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Agency survey 09 - When the going gets tough

B2B agencies are continuing to report strong growth, despite the recession, according to the B2B Marketing annual Agency Survey. Average year-on-year growth in gross income remained constant at 21 per cent for the top 40 agencies, suggesting that agencies are successfully riding out the downturn and adapting their business models to align with new opportunities.

However, this headline figure does not tell the whole story, and a combination of excellent performances by a handful of top performers, plus the disappearance from this list of those agencies which did not fare well, has distorted the overall picture.

With the wider UK economy still in the doldrums, agencies can expect the environment to remain challenging well into next year - if not longer. The survey illustrates this clearly, with 44 per cent of respondents describing the current state of the market as 'challenging', whilst only 38 per cent describe it as 'buoyant'. This contrasts markedly with 2008, when agencies remained evenly split between 'challenging', 'bouyant' and 'static'.