yell, Universal Music, LBi and PA Consulting before founding ELSE in 2010. 

As the principal at ELSE, Warren is responsible for setting business strategy, defining culture and maintains a healthy hands-on approach in client work. ELSE has a progressive culture, having operated a 4-day work week and remote working practices for a number of years.

Says DBA CEO Deborah Dawton: “There are sizeable challenges ahead for the design industry. The after-effects of Brexit and the pandemic on the economy, on our businesses and the way we work are still resonating. We are yet to know the full scale of impact on the design industry, but there is no doubt we’ll need to adapt. I’m delighted to welcome Warren Hutchinson to the role of Chair of the DBA Board; his experience in successfully driving transformational change within his clients’ businesses and also through his own business ELSE will be of great value in galvanising the DBA membership to rise to these challenges, creating opportunities for our community to thrive.”

Listen to Warren's speech from the DBA AGM:

It’s best to be an active DBA member. Join in. Find those collaborators and partners. Because it is what raises us all up to run better design businesses.Watch the video here

At the AGM on Thursday 28 April 2022, we also welcomed three new Directors to the DBA Board. TDC PR Founder & Managing Director, Tim Duncan, A Better View Strategic Consulting Founder & President, John Gleason and HMA Managing Director, Nicola Tiffany.

Rufus Leonard Chief Operating Officer, Will Rowe and Diageo Global Design Director, Jeremy Lindley were also re-elected to the Board. As our previous Chair, our particular thanks and appreciation goes to Jeremy for his commitment to, and support of the DBA.

Further details about the DBA Board and the Directors can be found here.

shortlist

Meet the DBA’s new Chair


At our recent AGM, we we were delighted to welcome a new Chair of the DBA Board, ELSE's Founder Warren Hutchinson.

17/05/2022


News


Read more >>

My Life in Design: new podcast series


Lifting the curtain on some of the design sector's most respected names, tune in to the Design Community Hub's new podcast.

17/05/2022


News


Read more >>

The biggest issues facing design agencies


There are a number of issues facing agencies at the moment which are applying pressure to everyday...

17/05/2022


News


Read more >>

DBA Members’ Forum | May summary


In the latest DBA Members' Forum we were joined by guest High-Stakes Leadership Mentor, Sally...

04/05/2022


News


Read more >>

Free Pitching: how to respond


How do you tackle client requests to free pitch? The DBA's Head of Services, Adam Fennelow shares valuable pointers on how best to respond.

04/05/2022


News


Read more >>

New appointees to the DBA Board of Directors


We're delighted to welcome three new Directors to the DBA Board. TDC PR Founder & Managing Director, Tim Duncan, A Better View...

28/04/2022


News


Read more >>

DBA Members’ Forum | April summary


In the latest DBA Members’ Forum we were joined by guests Matt Hocking, Creative Sustainability Officer and Founder at Leap, and Sigrid Brewka-Steeves, Head of Global Retail Environments at PUMA.

06/04/2022


News


Read more >>

Five key take-aways from the What Clients Think Report


The 2022 What Clients Think Report was launched recently in a DBA webinar with the results illustrating how the client/agency relationship has changed as the world emerges from the Covid pandemic. The report is packed with useful insights. Here are five key take-aways.

05/04/2022


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Read more >>

Ukraine conflict | Resources for businesses


Keep on top of how the conflict in Ukraine is impacting business and how we can support the unfolding humanitarian crisis with these resources.

29/03/2022


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Read more >>

DBA Design Effectiveness Awards 2022 | Winners shortlist announced


We’re delighted to announce the shortlist of winning entries in the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards 2022.  This year’s DBA Design Effectiveness Awards shortlist demonstrates a courageous commitment to proving and isolating the impact of design against a challenging backdrop. At a time when priorities for businesses were understandably diverted in early 2020, this set of winners were able to show what investment in design can deliver, transforming businesses, enhancing society and improving people’s lives.

09/03/2022


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Read more >>

Main Content

Created in collaboration with Red Setter, and presented by its Founder & Managing Partner, Claire Blyth, this new podcast lifts the curtain on some of the design sector’s most respected and interesting leaders, strategists and designers.

My Life in Design

“I’ve always loved the diversity of the design sector,” says Blyth. “There are so many different ways into it. There are so many different careers to be found in it. And it’s packed full of people with fascinating stories to tell. That’s what I want to shine a light onto with this podcast.”

