Top Ten Digital Marketing Agencies In The UK
Finding the right digital marketing agency to partner with is one of the biggest headaches any business faces when looking to outsource this set of operations; there are just so many great agencies out there doing fantastic work. So to help you sift the plethora of digital partners out there, we have checked in with our team to hear their recommendations and we want to share AdsRunner’s top favourite digital marketing agencies here in the U.K.
We have narrowed down our picks based on the range of industries they can serve, so you can feel confident of relying on their digital campaigns meeting your particular business objectives, regardless of whether you’re an SME, an eCommerce retailer, or larger enterprise, we’ll help you get past the spiel to what’s real!
Before picking up the phone, you need to have your own checklist in place of questions you need to be addressed. Here’s what we feel are important considerations when selecting the agency you will be investing in to build your business.
Your Digital Marketing Agency Checklist
Can your prospective agency prove they are up to the work with proven results that they can share from managing campaigns of their clients? If you are told that this information is confidential, move on. Some clients want to maintain their trade secrets, sure, but many clients are only too happy to openly endorse their digital service provider. If you see the agency listed on a review site, with cited reviews, they are likely more reliable.
Actions speak louder than blag, so do not take the word of your potential partner. Do they boast awards that amount to marketing industry scale validation? If experts in the marketing sector rate your potential partner, this gives you a significant measure of confidence that you are likely to experience a strong return on ad spend (ROAS).
Ask for detail about how they have helped companies similar to your own. This helps you assess their expertise in your sector and gives you the confidence they can bring relevant industry data to the table by which to benchmark your own company’s performance. This level of expertise gives your company leverage against competitors. Diverse, cross-sector experience is helpful too, but cannot compare to the value of industry-level insights, which can cut schedules for profitability and boost returns.
Key to your success is collaboration and regular communications with a consistent account manager, whether by telephone, or digitised reports, but ideally both. If your service provider offers you access to a customisable flight-deck to see results in real time, you can be confident of their transparency, while also enjoying the learning offered by seeing real-time campaign overviews, or granular performance detail.
Reliability of data means effective, realistic reporting, where you can measure results of your investment. If progress reports and meaningful data are lacking, you have no way of managing your marketing budget effectively. You need to know what is working, when and why, in order to adjust other aspects of your operations accordingly, be that inventory, or staff deployment; this demands regularity and reliability of communications. Pivots have to be made based on clear and objective decision-making to reduce your business risks. Steer clear of agencies trying to bamboozle you with tech-speak.
Each business has different and unique marketing requirements, given the vast array of circumstances and market conditions. It is essential that your prospective marketing partner can deliver for your specific needs.
Have ready a list of your current assets to enable effective marketing and usable data, plus your list of objectives for the short, medium and longer term. Ask how those assets and aspirations can be built on with their marketing recommendations. Having the confidence that your provider can build on your expertise with their own is a no-brainer. It doesn’t matter if they cover all aspects of marketing or not, just whether their expertise has you covered in ways that count for your own plans.
Comprehensive, Adaptable Plans
Marketing online is increasingly competitive and highly sophisticated these days, as often is your business. If an ad agency offers to undertake a comprehensive audit of your business in relation to customer experience and marketing presence and will do this for free, then you know not only that they are keen to work with your company, but that they will have a detailed appreciation of the base you are working from.
Their recommendations in a marketing plan should be equally detailed, but flexible enough to adapt to the rapidly evolving marketing landscape your business operates in. Your marketing agency should demonstrate they have the expertise to refocus and adapt to changes happening for your business rapidly, to maximise returns on your marketing budget.
Now, you are ready to take a look at some of our top digital marketing agencies in the U.K. industry.
We may not yet have the awards, but our range of clients and our results speak for themselves. We have a track record built up over ten years in the digital marketing sector, adapting our proven strategies as innovations continually evolve what we do.
Of course, we are biased, but we believe in our industry leadership because we can prove our results. We know we are up there with the best, because a) we love what we do b) our clients tell us what a difference our support services have made in transforming their businesses. We have industry accreditations as Google and Microsoft partners and are confident those coveted awards will come because we elevate our customers.
We believe in honest dialogue with our clients, based on shared, objective data so you can be confident in AdsRunner operating almost as another extension of your business. We check in with you on a weekly basis, if not more often when needed to ensure our deployments are working for your ever-changing needs.
We take a holistic approach, with integrated digital marketing services for B2C, B2B, eCommerce, SME’s and larger enterprises. This means you move ahead faster with proven campaign strategies combined with technical innovations wherever appropriate across all of your marketing channels and new ones, where beneficial.
