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Did you know that there are currently more than 25,000 marketing companies in the United Kingdom? These range from small, niche marketing agencies to large, full-service marketing businesses. With so much choice, it can be difficult to narrow down your search and find the right agency to make you feel like your brand is on top of the world.
Below, we take a look at 30 of the top marketing agencies UK in 2020. We’ve tried to summarise some of the UK’s most effective and successful marketing agencies to help you select the right one. If you have questions, comments or feel you know a company that deserves to be on our marketing agencies list let us know in the comments below.
If you’re looking for more information on B2B marketing agencies – start here.
Let’s kick off the list with Gripped. Gripped are a B2B digital sales and marketing agency that helps customers drive traffic, increase lead conversion, grow pipeline and close sales. Gripped was founded by Ben Crouch and Steve Eveleigh to support the growth ambitions of SaaS, tech, and IT service providers. They’ve built their agency based on 17 years’ experience working in-house creating a digital sales and marketing methodology designed to help businesses win more customers.
Gripped have expertise across a wide range of digital channels and tactics, including search engine optimisation, marketing automation, paid media and conversion rate optimisation.
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Site Visibility is a marketing agency based in London that has worked with recognisable brands like UK Power Networks, Nivea, and Hilton. They provide a full range of services, including content marketing, analytics, social media marketing strategy, online PR, display advertising, PPC, and SEO. The company has been in operation for roughly 18 years now, and they actually run one of the most popular marketing podcasts on iTunes; the Internet Marketing Podcast. They have produced more than 300 episodes with legends in the marketing game, including Tim Ferriss and Seth Godin. If that wasn’t enough, they have also founded BrightonSEO, which is the largest SEO conference in Europe.
Rather than working in terms of separating strategies like PPC and SEO, Momentum focuses on finding the best combination of these interlocked marketing channels for each client they work with so that businesses can achieve their goals faster. As a user-focused digital agency, Momentum provides comprehensive services across design, development, research, and strategy. They have a comprehensive collection of their work on their website, which is certainly worth checking out. Rather than being wowed with brand names, you will get an insight into the problems their clients were experiencing and how they went about the task at hand. This gives you great insight into the way they work. The online marketing company has an office in London, as well as offices in America and Mexico.
Directive combines CRO, paid social, content marketing, PPC, and SEO services to help major brands increase their audiences so that their customer base can grow and grow. They have worked with some recognisable brands, including WestRock, Cherwell, Allstate, Samsung, and Cisco. Their statistics are compelling, claiming a 12 per cent decrease in bounce rate, 135 per cent more organic traffic, 84 per cent more inbound leads, and 32 per cent lower cost per acquisition based on their average client. They also offer a free SEO audit and can provide potential clients with a custom proposal. As well as having an office in London, they also have several offices across the U.S.
Finally, we’re moving outside of London, and heading to Bristol. Gravitywell is a company that aims to provide clients with a full digital package. This means that they offer just about everything a modern brand could need, including websites, eCommerce platforms, messenger bots, react native apps, mobile apps, and can even act as your video production company. They won’t try to make you start again; they’re focused on helping clients to transform digitally without pressing the restart button. They integrate their approach with your current processes and systems to minimise disruption and risk. The company was founded by Simon Bos 18 years, who now serves as Gravitywell’s Creative director.
Blueglass have worked with a number of high-profile international brands, including Fielmann, Just Eat, Swisscom, UPC, and Huawei. This creative agency has also won a number of high profile awards too, including the EU Search Award in 2015, 2017, and 2018. The agency specialises in WordPress development, paid advertising, content marketing, and SEO. Their paid distribution contains a mixture of re-targeting opportunities, content distribution, social advertising, and paid search. They utilise dat as a backbone for their creativity.