In the first ten episodes, listeners will hear the founder of the world’s largest independent branding firm tell the story of how graffiti first sparked his love of typography. Another explores the links between branding and religion. And the head of global brand experience at a leading consumer goods corporate talks about how design gives him a glimpse into the future.

An episode lands weekly on Thursdays on iTunes, Spotify and other leading podcast platforms. The first series includes:

  • Max Ottignon, co-founder, Ragged Edge 
  • Heidi Lightfoot, founder and creative director, Together Design
  • Gush Mundae, founder of Bulletproof
  • Kathryn Jubrail, managing director and Kirsty Minns, executive creative director at Mother Design
  • Stuart Watson, founder and partner at Nomad
  • Nat Maher, founder of Kerning the Gap
  • Ian Wharton, CXO at Superunion
  • Jos Harrison, global head of brand experience and design at Reckitt.

“Whether you’re looking for your first break in the industry, or you’re looking for your latest inspiration, I think these conversations have something to offer everyone”, says Blyth. 

The Design Community Hub is a cross-industry initiative, created to support talent across the design world. Find out more here.

Image credits: 

C D-X | Unsplash

Design Community Hub / Red Setter 

shortlist

Meet the DBA’s new Chair


At our recent AGM, we we were delighted to welcome a new Chair of the DBA Board, ELSE's Founder Warren Hutchinson.

17/05/2022


News


Read more >>

My Life in Design: new podcast series


Lifting the curtain on some of the design sector's most respected names, tune in to the Design Community Hub's new podcast.

17/05/2022


News


Read more >>

The biggest issues facing design agencies


There are a number of issues facing agencies at the moment which are applying pressure to everyday...

17/05/2022


News


Read more >>

DBA Members’ Forum | May summary


In the latest DBA Members' Forum we were joined by guest High-Stakes Leadership Mentor, Sally...

04/05/2022


News


Read more >>

Free Pitching: how to respond


How do you tackle client requests to free pitch? The DBA's Head of Services, Adam Fennelow shares valuable pointers on how best to respond.

04/05/2022


News


Read more >>

New appointees to the DBA Board of Directors


We're delighted to welcome three new Directors to the DBA Board. TDC PR Founder & Managing Director, Tim Duncan, A Better View...

28/04/2022


News


Read more >>

DBA Members’ Forum | April summary


In the latest DBA Members’ Forum we were joined by guests Matt Hocking, Creative Sustainability Officer and Founder at Leap, and Sigrid Brewka-Steeves, Head of Global Retail Environments at PUMA.

06/04/2022


News


Read more >>

Five key take-aways from the What Clients Think Report


The 2022 What Clients Think Report was launched recently in a DBA webinar with the results illustrating how the client/agency relationship has changed as the world emerges from the Covid pandemic. The report is packed with useful insights. Here are five key take-aways.

05/04/2022


News


Read more >>

Ukraine conflict | Resources for businesses


Keep on top of how the conflict in Ukraine is impacting business and how we can support the unfolding humanitarian crisis with these resources.

29/03/2022


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Read more >>

DBA Design Effectiveness Awards 2022 | Winners shortlist announced


We’re delighted to announce the shortlist of winning entries in the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards 2022.  This year’s DBA Design Effectiveness Awards shortlist demonstrates a courageous commitment to proving and isolating the impact of design against a challenging backdrop. At a time when priorities for businesses were understandably diverted in early 2020, this set of winners were able to show what investment in design can deliver, transforming businesses, enhancing society and improving people’s lives.

09/03/2022


News


Read more >>

Main Content

Developing younger talent within the business is concerning many of you.

The hybrid working model is making it difficult for more inexperienced team members to pick up the important bits of experience they gain from working in close proximity to their colleagues. The role of senior creatives may be changing to ensure more time can be spent with juniors helping them develop the skills they need to progress.

Recruiting top talent is another issue. It’s coming at a price.

Agencies who are recruiting are finding it incredibly difficult to match the demands of sought-after talent. Some DBA members are reporting that it is costing them 25% more to replace certain types of staff.

Inflation and the rising cost of living is also feeding demand for staff pay-rises.

Through recent years of low-inflation it has been common practice for agencies to give staff pay increases every year, generally raising them a couple of percent. Even during the pandemic, we saw small increases at the more junior end of the scale.

