Great swathes of Sheffield’s multi-million pound digital marketing sector could be wiped out by a new breed of online competition offering a copycat service for a fraction of the price.
New websites like Fiverr, Freelancer.com and PeoplePerHour pose a direct threat to all but the largest of the 89 digital agencies in the city according to a new report.
It reveals that scores of Sheffield’s digital agencies, whilst delivering award-winning digital marketing packages for clients, are regularly failing to do even the most basic marketing for themselves.
Robin Williams, managing director of Data-Hive and former Head of Digital Analytics and Marketing Data for Johnston Press, said: “The internet has shaken many sectors to the core in recent years and completely turned
existing models on their head.
“Websites like Fiverr, Freelancer.com and others are a direct threat to large parts of Sheffield’s digital agency sector and they must utilize their own marketing skills to ensure they stay one step ahead.”
The Data-Hive report examines the marketing of all 89 digital agenices in Sheffield and assesses the sectors ability to grow in the coming months and years.
“It’s ironic that whilst these digital agencies are delivering great web and digital solutions for their customers they are failing to utilise the same digital skills for their own acquisition and growth strategy,” added Robin Williams.
“This isn’t to say they are not capable of success. Many of the smaller agencies we spoke with directly in our report acknowledged that they tend to take their attention off marketing activities when busy. In this case, we know that a consistant focus on marketing would help them keep winning new businesses.”
And it seems there’s room for collaboration between many of smaller agencies and digital freelancers in Sheffield.
“We found that one third of the Sheffield agencies were sized at one to three people. Many of whom have established networks of other trusted freelancers so that they can compete on service and delivery against the larger agencies. They felt this was key in their ability to stay competitive in the digital market”.
The report shows how diverse the range of services really is. With digital solutions for any regional or UK businesses to access from graphic design, website development, social media and digital video services. Sheffield’s agency offering is truly diverse.
A recent report commissioned by the University of Sheffield and Creative Sheffield revealed there are an estimated 21,000 people working in digital and creative jobs in the city.
You can access the free Agency Insights report by visiting www.data-hive.co.uk/insight-reports