Our annual BenchPress survey and report highlights the key trends, stats, and averages, allowing UK agencies to benchmark themselves against their peers. Started six years ago, BenchPress has grown to become the largest survey of independent agency owners in the UK. Agencies of all shapes, sizes, locations and sectors participating in it, providing a benchmark for agency owners all over the UK.

Last year, saw one of the highest levels of confidence amongst agencies since the survey started. Two-thirds planned to recruit, which was a very positive sign for the industry and the economy as a whole.

There was also confidence displayed in pricing strategies, with over half of agencies planning on increasing their hourly rate. Last year, the average hourly rate was £86 per hour, and there was a reduction in agencies that were charging £50 per hour or less. In twelve months, it dropped from 11% of agencies to just 3%. This year's survey will explore in more detail how agencies price, how they make profit, and the split between retainers and projects, including the average size of each.

Last year’s survey also showed a high intent to increase work coming from overseas. We’ve always known that the creative sector in the UK is revered around the world, so it’s no surprise that nearly a quarter of agencies intended to capitalise on this last year. This year’s survey will explore in more detail where UK agencies get their work from.

Brexit has been a hot topic for a while now, with 84% of agency owners admitting to opposing the UK’s departure from the European Union. This year’s survey will explore what the actual impact has been on agencies since the referendum result. The survey will also shed light on another hot topic for agencies right now - artificial intelligence - asking questions about how agencies are currently using this technology and their plans for using it in the future.

It’s fantastic to see how much BenchPress has grown. It started with the aim of being able to take an accurate snapshot of agency life in the UK and to share insight and analysis with ambitious agency owners. With the previous six years worth of data to draw on, we’re now able to highlight key trends, make predictions for the future, and share what the UK’s top-performing agencies are doing differently to the rest.

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