The problem is that lots of agencies have not followed suit with fee increases every year. So, my first recommendation is a small increase every year regardless of the situation. Your clients are much more likely to accept two consecutive years of 2.5% increases rather than a 5% increase after a fallow year.

If your costs are increasing, your fees should be increasing. But the aim is a balance. Keeping an eye on the ratio between the salary of a specific role and the charge out rate is important to make sure it does not fall out of kilter. Some roles can be charged out at a higher ratio than others.

Bear in mind this advice from DBA Expert Sim Thirunesan: “If you are considering increasing your charge out rates as a result of increasing base costs, be aware that an increase in rates won’t necessarily translate to an increase in profits and healthy margins.” Sim recommends reviewing your pricing strategies and positioning, alongside carrying out benchmarking exercises.

When it comes to keeping staff happy, motivated, and effective it’s important to remember that other factors can also be considered.

Improving the overall employment package, not just the salary, is one alternative. What are your added benefits? We are seeing an increase in agencies experimenting with 4-day weeks (or one Friday a month off), early Friday finishes during the summer etc. No doubt we will see some interesting trends emerging around benefits in this year’s DBA Annual Survey Report when the findings are published in the Autumn. 

As Sim says, “There is a lot more which can be considered and included beyond financial incentivisation. The first step is to understand what the motivators and hygiene factors of your employees and the prospective candidates are? Ask yourself – why would someone want to work here?”

Benchmarking

Segmented by geography and size of agency, and covering fees, salaries, utilisation, income, recovery rates and more, the DBA Annual Survey Report can help you interrogate your ratios and benchmark your financial performance. So, my other recommendation is to participate in the Survey in order to utilise all the data. With the current pressures on design businesses, the Report’s findings are likely to be more valuable than ever to help you maintain your competitiveness in the market. 

The 2022 Survey is currently open for completion until Monday 13 June. 

By participating in the survey, you gain access to the full set of results (both through a pdf report and online dynamic data tables) in the 2022 Annual Survey Report, released in October. Full access to this data is only available to survey participants. 

DBA members have recently received details on how to participate. If you have any questions, please get in touch: adam.fennelow@dba.org.uk

If you are not yet a DBA member, find out about the many benefits of DBA membership and join to gain access to the Annual Survey Report. 

Further resources:

Balance the pressures your design business may be facing: read DBA Expert Sim Thirunesan’s article The Balancing Act

 

Managing People | DBA online learning workshop | 21 & 23 June 2022 | 10.00-12.00 | More details and book 

 

At a recent Members’ Forum we discussed challenges and recommendations around recruiting, developing and retaining staff: read up on the conversation highlights

 

Members – post your vacancies on our jobs board for free, and receive a complimentary shout-out on the DBA’s social channels. More info

About: Adam Fennelow

Adam is the Head of Services at the DBA

Adam regularly speaks with design businesses about issues they are facing and how to overcome them. If you are a DBA member who would like to talk through your challenges, or if you are interested in becoming a member, you can schedule some time with Adam here.

adam.fennelow@dba.org.uk

Image credit: 

Robert Anasch | Unsplash

Karl Abuid | Unsplash

shortlist

Meet the DBA’s new Chair


At our recent AGM, we we were delighted to welcome a new Chair of the DBA Board, ELSE's Founder Warren Hutchinson.

17/05/2022


News


Read more >>

My Life in Design: new podcast series


Lifting the curtain on some of the design sector's most respected names, tune in to the Design Community Hub's new podcast.

17/05/2022


News


Read more >>

The biggest issues facing design agencies


There are a number of issues facing agencies at the moment which are applying pressure to everyday...

17/05/2022


News


Read more >>

DBA Members’ Forum | May summary


In the latest DBA Members' Forum we were joined by guest High-Stakes Leadership Mentor, Sally...

04/05/2022


News


Read more >>

Free Pitching: how to respond


How do you tackle client requests to free pitch? The DBA's Head of Services, Adam Fennelow shares valuable pointers on how best to respond.

04/05/2022


News


Read more >>

New appointees to the DBA Board of Directors


We're delighted to welcome three new Directors to the DBA Board. TDC PR Founder & Managing Director, Tim Duncan, A Better View...

28/04/2022


News


Read more >>

DBA Members’ Forum | April summary


In the latest DBA Members’ Forum we were joined by guests Matt Hocking, Creative Sustainability Officer and Founder at Leap, and Sigrid Brewka-Steeves, Head of Global Retail Environments at PUMA.