Don’t Be Shy
Don’t Be Shy promises you won’t experience the scatter-gun tactics that a lot of marketing agencies employ today. This B2B marketing agency uses intelligence, insight, and imagination to deliver the full range of marketing services. This includes insight and strategy, UX and UI websites, marketing automation, HubSpot, content and campaigns, brand and creative services, and everything in between. Although based in Manchester, the company is willing to travel anywhere to meet up with clients – even if there is a passport involved! Don’t Be Shy has also won a number of awards, including Agency of the Year at the 2018 Pacific North Awards.
Barrington Johnson Lorains (BJL)
Boasting a status as one of the most awarded agencies that originated located outside of the capital city, Barrington Johnson Lorains have a fresh approach, which makes them different to a lot of other companies. This agency, which is based in Manchester, concentrates on solving business problems first. Once they have done this, they come up with fresh and effective ideas to change the company’s behaviour, interact with consumers, and drive profits through marketing. Their team is made up of 85 people, as well as a network of owner run and managed agencies across 22 different companies. Their team consists of digital specialists, creatives, marketing planning teams, and strategists, ensuring they are fully prepared to handle any brief.
Next we have Croud, which is another international marketing agency that has established itself in London. It also has offices in Surry Hills, Australia, and New York. Croud consists of an in-house team as well as a big network of freelancers. Everyone works together to provide the type of content that engages audiences, PPC, SEO, and paid social services for businesses across the globe. At present, there are 2,300 experts working for Croud, as well as 172 in-house staff members. The company was founded in 2011 and now boasts a status as one of the biggest independent digital agencies. Their approach to marketing is a long-term, promising transparent and granular analysis and reporting.
Barracuda was established in London in 2000. The company was actually the first agency in the UK to be officially accredited by Google, and it boasts a status as one of the oldest established independent marketing agencies in the capital city. It is a digital agency that offers both owned, earned, and paid services. On the paid front, which is media you buy, they offer YouTube advertising, Google Shopping, paid social, display and remarketing, and PPC. On the earned side of things, which is media you influence, they provide outreach, digital PR, local SEO, and SEO. Then, you have the media you own, i.e. what you control, which includes services spanning video production, content strategy, web development, YouTube channel management, Google Street View trusted, and conversion rate optimisation to top it off.
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Epic New Media
Next, we have Epic New Media, which is a specialist PPC and SEO agency, which has offices in both Liverpool and Manchester. Aside from paid and organic search marketing, the company also provides CRO, landing page design, paid social, and analytics services. They outline their service as being a four-step process. This begins with targeting, which involves determining objectives, keywords, target market, personas, and customer profiles. The second stage is traffic, which is where landing pages, retargeting, social media channels, SEO, and PPC come in. The third stage is tracking, which involves conversion principles, search queries, key messaging, and lead nurturing. The fourth stage is the measure stage, which involves measuring results, multi-touch, analytics, segmentation, and CRM integration.
Ayima is an all-in-one agency, providing services including a vast assortment of eCommerce services for brands across all industries, as well as programmatic advertising, CRO, performance analytics, content marketing, paid social, PPC, and SEO. They use a combination of digital strategies to help their clients build larger consumer bases. Clients include the likes of Verizon, M&S, and Bwin. What is so interesting about Ayima is that it actually began life in 2002 as a Search Engine. The indexing and crawling technology that the company’s founders built is still one of the core tools utilised and offered to clients today. In 2007, the brand was relaunched as a specialist search consultancy. It has offices across the world; not only in London, but Hong Kong, Stockholm, Raleigh, Vancouver, San Francisco, and New York.
Another marketing agency that is based in London but has a presence in the United States, Distilled offers services including consultancy, video marketing, conversion rate optimisation, content marketing, and organic search. They also provide a scientific approach to SEO through A/B testing so that businesses can see exactly what SEO changes their website requires in order for their search traffic to experience an uplift. They have also created an Optimisation Delivery Network (ODN), which gives clients the ability to run SEO split tests and see changes to their website. You can arrange a demo if you would like to try before you buy so to speak.
