UNCERTAINTY IS CRIPPLING PARTS OF THE UK DIGITAL SECTOR, RESEARCH FINDS
A new ‘State of Digital' study produced by the UK’s voice of digital and tech BIMA finds that one in five agencies have experienced a ‘catastrophic collapse in work’ and almost 50% of their clients are expected to announce redundancies.
The research, which looks at the experiences of digital agencies and their clients during the Covid-19 pandemic, revealed that the digital arena is very conflicted, with some businesses suffering major hardships whole others manage relatively well. For example, while 27% of agencies have or expect to make redundancies, 44% are recruiting, and 41% of agencies expect to hit their revenue targets, yet 41% also expect revenues to drop by up to 25%.
According to Laurence Parkes, CEO of Rufus Leonard and founder and chair of the BIMA Digital Leaders’ Network, one of the most important factors it comes down to is scale, where bigger organisations have a greater security buffer and can therefore manage the situation better.
The report also looked at how agencies and clients could better manage the uncertainty and insecurity together.
“Communication between client and partner is more important than ever. We’re seeing huge amounts of strategic change happening in both agencies and with clients and that means clients need fewer but better external partners to help them with fundamental business-driving activities,” Laurence explains. Laurence also suggests that agency partners should focus on ROI rather than low prices and should really spend time understanding client cultural challenges to help ease them.
“This report highlights a real need on agency and client sides to forge something new, something built on genuine partnership that helps all parties deal with uncertainty and strategic change. At the same time, it shows that agencies need to manage their own cultural shift, meeting the challenge of more home-working to ensure they can continue to enable teams to innovate and individuals to excel,” adds co-chair of BIMA Natalie Gross.
BIMA has announced four peer network groups for digital leaders, HR, new business and client services/project management. Each new network will comprise experts in their respective fields, who will meet regularly to explore key issues, find solutions and issue advice and guidance.