06/04/2022


News


Read more >>

Five key take-aways from the What Clients Think Report


The 2022 What Clients Think Report was launched recently in a DBA webinar with the results illustrating how the client/agency relationship has changed as the world emerges from the Covid pandemic. The report is packed with useful insights. Here are five key take-aways.

05/04/2022


News


Read more >>

Ukraine conflict | Resources for businesses


Keep on top of how the conflict in Ukraine is impacting business and how we can support the unfolding humanitarian crisis with these resources.

29/03/2022


News


Read more >>

DBA Design Effectiveness Awards 2022 | Winners shortlist announced


We’re delighted to announce the shortlist of winning entries in the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards 2022.  This year’s DBA Design Effectiveness Awards shortlist demonstrates a courageous commitment to proving and isolating the impact of design against a challenging backdrop. At a time when priorities for businesses were understandably diverted in early 2020, this set of winners were able to show what investment in design can deliver, transforming businesses, enhancing society and improving people’s lives.

09/03/2022


News


Read more >>

Main Content

  • We discussed the challenges we’re facing recruiting the talent we need for our businesses:
  • One member shared that hybrid/remote working has opened up the talent pool outside of their geographical area, but along with that has come higher demands on salaries. Watch out for cost creep.
  • The point was made that we can get lazy in recruitment. We were warned about using old habits in new markets as they just won’t work. Get excited about recruiting and get creative if you want to secure the best talent. Move quickly.
  • Another member revealed how recruiting 5 graduates at once has injected a new energy into the business. Processes around onboarding have been reviewed and new ways of working have been implemented and well received.
  • Another member shared their experience of bringing on younger, more junior staff, in roles such as client servicing where there is an expectation you will learn on the job – this is leading them to put more pressure on the team to come back into the office more regularly. 
  • There was a discussion around financial incentives for team members who recommend people or friends who then secure a role within their agency. Reward your team like you would a recruiter.
  • One member had seen success in having a “tribe” day, a day when everyone is in the studio. Thought was given to what studio days were really for and how this is communicated to the team to ensure everyone attends. They aim to get the majority of the team being happy. Don’t let one individual dictate the policies for all.
  • High-Stakes Leadership Mentor, Sally Henderson shared some recommendations on how to create a positive recruitment experience, starting with taking a critical eye to your job specs and injecting some creativity into your processes. She also offered some food for thought on how a positive mindset can help when it comes to recruitment. There’s a great Five Word Reveal Tool you can use to make positive change through fast emotional insight. Change your attitude as a leader and your teams will sense it.

Our Members’ Forum takes place on the first Monday of each month, at 4 – 5pm. If you would like to attend, get in touch here

Our next members forum will be taking place on Monday 6 June.

shortlist

Meet the DBA’s new Chair


At our recent AGM, we we were delighted to welcome a new Chair of the DBA Board, ELSE's Founder Warren Hutchinson.

17/05/2022


News


Read more >>

My Life in Design: new podcast series


Lifting the curtain on some of the design sector's most respected names, tune in to the Design Community Hub's new podcast.

17/05/2022


News


Read more >>

The biggest issues facing design agencies


There are a number of issues facing agencies at the moment which are applying pressure to everyday...

17/05/2022


News


Read more >>

DBA Members’ Forum | May summary


In the latest DBA Members' Forum we were joined by guest High-Stakes Leadership Mentor, Sally...

04/05/2022


News


Read more >>

Free Pitching: how to respond


How do you tackle client requests to free pitch? The DBA's Head of Services, Adam Fennelow shares valuable pointers on how best to respond.

04/05/2022


News


Read more >>

New appointees to the DBA Board of Directors


We're delighted to welcome three new Directors to the DBA Board. TDC PR Founder & Managing Director, Tim Duncan, A Better View...

28/04/2022


News


Read more >>

DBA Members’ Forum | April summary


In the latest DBA Members’ Forum we were joined by guests Matt Hocking, Creative Sustainability Officer and Founder at Leap, and Sigrid Brewka-Steeves, Head of Global Retail Environments at PUMA.

06/04/2022


News


Read more >>

Five key take-aways from the What Clients Think Report


The 2022 What Clients Think Report was launched recently in a DBA webinar with the results illustrating how the client/agency relationship has changed as the world emerges from the Covid pandemic. The report is packed with useful insights. Here are five key take-aways.

