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As ever it’s the time of year that sees us glance back over 2016 and provide an overview of the highlights and successes from the last 12 months. It was another record year for us, and we enter 2017 more ambitious than ever – with a stronger sense of self and a sharper laser-focus too.

 

THE YEAR IN SUMMARY

Through the year we continued to deliver on our promise to inform, inspire and connect marketers across the industry through daily intelligence about agencies, brands and key market trends.

This promise is rooted in a clear and actionable outcome for our brands: to super-charge the success of their marketing activity by utilising the knowledge and connections we provide to build and sustain modern, fast-growing, customer-centred brands.

Within our growing ecosystem we now supply this intelligence to marketers through a unique mix of technology, content and people that provides them peripheral vision at unparalleled pace and depth; year round. 

For agencies of all shapes, sizes and skill-sets we further established ourselves as a vital marketing channel through which to promote themselves to a community of decision makers in some of the world’s best-known brands.

Again this is rooted in a clear outcome for agencies: to connect with like-minded clients with big ambitions in a contemporary environment that paints them in their best light.

Most satisfyingly this year we saw many brands embrace all elements of our service year-round, with the aim of keeping their marketing teams outward-looking and enlightened at all times.

LinkedIn, Virgin Atlantic, PepsiCo and more placed access to www.creativebrief.com at the heart of their marketing departments, whilst also inviting us to run inspiration sessions at their away days, attending our live events and leveraging our market knowledge when reviewing agencies.

On top of this, we hit a key milestone in 2016 by passing 5,000 brand marketers with access to our platform. We estimate the combined spending clout of these marketers to be in excess of £8bn.

Finally, we drove-home our relentless mission to harness technology to drive smarter, leaner and faster ways to bring together buyers and sellers in our industry. This was most visible in our ‘Quit the pitch as we know it’ article (click image below).

 

Campaign Live feat. Charlie Carpenter

  

 

BRAND USER BASE:

  • We ended the year with 5,025 client password holders (from 2,643 brands)
  • Of the above 3,921 individuals (78%) receive weekly bespoke alerts
  • Client to agency ratio now stands at 25:1 (higher than ever for agencies)
  • 52% clients with access have job titles of Marketing Director and above
  • Annual budget controlled by brand user base estimated at £8bn+

During 2016 we took another step towards greater transparency with regards to our brand user base, helping agency subscribers to gain a clearer sense of the quality of the audience.

There is now a full list of brand names, split by sector available from the client page (click below):

 

Client Stats

 

A large proportion of these brands now have multiple marketers with access to the platform (some in multiple international markets); many with entire teams now engaging and sharing the content.

A selection below of those who subscribed for multi-user access in 2016:

 

Unilever, Nivea, C4, LinkedIn, Boden, Comic Relief, Hiscox, AG Barr, Marie Curie, Renault, Kelloggs, Heineken, Benefit, Lloyds Bank, ITV and Aviva

 

 

BITE

2016 was a significant year for BITE, our curated space providing brands insight into marketing trends and how to navigate them.

The key shift saw BITE move from a stand-alone monthly briefing, to an integral daily feed integrated into the heart of the platform (click image below):

 

BITE page

 

This has been rapidly embraced by marketers and agency personnel alike who have quickly seized upon the opportunity to keep abreast of key trends and exceptional global creativity on a weekly basis.

During December 2016 we also launched a new Guest Contributor slot within BITE for agency thought-leaders which will gain more prominence in 2017.

Over-and-above this we added significantly to our BITE INSPIRE product in 2016, running our newly developed Cannes Download session at brand marketing away days (featuring a range of award-winning agency work).

We performed this session for myriad clients from July 2016 onwards to universally positive feedback from the likes of BBC WW, PepsiCo, LinkedIn, Virgin Atlantic, Comic Relief and AG Barr to name a few. Jackie Lee-Joe, CMO at BBC WW said this:

 

Quote

 

Watch for our BITE INSPIRE session in early 2017, focused on how brands can make the most of trends for the year ahead (again illustrated through exceptional agency creativity).