Barques has a status as one of the leading web design agencies in the United Kingdom. The company is very SEO-orientated. They have a team of search engine specialists that design and optimise websites so that they deliver the best possible results in terms of search engine performance. The company is based in Birmingham and some of their existing customers as well as clients they have worked with include University of Birmingham, Apsley House Capital, Veridon, Stoford, Visican, and Birmingham Botanical Gardens.
If you are looking for one of the more well-known and trusted digital agencies out there, Koozai certainly ticks that box. They were founded back in 2006 by Ben Norman, and they have gone from strength-to-strength, with offices in London, Southampton, and Preston. The company has won a number of awards and boasts clients like TUI Travel Plc, Papa Johns, V&A, and TravelBag. Their services are broken down into paid media (paid search and social), earned media (digital PR), and owned media (content marketing and SEO).
Another award-winning agency; Epiphany does not concern itself with merely making sure your brand is being seen but ensuring it is being seen by the right audiences. The company combines services like web design and development, content marketing, display advertising, PPC, and SEO. Their clients include Ladbrokes, SCS, Pandora, Pretty Little Things, and The Carphone Warehouse, so they certainly have the capability to work with leading industry players. They currently have offices in Leeds and London, as well as plenty of experience to boot, having been established in 2005. In 2014, they joined a consulting business consisting of 650 people across the world known as Jaywing. Around 65 of those people are experienced data scientists, which has allowed Epiphany to build incredible strategies based on the very best insights and analysis.
Claiming that they are on a mission to make B2B more human, Upp B2B focuses on helping brands to tell their stories. They conduct meaningful research so that they can create distinctive B2B brand propositions for your product or service and craft fresh ideas that will make a business-changing impact by connecting effectively with people. Their worth spans across brand creation, brand building, and brand growth. The company is based in Salford. Although it only ‘opened’ in 2016, it was created when two specialist agencies, Clock Creative and Marketecture, merged together, bringing plenty of experience to the table.
Adam & Eve DDB
Based in London, Adam & Eve DDB has an open way of working when it comes to marketing. Their collaborative culture involves sitting everyone together to create a single family of skills that are beneficial to the client. They are focused on unlocking why people love your brand, and then creating inspirational campaigns around this. They’ve worked with a number of notable brands over the years, from John Lewis to Google. However, one of their most effective campaigns was the ‘Good Call’ adverts for Fosters. If you’ve not seen them, it’s definitely worth a quick search on YouTube.
Next, we have addmustard, which is a digital marketing company for entrepreneurs specifically. The company provides services like performance optimisation, branding, UX web and app design, social media marketing, paid media, and SEO – a great combination for increased web traffic and ranking highly in Google searches. Some of the work they have done includes website and brand building for Reflex Nutrition, recovering organic traffic and visibility loss for Neilson, and putting together an impressive creative campaign for Marsh & Parsons. More of their projects, as well as detailed information about them, can be viewed via the agency’s website.
Based in London, Traffic is another digital marketing company that is proud to have a number of awards to its name. The company utilises the latest technology to create great businesses and brands. They have expertise across a very broad scope of sectors, including working with automotive businesses, as well as those in construction and the healthcare sector. Some of the more famous clients they have worked with include British Airways, Wall’s, Carat, Panasonic, The Bakey, Alexandra Palace, and Deloitte. Quite an impressive client list to say the least. With over 13 years of experience, Traffic helps businesses nail their niche and scale products to their full potential.
Edit is a digital marketing agency that has undergone a bit of rebranding itself. It used to be known as Branded 3, however, the company went under a rebrand mission, and the fact that it is still one of the most respected digital agencies in the United Kingdom shows just how effective the creative team here are. Edit specialises in marketing that is very much data driven, including customer relationship management and media branding for enterprise brands. They have worked with some of the most well-known companies in the UK, including Ladbrokes, Confused.com, and Jaguar Land Rover. They have three offices in the UK at the moment; in London, Leeds, and Bath. They also host the largest search marketing event in the north of England; SearchLeeds. The event is free to attend and features a large number of talks covering everything from digital trends to technical SEO and how to increase organic traffic.