05/04/2022


News


Read more >>

Ukraine conflict | Resources for businesses


Keep on top of how the conflict in Ukraine is impacting business and how we can support the unfolding humanitarian crisis with these resources.

29/03/2022


News


Read more >>

DBA Design Effectiveness Awards 2022 | Winners shortlist announced


We’re delighted to announce the shortlist of winning entries in the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards 2022.  This year’s DBA Design Effectiveness Awards shortlist demonstrates a courageous commitment to proving and isolating the impact of design against a challenging backdrop. At a time when priorities for businesses were understandably diverted in early 2020, this set of winners were able to show what investment in design can deliver, transforming businesses, enhancing society and improving people’s lives.

09/03/2022


News


Read more >>

Main Content

1. The Design Business Association (DBA) stance is clear – we recommend that agencies do not free pitch. It devalues what you are selling. Don’t do it. Just say ‘no’.

2. Do not lambast the client. Either they are doing it because they do not know any other way (in which case educate them) or they are doing because they think it is a fast track way to choose an agency (in which case educate them).

3. A request to free pitch is an opportunity to start a conversation with a client. If they are interested in learning how to make a better informed decision great. If not, walk away. Their chances of getting a great agency are slim. If you work with them the chances of them being a good client are slim.

4. Do not use the argument about how free pitching is bad for the design sector (although it obviously is). Why should they care? It will not change their minds at all.

5. DO use the argument about how the client cannot find the best match for their business and their needs through a free pitch.

6. Explain the short comings of making a decision based on work created through guesswork with a lack of insight by agencies who either had free studio time (designers twiddling their thumbs) or who took designers off paid work to do it. Either way, as a client, would they want to work with agencies like that?

7. But most of all, choose not to free pitch because you have some self respect. You sell creativity for a living – what have you got to sell if you give it away for free before you even win the work?

Visit the resources section of our website for best practice guides for clients on how to buy design, plus templates, example responses, and case-studies on refusing free pitch requests.

I hope this hasn’t opened the flood gates and I get loads of messages pointing fingers at other agencies or complaining about certain clients. As an agency you can only impact what you are in control of. Concentrate on how you operate and leave the rest to themselves.

About: Adam Fennelow

Adam is the Head of Services at the DBA

Adam regularly speaks with design businesses about issues they are facing and how to overcome them. If you are a DBA member who would like to talk through your challenges, or if you are interested in becoming a member, you can schedule some time with Adam here.

adam.fennelow@dba.org.uk

shortlist

Meet the DBA’s new Chair


At our recent AGM, we we were delighted to welcome a new Chair of the DBA Board, ELSE's Founder Warren Hutchinson.

17/05/2022


News


Read more >>

My Life in Design: new podcast series


Lifting the curtain on some of the design sector's most respected names, tune in to the Design Community Hub's new podcast.

17/05/2022


News


Read more >>

The biggest issues facing design agencies


There are a number of issues facing agencies at the moment which are applying pressure to everyday...

17/05/2022


News


Read more >>

DBA Members’ Forum | May summary


In the latest DBA Members' Forum we were joined by guest High-Stakes Leadership Mentor, Sally...

04/05/2022


News


Read more >>

Free Pitching: how to respond


How do you tackle client requests to free pitch? The DBA's Head of Services, Adam Fennelow shares valuable pointers on how best to respond.

04/05/2022


News


Read more >>

New appointees to the DBA Board of Directors


We're delighted to welcome three new Directors to the DBA Board. TDC PR Founder & Managing Director, Tim Duncan, A Better View...

28/04/2022


News


Read more >>

DBA Members’ Forum | April summary


In the latest DBA Members’ Forum we were joined by guests Matt Hocking, Creative Sustainability Officer and Founder at Leap, and Sigrid Brewka-Steeves, Head of Global Retail Environments at PUMA.

06/04/2022


News


Read more >>

Five key take-aways from the What Clients Think Report


The 2022 What Clients Think Report was launched recently in a DBA webinar with the results illustrating how the client/agency relationship has changed as the world emerges from the Covid pandemic. The report is packed with useful insights. Here are five key take-aways.

05/04/2022


News


Read more >>

Ukraine conflict | Resources for businesses


Keep on top of how the conflict in Ukraine is impacting business and how we can support the unfolding humanitarian crisis with these resources.

