As a well-established business development agency with a good spread of clients across the UK, we have noticed an upward trend in the success of Yorkshire based agencies winning new business.
With this in mind, we decided to chat to a range of agencies based across Yorkshire, including creative, digital, integrated and specialists (like sound and video production agencies), some of whom we work with and others we don’t, yet! The aim of this was to get a better picture of their challenges and opportunities and try to identify why these aforementioned agencies are doing so well with the meetings and opportunities that we’re generating for them.
One of the main factors that stood out is the fierce independence and ambition to grow and compete with the big players in the market. We are seeing this from both sides of the fence – the established agencies that are looking to expand on their already national presence and those younger agencies that are growing from their roots and now looking to expand that presence beyond the green green grass of home.
Another point made by a couple of agencies was about the location of two major supermarkets’ head offices – Asda in Leeds and Morrisons in Bradford. We know from our experience that both supermarkets work with their fair share of local agencies, which in itself creates a network and therefore makes sense for the brands in those supermarkets to work with the same agencies, based on both recommendation and location.
There are also very few large networked agencies based in Leeds, so the independent agency scene should continue to grow stronger. This plays to our experience of companies increasingly wanting to work with independent, more agile agencies.
However, these positives do come with their own challenges; some businesses in Yorkshire will still defer their decision making to their London headquarters, who will often stick with the tried and tested London agencies.
We have also carried out our own research into location and how much of a factor it plays when appointing the right agency for the job.We selected a range of businesses, in terms of size and sector, from different locations across the UK and asked some of their senior marketers how important location was to them. It turns out that location isn’t critical. For example, 82% of marketing decision makers at companies based in London either already work with or would happily consider agencies outside of London.
Equally, those businesses based in Leeds, Sheffield etc. looking for innovation and expertise from their agency partners should have no need to work with London-based agencies when there are already many talented agencies on their doorstep.
We looked at the meetings and opportunities that we’ve generated over the past 12 months on behalf of the agencies that we work with in Yorkshire. The chart below shows a summary of where the companies they met with are based:
Clearly, some of this derives from the agency’s objectives; for example, some ask us to help them establish a better presence in London, others are very clear about the profile of business they want us to approach and don’t care where they are based. However, what is clear is that there are no significant barriers to growth for Yorkshire based agencies.
In summary, based on our own experience of generating new business opportunities for our clients based in Yorkshire, coupled with the feedback we had from the various agencies we spoke to, we can see some exciting and prosperous times ahead.
If you want to share your own views or experiences of how your agency is performing in this market, then please feel free to leave a comment or get in touch.