AdsRunner support full-funnel marketing strategies via our range of digital services, including:
- Sponsored advertising is at the core of most marketing campaign profits. We set up and manage your paid advertising so your ROAS brings returns faster, consistently improves and cuts your cost per customer acquisition (CPA), while building loyally returning buyers. We optimise social media ad campaigns, Google display and shopping, Microsoft Bing Ads.
- Video advertising, predominantly via social media, is a service that is continually growing, because of the immediacy of the medium and value to advertisers and customers alike. We also produce complementary content for your social media video ads too. Our smart and creative video productions involve real-life videography or animation formats. Carousel and images used in static ads will leverage the best images from your videos too, to ensure consistent branding that familiarise audiences with your messaging. We want your viewers to have memorable moments worth sharing with their friends and family to maximise exposure and reach.
- User Experience optimisation ensures that all aspects of your online presence offer the best possible user experience, so that their process through their buying decisions are enjoyable, smooth and memorable. We seek to ensure our content creation inspires, engages, educates and elevates your brand across all your marketing channels.
- Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) services are not just about ensuring your campaigns are technically optimised, but that each conversion achieved happens at the lowest possible cost to your business and that each website and app page, plus every paid campaign are consistently monitored and tweaked to improve. We use split-testing techniques to continually improve your profitability.
- Data Analysis Training is a regular request from clients seeking to really understand the data that expresses their customers’ behaviours, habits and preferences. With years of experience of underpinning customer campaigns with solid data, we can deliver bespoke training packages to your teams, to bring skills in-house to your company, ensuring that your staff can make the most of data harnessed in your campaigns.
Talk to our account development management team today about results we have achieved for businesses similar to your own and how we can drive momentum in your planned developments.
2. The Good Marketer
This London-based digital marketing agency is a young team catering to SME’s, with a French Bulldog on-board who ensures you get maximum meat from the bone and who instils confidence that these guys are down-to-earth, no-nonsense, raw talent and we hope to hear more good things as this agency grows and do what they say on the tin.
As a young company, they understand the importance of affordability to their clients, offering marketing packages starting from a very reasonable £750 per month. Effective, dynamic and innovative pro-active energy means that you can expect to get great customer service and attention to detail.
Their clients are based here in the U.K., but they are building an international reputation too, with an air cargo company in the Middle East. From fashion to training bodies and trading Forex, they are serving a growing range of business sectors, across glamour to business services.
Their services include: social media, SEO, Google Shopping and Search ads, Bing search ads, digital strategy development, email marketing, web development and CRO.
3. Cheshire Cat Marketing
This digital marketing team, led by women, have much to smile about since setting up to address the dearth of female-friendly marketing agency employers. They serve northern Power-House cities, including Liverpool, Manchester, Warrington, Chester and beyond and we fully expect them to grow the breadth of their smile over time with that authenticity that generates trust you would expect of a northern digital service provider.
You always want to work with a partner who you can rely on to talk straight, who won’t blind you with jargon. Cheshire Cat marketing has built their reputation on great communications and services tailored to a client’s particular circumstances.
These collaborative partners are achieving excellent review ratings too, with top marks from Google and Facebook. They cover PPC ads, social media, SEO, web design, print marketing, email, content marketing and bespoke strategies for SME’s.
Gripped is a growing B2B marketing agency, based in London and Liverpool, offering a good range of digital services. A free audit, means not only can they benchmark your performance transparently, but means that you can measure progress from your partnership with them.
Their services help businesses deliver traffic generation, lead conversion optimisation and growth through: digital marketing strategy development, B2B SEO, B2B inbound marketing, content marketing, paid search, social marketing, website development, marketing automation and more.
Clutch.co digital marketing service comparison site only shows seven reviews, giving them a performance score of 4.9, so it is difficult to fully assess how well this company will do, but if mistakes are made early, then their rating bodes well and makes this company worthwhile investigating. Certainly, their friendly approach and commendation for being “knowledgeable” by a previous engineering client seem to point to a digital agency worth checking out.
5. Saatchi and Saatchi
Without a mention of this long-standing brand, our review would be meaningless. This renowned British marketing institution is famous for its famous clients, sponsorship of cutting-edge artists and dominance in the larger and international business enterprise sector. Saatchi and Saatchi London have been around since pre-digital times, but because established early, have had the resources to innovate and invest in expansion of services.