29/03/2022


News


Read more >>

DBA Design Effectiveness Awards 2022 | Winners shortlist announced


We’re delighted to announce the shortlist of winning entries in the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards 2022.  This year’s DBA Design Effectiveness Awards shortlist demonstrates a courageous commitment to proving and isolating the impact of design against a challenging backdrop. At a time when priorities for businesses were understandably diverted in early 2020, this set of winners were able to show what investment in design can deliver, transforming businesses, enhancing society and improving people’s lives.

09/03/2022


News


Read more >>

Main Content

The DBA’s Board of Directors is fundamental to the work we do. Elected from the membership, our Directors possess diverse experience of bringing design to the strategy-setting c-suite of business. They work closely with the DBA’s management team to develop the strategy and frameworks by which we support the sector to drive design ever further up the agenda in business and government, and together as an industry can build universal confidence in design investment.

Tim Duncan, Founder & Managing Director, TDC PR

“Having been a member of the DBA Experts Register for some years now, as well a close friend of the organisation for over a decade, I’m delighted to be joining the Board to assist with the macro communications strategy for the DBA.

The cumulative value and/or output of what I do day-in-day-out with the team at TDC is to underscore the significance of design as a sector, as well as helping to inspire younger generations to understand they can have a wholly viable career path in the field given the pantheon of specialisms across the industry.

The DBA represents a sector lynchpin and it is an honour to join the Board. I relish the opportunity to apply and share my knowledge, working in partnership with the DBA team to further develop the communications strategy.”

John Gleason, Founder & President, A Better View Strategic Consulting

“Design – as a strategic business practice – has so much potential to create value, for brand and businesses – as well as for the humans in these ecosystems. I see much greater potential than is presently being delivered. I believe that design is, presently, under-leveraged and under-appreciated by too many companies, brands, and business leaders.

The DBA is uniquely positioned to continue to be a catalyst, a beacon, and an enabler for these challenges. I believe that I would add value to the amazing credibility and standing that the DBA already enjoys, and positively contribute to challenges and opportunities facing the design industry.”

Nicola Tiffany, Managing Director, HMA

“Having been a DBA member for over 20 years, we have always valued the contribution of the association to the design industry and the knowledge and insight it provides to its members. More specifically, I’d like to see a focus on digital and tech higher on the agenda and promote diversity in this area (particularly women in tech).

During the pandemic, we’ve seen a significant rise in the importance of design within the healthtech space we operate in. For us, this has led to a significant increase in demand at a time where we are facing a creative and digital skills shortage. This skills shortage is something we’re keen to help tackle through the DBA.

Aside from the skills agenda, my interest in joining the DBA Board of Directors lies in giving something back in return for the support the association has provided to us and many others over the years.”

The DBA Board of Directors is Chaired by Warren Hutchinson, Chief Experience Officer & Founder at Else.  

After many years of service, the Board Directors stepping down this year are The Engine Room’s Lesley Gulliver and Spring’s Erika Clegg. The DBA would like to offer our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Lesley and Erika for their commitment to, and support of the DBA over the years.

Further details about DBA Directors, other members of the Board and its role, can be found here.

shortlist

Meet the DBA’s new Chair


At our recent AGM, we we were delighted to welcome a new Chair of the DBA Board, ELSE's Founder Warren Hutchinson.

17/05/2022


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My Life in Design: new podcast series


Lifting the curtain on some of the design sector's most respected names, tune in to the Design Community Hub's new podcast.

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The biggest issues facing design agencies


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17/05/2022


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DBA Members’ Forum | May summary


In the latest DBA Members' Forum we were joined by guest High-Stakes Leadership Mentor, Sally...

04/05/2022


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Free Pitching: how to respond


How do you tackle client requests to free pitch? The DBA's Head of Services, Adam Fennelow shares valuable pointers on how best to respond.

04/05/2022


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New appointees to the DBA Board of Directors


We're delighted to welcome three new Directors to the DBA Board. TDC PR Founder & Managing Director, Tim Duncan, A Better View...

28/04/2022


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DBA Members’ Forum | April summary


In the latest DBA Members’ Forum we were joined by guests Matt Hocking, Creative Sustainability Officer and Founder at Leap, and Sigrid Brewka-Steeves, Head of Global Retail Environments at PUMA.

06/04/2022


News


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Five key take-aways from the What Clients Think Report


The 2022 What Clients Think Report was launched recently in a DBA webinar with the results illustrating how the client/agency relationship has changed as the world emerges from the Covid pandemic. The report is packed with useful insights. Here are five key take-aways.