Glass Digital pride themselves on being transparent. They believe that a lot of companies out there today are providing marketing services to their customers without their clients really knowing what they are spending their money on. This is something you will never get with Glass Digital. Their emphasis is on making sure that all of their customers understand how their marketing strategies work and how they are generating that all-important return on investment. Based in Newcastle, Glass Digital provides a flexible range of affiliate marketing, paid search, and organic search services for small-to-medium businesses. Some of their clients include Alliance Online, Charles Clinkard, Powerhouse Fitness, and Wyevale Garden Centres. They have been featured in numerous publications too, including Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Land, The Telegraph, and The Times.
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As the name suggests, this digital marketing agency is all about making a big impression and helping brands to benefit from maximum exposure. They want to generate as many leads as possible for their clients, and then maximise conversions by utilising an array of optimisation services and quality testing. Based in Nottingham, the services they provide span across web design, conversion rate optimisation (CRO), content marketing, digital PR, PPC, and SEO. They have also won a number of awards in their time too. This includes winning the Best Small PPC Agency Award at the 2017 European Search Awards and the Best Large SEO Agency Award at the 2018 European Search Awards. They also won the 2018 Best Large SEO Agency Award at the UK Search Awards, as well as winning the Best In Search Award at the 2018 RAR Digital Awards. So, if you are looking for a digital marketing agency that is currently at the top of its game, it is hard to argue with Impression.
BowlerHat is all about making digital marketing simple, which will be music to a lot of people’s ears. They provide a straightforward set of services; design, content marketing, PPC, and SEO. The agency, which is located in Birmingham, specialises in working with businesses on the smaller size, so that they can scale up and reach bigger targets. If you’re a small business owner and you want to make a big impact, but you don’t know how to go about it, Bowler Hat is the sort of marketing agency that can assist with this. The team consists of Marcus Miller, a Digital Strategist with 20 years of experience, Ryan Scollon – PPC & SEO Consultant, Zoe Miller – Social Media Specialist, Robyn Strafford – UX & Web Designer, Andrew Hall – Web Developer, Bethany Griffins – Content Marketing Specialist, Amrita Aujla – SEO Executive, and Ben Griffin – PPC Consultant.
Absolute describes itself as campaign ignitors, digital innovators, and brand builders; a bold agency for ambitious clients. The company has built brands and digital campaigns for the likes of Incorez, Royal Birkdale, and Manchester City FC. the company uses website and app design and development combined with a mix of digital media, from photography to video and content. The main focus for Absolute is user experience; this is emphasised in everything they do. The company is located in Bolton, and they have also won a number of awards over the years too. This includes winning the Travoluton Agency of the Year and Awwwards’ Site of the Day back in 2012. More recently, in 2018, they were awarded the Awwwards’ Mobile Excellence Award for their ‘The Keele difference’ campaign for Keele University.
Next, we have MOBO Media, which is a marketing and design agency in Cardiff that offers a wide range of services. Not only does this include website design and development but it also includes logo design, graphic design, branding, social media marketing, and SEO. Some of their clients include Highgear Insurance, UShop, Pepperpot, and Slice.
Abbott Mead Vickers (AMV BBDO)
All you need to do is look at this company’s client wall, and it will be enough to convince you that they are worth their salt. It reads like a brands hall of fame. AMV BBDO has been responsible for some of the most memorable adverts, including Revel’s ‘against the coffee’ campaign, and adverts for Walkers Crisps, Birdseye, BT, and Guinness. The company has a history spanning over 21 years, and they are currently ranked number two across the globe for strategy and effectiveness by WARC. It is certainly worth taking a look at the work they’ve done on their website. You will see tons of familiar brands and faces.
If you are looking for a brand that specialises in design and optimisation for WordPress, Electric Studio ticks this box. The Oxford-based agency helps clients to design, build, and optimise their WordPress websites, ensuring they perform well in the search engine result pages. Boasting more than 50 years of combined experience, Electric Studio is 100 per cent independent and their clients include Kings College London, Costa, SHARP, Charles Bentley, Oxford University, NHS, and Oxford University Press.