Finally we held two BITE LIVE events in May and November. These saw inspirational speakers from brands and agencies as diverse as C4, Iceland Air, Moxy Hotels, Google, Spotify, Airbnb, Aviva, The Big Issue, R/GA, adam&eveDDB, Gravity Road, Ogilvy, FCB Inferno, OMD and many more.

The second of these in November was a full day hosted at the Barbican that saw over 185 attendees and gained coverage in Marketing Week, PR Week and more:

 

 

 

 

DEVELOPMENTS TO CREATIVEBRIEF.COM…

In 2015 much of the site development we conducted was back-end focused and not hugely visible, but the opposite was the case in 2016.

The previously mentioned integration of BITE into the heart of www.creativebrief.com was the single biggest development of the year.

This now encompasses our Market Leader interview series, alongside weekly ‘Hot Picks’ of the industry’s best work and a Thought Leadership section spotlighting notable agency events/research.

Outside of BITE we built an ‘insight’ tab within agency showcases that also enables them to post white-papers, research and events that further demonstrate their philosophy, style and approach.

Finally we made more of the Top 30s, giving them greater prominence on the homepage and ensuring that brands can daily monitor top-performing agencies and work with ease.

Overall the focus has been on providing agencies a broader range of opportunities to showcase their work, thinking and personality – whilst simultaneously adding a richer seam of content for brands.

We will take that to a different level in 2017, and will also introduce a section enabling agencies to demonstrate their commitment to diversity at all levels.

 

 

INTERNATIONAL GROWTH…

During the course of 2016 we continued to become an ever-more international platform for our increasingly globalised client base.

With particular focus on the USA and key European markets, one key highlight was a growth in client traffic to the website of over 20% from North America.

We ran numerous reviews for brands searching for agencies outside of the UK: LinkedIn (Germany and Sweden), Lastminute.com (Spain, Italy and Switzerland), Genius (France), Mountain Dew and Madison Square Garden (USA) and many more.

We also saw our international agency base continue to grow with the likes of The VIA Agency and Red & Co (Portland), Perfect Fools and Emakina (Stockholm), BSUR and Like Friends (Amsterdam).

On top of this we enjoyed notable growth in brand sign-ups from clients in multiple markets, though with particular focus again on USA, Sweden and The Netherlands. A selection below:

 

Michelin, Danone, Kelloggs, Delta Airlines, Colombia, GAP, Volvo, Giant, Uniqlo and Tesla

 

Finally we engaged brands at scale internationally, speaking on stage at YMS in New York, at the annual SoDA conference in Amsterdam and at What’s Next in Lithuania.

We also ran a BITE INSPIRE session for the full PepsiCo global marketing team in New York.

 

 

CLIENT REVIEWS…

We also advised brands of all shapes and sizes on agency reviews in 2016. Areas such as creative, PR, digital/social and others remained strong – but we also saw a revival in disciplines such as media planning and buying, CRM/loyalty and packaging design to name a few.

A handful of the brands we worked with in 2016: 

 

Vimto, Tyrrell’s, Lastminute.com, AkzoNobel, Virgin Atlantic, LinkedIn, NBC Universal, Mountain Dew, ASDA, Lloyd’s of London, Burton’s, Laphroaig, Genius, Fever Tree, The Glenlivet and Macmillan Cancer Support 

 

 

THE YEAR AHEAD IN 2017…

We’re more focused and excited than ever about the year ahead here at Creativebrief.

2016 saw us reinforce our position as THE next generation model for the future of the connected, modern marketer.

In 2017 we expect to take that to a new level, and to offer agencies greater visibility, impact and opportunity from our fast-growing, ever-curious and outward-looking client base.

We’re excited to have you as a part of the journey.

 

Charlie Carpenter

Charlie Carpenter
Managing Director

 

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