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Ukraine conflict | Resources for businesses


Keep on top of how the conflict in Ukraine is impacting business and how we can support the unfolding humanitarian crisis with these resources.

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DBA Design Effectiveness Awards 2022 | Winners shortlist announced


We’re delighted to announce the shortlist of winning entries in the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards 2022.  This year’s DBA Design Effectiveness Awards shortlist demonstrates a courageous commitment to proving and isolating the impact of design against a challenging backdrop. At a time when priorities for businesses were understandably diverted in early 2020, this set of winners were able to show what investment in design can deliver, transforming businesses, enhancing society and improving people’s lives.

09/03/2022


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Main Content

  • We discussed how the issue of sustainability will change the positioning of our businesses over the coming years as markets, consumers and our clients demand that we live, work and design sustainably. Matt talked us through the journey his own business has been on as it has worked to embed sustainability into every decision they make and signposted us to the Business Impact Assessment as a great tool to use.
  • Sigrid and Matt took us through the importance of seeing this as a journey and not being afraid to share what you’re doing, reflecting the journey you’re on and communicating with clients and consumers with honesty, as well as the need to avoid green-washing. Starting somewhere, assessing where you are already and acknowledging that you have more to do over time is a great approach. There are a range of resources and organisations to consider aligning with on your journey, from B Corp to the UK Business Climate Hub and the UN Global Compact.

Our Members’ Forum takes place on the first Monday of each month, at 4 – 5pm. If you would like to attend, get in touch here.

Due to bank holidays our next members forum will be on Tuesday 3 May.

shortlist

Meet the DBA’s new Chair


At our recent AGM, we we were delighted to welcome a new Chair of the DBA Board, ELSE's Founder Warren Hutchinson.

17/05/2022


News


Read more >>

My Life in Design: new podcast series


Lifting the curtain on some of the design sector's most respected names, tune in to the Design Community Hub's new podcast.

17/05/2022


News


Read more >>

The biggest issues facing design agencies


There are a number of issues facing agencies at the moment which are applying pressure to everyday...

17/05/2022


News


Read more >>

DBA Members’ Forum | May summary


In the latest DBA Members' Forum we were joined by guest High-Stakes Leadership Mentor, Sally...

04/05/2022


News


Read more >>

Free Pitching: how to respond


How do you tackle client requests to free pitch? The DBA's Head of Services, Adam Fennelow shares valuable pointers on how best to respond.

04/05/2022


News


Read more >>

New appointees to the DBA Board of Directors


We're delighted to welcome three new Directors to the DBA Board. TDC PR Founder & Managing Director, Tim Duncan, A Better View...

28/04/2022


News


Read more >>

DBA Members’ Forum | April summary


In the latest DBA Members’ Forum we were joined by guests Matt Hocking, Creative Sustainability Officer and Founder at Leap, and Sigrid Brewka-Steeves, Head of Global Retail Environments at PUMA.

06/04/2022


News


Read more >>

Five key take-aways from the What Clients Think Report


The 2022 What Clients Think Report was launched recently in a DBA webinar with the results illustrating how the client/agency relationship has changed as the world emerges from the Covid pandemic. The report is packed with useful insights. Here are five key take-aways.

05/04/2022


News


Read more >>

Ukraine conflict | Resources for businesses


Keep on top of how the conflict in Ukraine is impacting business and how we can support the unfolding humanitarian crisis with these resources.

29/03/2022


News


Read more >>

DBA Design Effectiveness Awards 2022 | Winners shortlist announced


We’re delighted to announce the shortlist of winning entries in the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards 2022.  This year’s DBA Design Effectiveness Awards shortlist demonstrates a courageous commitment to proving and isolating the impact of design against a challenging backdrop. At a time when priorities for businesses were understandably diverted in early 2020, this set of winners were able to show what investment in design can deliver, transforming businesses, enhancing society and improving people’s lives.

09/03/2022


News


Read more >>

Main Content

1. Clarity

Your website is your shop window. Even if most of your new business comes through word-of-mouth, clients will still take a look at your website before making contact.

Their greatest frustration is not being able to quickly understand what the agency’s strengths are – what is the main thing you are good at and can add the most value in?

You need to clearly and concisely, without resorting to industry jargon, explain what you do and your point of difference from the thousands of other design agencies.