With 114 offices in 67 countries (and counting), you can be sure of close collaboration wherever you are establishing your business hubs. We could list their services, but suffice to say if you ask, they can do… So let’s read in awe a smidgin of their household brand name clients: British Airways, T-Mobile, Visa… Yeah, we’re done. This marketing behemoth has the kind of capacity many smaller agencies can only dream of…
Impression is an impressive comprehensive digital services provider based in Nottingham, founded in 2012. They have anywhere between 50 permanent staff, who can call on sub-contractor support of around 100 other specialists. As a mid-range digital agency, you will not be surprised to hear that their minimum project value is around £20,000 and their hourly rate is around £125.00, minimum.
They are able to charge more with their impressive list of successful clients, including: Cancer Research U.K., Clarins, Funky Pigeon, Rutland Cycling, Topps Tiles and other well-known brands.
Their focus is fairly evenly spread, with 30% of their (awarded) work being PPC based, the same for SEO and digital strategy (including helping bring this in-house) is around 20%, with additional services, such as CRO and split testing, for the remainder of their working day. PPC includes paid search, social and Google Shopping, plus programmatic display. Their SEO services include eCommerce, technical, internationalisation and as you would expect, consultancy. They of course cover, analytics, tag management, data science, together with thought leadership creative content campaigns and more.
For companies aspiring to scale and dominate their sector, you could certainly do well with this company showing powerful results, officially recognised by their industry.
Modern is definitely up there with our top U.K. B2B digital marketing agencies. Perhaps this is because they have made that mindset shift to acting as a business partner with their clients, rather than simply acting as ‘digital service experts’ for hire.
This approach has clearly worked for them, given they count some well-known clients, including: Hyland, AllStar Business Solutions, Klarna and more. This is also proof of their capability to handle businesses planning to scale-up, extend into new territories, launch new lines and work collaboratively at pace.
With data analytics and meaningful business insight generation at the heart of their services, this makes this Bristol-based digital marketing company implements effective strategies, based on objective, measurable information, which inspires trust as business stakeholder partners.
Another London-based team of digital wizards, or ‘mixologists’, as they describe themselves, this agency offers a range of award-winning digital marketing services. In 2021, they combined into a “group collective”, alongside Tomorrow, Disrupt and Braidr, enhancing their capacity to build the brands they work with.
Found’s collective cover: data analytics, PPC, various SEO services (including international), video, social media and organic content and influencer marketing for clients that include established brands, such as Randstad recruitment agency, Fender and others.
Apart from their trustworthiness being partly based on their Google and Bing partnership accreditation, this forward-looking company are also one with a mission to engage young talent in the industry, working with youth community groups. We like a mission for good at AdsRunner and think that if they are stretching themselves for our young people, then that probably says a lot for how much commitment they will bring to their clients.
9. Soap Media
Soap Media are a multi-accredited, award-winning digital marketing agency based in Preston and Manchester. They combine that winning combination of strategic positioning, with creative content creation. They work on each step of your customer’s journey, optimising at every touch point across: creative web design and development, inbound marketing, email marketing, social, SEO and PPC. This comprehensive approach speaks of their experience, having been digital service providers since 2005.
They have extensive expertise across diverse sectors of business and have worked with the likes of: Redrow Homes, Money Supermarket, AA and other enviable clients. Indeed their customer satisfaction has been acknowledged by The Drum in 2021. For four years on the trot, they have been accorded kudos for being among the top U.K. B2B companies from Clutch. Check out their website to see just how well-respected this team are.
They put their success down to taking a holistic partnership approach, but they do not shy away from discrete projects either. However, we think that their reasonable fees really clinch their super-stardom too, beginning at a humble £40 per hour.
10. Limelight Digital
We have covered Limelight Digital among our top agencies before when we looked at Google Ad agencies, but in all honesty, we have respect for everything this agency does in terms of their customer focus. For smaller advertisers, we can say that your startup stands a strong chance of building capacity and growth through its services. This Loughborough team offer SEO, PPC and social media services at an affordable rate, for “high return”.
The agencies we have taken a scroll through here work with a diverse range of business sectors and are comprehensive enough in their offering to really help your business scale.
We understand that putting your trust in an unknown support service can be worrying if you are counting on them helping you deliver stronger returns. For AdsRunner’s part, we understand that this is just one of those growth pains experienced by all businesses at some point.
We hope that some of the services referred to here are helping your team focus on which ones are essential for your particular goals and our recipe for reliability helps you quickly establish the power of your shortlist to deliver the growth you seek.
Outsourcing is always a risk. We get it. We have picked up the pieces from contracts that have fallen short of expectations on more occasions than we are happy with. Thankfully, however, disasters are a rarity; more often companies cut their losses in time to repair and recover rapidly. We have been around long enough to know that all of our clients who have made that leap with us have not looked back. Outsourcing to a digital marketing agency can radically transform your business trajectory in ways sometimes you might not even anticipate. So, get ready… Make the call.