Another digital marketing agency that has an impressive list of clients to boot. Fastfwd has provided campaigns for brands like QG, Leica, Miss Selfridge, Ann Summers, and even Vogue. Located in Birmingham, Fastfwd deliver stunning projects across the realms of digital marketing, design, and development. Their services include, but are not limited to; CRO, SEO, inbound marketing, content creation, lead generation, social media marketing, bespoke digital support packages, build and development, digital design, and digital strategy.
Based in Leeds, the brand’s name gives it all away; engage is here to make sure that you are engaging with your client base and target consumer base in an impactful manner. The company does this through providing a comprehensive selection of marketing services spanning social media, email marketing, search optimisation, paid advertising, and web design and development. They have some impressive clients to their name too, including Yorkshire Tea, Jet2, Milwaukee, At The Races, Premier Inn, Leeds Building Society, Giraffe, and Heineken. Also, if you would like to align yourself with a company that gives back, engage certainly ticks this box. Now in its fourth year, Engage Elympics is the company’s yearly challenge to become the healthiest agency in the United Kingdom while donating money to charities in Leeds. So far, the company has donated over £28,000. Pretty impressive, right?
Last but by no means least, we’re finishing off with Builtvisible, which is a digital marketing agency that is based in our capital city, London. The company specialises in building awareness, content marketing, and SEO. From tactical activation to strategic roadmaps and foundational consulting, the agency promises to give you access to some of the industry’s smartest minds so that you can reach your brand’s KPIs. They have a 95 per cent client retention rate, which is certainly something worth shouting about. They have also been recognised at The Guardian’s Marketing and PR Excellence Awards, as well as at The Digital Impact Awards in 2018.
Making the right choice when selecting a marketing agency
So there you have it: our list of the UK’s best marketing agencies, showcasing 30 of the best in the UK at the moment. The importance of choosing a company with care when it comes to your marketing strategy and activity cannot be ignored. While all of the companies mentioned in this post have exceptional reputations, this does not mean they are going to be right for everyone. It is all about finding the company that fits your brand.
For example, if you work within the B2B marketplace, you’re going to need a B2B marketing agency. Marketing is a discipline that relies on experience and understanding. In a B2B marketing strategy, the focus needs to be on detailed content and educating your audience. Not only this, but the B2B buying cycle is often much longer, there is a longer chain of command to deal with, and a sales process can last for months and even years. All of these factors make a significant difference in terms of how marketing is approached.
There are also marketing agencies that specialise in specific niches, and this is something you may want to consider depending on the nature of your business. Aside from this, you should take a look at the work the company has done so far. A lot of marketing agencies will be upfront about the clients they have, often displaying this information on their website. It is worth delving into this deeper; looking at their ad campaigns, search engine presence, and their website content. This will help you to get an understanding of the successfulness of their existing efforts.
Of course, reviews can also be very telling. When reading reviews that have been left by clients, it is important to make sure they are valid. Using independent review platforms comes highly recommended. If reviews are simply posted directly onto a company’s website, and they’re not coming from an outside review widget, you’ve got no way of determining their validity. It is also important to consider reviews on the whole; don’t let one comment cloud your judgment. Unfortunately, a lot of marketing clients are unrealistic with their expectations, anticipating that they will reach one of the top spots on Google within a matter of weeks. This can lead to negative feedback even if the company has really done a stellar job in terms of what was achievable.
All things considered, there is no denying that you are going to need to choose a marketing agency carefully if you are to get the results you hope for. There are thousands and thousands of marketing agencies in the UK today, which can make it very overwhelming and daunting, especially if you don’t have any experience in this area. However, we hope that you now have a better idea of some of the best options out there, as well as some useful tips on what you should consider during your search.
While you’re here, why don’t you check out our list for the top marketing agencies in London?