Here’s one way you can make your website work harder.

2. Lack of time

Clients are extremely time pressured.

  • 76% of clients complain of being extremely time pressured.
  • 89% say their market is moving faster than ever before.
  • 79% say they are unable to give as much consideration to longer term brand building as they would have liked.
  • 66% of clients stressed the need for short, sharp, and concise communications.
  • 44% of clients believe that there is less time for consideration and reflection.

But there are opportunities for agencies armed with this knowledge. Those with concise, clear communications illustrating how they can solve specific problems, can cut through.

Those who understand the client’s market and specific issues can help build longer term strategy into their solutions. By helping the client, rather than adding to the noise, the agency can become a valued partner.

3. Getting a foot in the door

Clients do not have time for speculative new business meetings. They want to feel like they have ‘discovered an agency’ rather than being sold to. Which begs the question – how does an agency make sure they are the one that is discovered? Content marketing is the key – to draw clients towards you. But it needs to be relevant, insightful, authentic and real.

The top 3 new business door openers are:

  • Primary research
  • Understanding of a strategic issue
  • Definitive case study

And through all of this remember that 90% of clients believe that the best agency new business approaches are like an ‘informed discussion’.

4. Client servicing will usually be the reason for the relationship breaking down

87% of clients with a weak relationship with their agency cited client service issues as the reason. Agencies which work hard on developing clear and concise reporting methods to keep their clients informed on progress have an advantage.

5. There are always ways to improve

The report asked clients which area of their business they wished their agency knew more about. The results give agencies an idea of the questions they need to ask and the skills they need to develop to really become valued partners with their clients.

  • Commercial realities – understanding the client’s priorities and pressures.
  • Operations – how does the business work and what are their challenges.
  • Internal – stakeholders, approval process and how decisions get made.

Download the Report and watch the webinar recording

DBA members can watch a recording of the What Clients Think Report launch, delving into the report’s findings.

Access the DBA webinar recording here

 

Download your copy of the 2022 What Clients Think Report produced by Up to the Light in association with the DBA. 

shortlist

Meet the DBA’s new Chair


At our recent AGM, we we were delighted to welcome a new Chair of the DBA Board, ELSE's Founder Warren Hutchinson.

17/05/2022


News


Read more >>

My Life in Design: new podcast series


Lifting the curtain on some of the design sector's most respected names, tune in to the Design Community Hub's new podcast.

17/05/2022


News


Read more >>

The biggest issues facing design agencies


There are a number of issues facing agencies at the moment which are applying pressure to everyday...

17/05/2022


News


Read more >>

DBA Members’ Forum | May summary


In the latest DBA Members' Forum we were joined by guest High-Stakes Leadership Mentor, Sally...

04/05/2022


News


Read more >>

Free Pitching: how to respond


How do you tackle client requests to free pitch? The DBA's Head of Services, Adam Fennelow shares valuable pointers on how best to respond.

04/05/2022


News


Read more >>

New appointees to the DBA Board of Directors


We're delighted to welcome three new Directors to the DBA Board. TDC PR Founder & Managing Director, Tim Duncan, A Better View...

28/04/2022


News


Read more >>

DBA Members’ Forum | April summary


In the latest DBA Members’ Forum we were joined by guests Matt Hocking, Creative Sustainability Officer and Founder at Leap, and Sigrid Brewka-Steeves, Head of Global Retail Environments at PUMA.

06/04/2022


News


Read more >>

Five key take-aways from the What Clients Think Report


The 2022 What Clients Think Report was launched recently in a DBA webinar with the results illustrating how the client/agency relationship has changed as the world emerges from the Covid pandemic. The report is packed with useful insights. Here are five key take-aways.

05/04/2022


News


Read more >>

Ukraine conflict | Resources for businesses


Keep on top of how the conflict in Ukraine is impacting business and how we can support the unfolding humanitarian crisis with these resources.

29/03/2022


News


Read more >>

DBA Design Effectiveness Awards 2022 | Winners shortlist announced


We’re delighted to announce the shortlist of winning entries in the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards 2022.  This year’s DBA Design Effectiveness Awards shortlist demonstrates a courageous commitment to proving and isolating the impact of design against a challenging backdrop. At a time when priorities for businesses were understandably diverted in early 2020, this set of winners were able to show what investment in design can deliver, transforming businesses, enhancing society and improving people’s lives.

09/03/2022


News


Read more >>
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