Being a digital agency in London

Mac and Tablet on a dark wood desk showing Lloyd

It’s not easy being a digital agency in London.

While there may be some prestige associated with being a London agency (especially if you’re based in Clerkenwell or Shoreditch) there are many challenges:

  • It is a highly competitive marketplace in terms of attracting and retaining top talent.
  • Increased globalisation provides clients with the option of sourcing partners offshore. Many of these partners have started to bypass their traditional channels (digital agencies in London) to build their own sales and marketing operations in the UK.
  • Budgets for digital strategy, user experience design, website development and digital marketing are increasingly squeezed.
  • Expectations are higher than ever in terms of impact and highly measurable digital marketing performance metrics.

But the real trouble being a digital agency in London is that there are simply too many digital agencies in London!

The level of competition is intense. The low barriers to entry and access to education resources mean that just about anyone can start a digital agency. Many startups monitor experienced digital agency websites and essentially replicate their value propositions and any particularly innovative thinking is quickly copied. Consequently, from a client’s perspective it becomes difficult to see the wood for the trees. So how does a digital agency in London make itself visible?

Have you guessed what’s going on here? You may have noticed the frequent use of a few terms. It’s the search imperative in action. If a company is unable to get its website to appear on the first page of Google search results then it is largely transparent.

Right now, those ‘digital agency in London’ keywords (and other targeted terms) have to be present to give us half a chance of being visible. Any prospective client searching for ‘digital agency in London’ might just end up reading or at least skimming this post.

It doesn’t always make for great prose, but it’s where we are with the current world wide web state of evolution. But fear not… our saviour from this madness is gaining momentum and it’s called the ‘semantic web’.

We humans are pretty good at making connections. We have the innate ability to understand context, see trends, interpret meaning, read body language. Computers? Not so much.

So we might explain on our website that Fabrik is based in Clerkenwell and our team has expertise in brand strategy, user experience design, website and app development, and search marketing, or we might display some images of our digital design with no captions at all. As human beings we’re able to review the words, images and layout and make the connections. In our minds we might classify Fabrik as a ‘digital agency in London’ even though there are no words that actually match. A computer would struggle to do that – without help.

It’s a strange paradox that the very information that resides on computers, but makes the world wide web feel human, makes no real sense to the computers themselves. So the help computers need in order to ‘understand’ web content is growing in the form of the semantic web – extra information (metadata) that helps describe context and relationships. As the web evolves, computers will be increasingly able to find and interpret relevant information, simulating human intelligence. In doing so they will be better able to help us.

Alas, at the moment, there is still a long way to go. So… did I mention Fabrik is a digital agency in London?

Tim Moore
Tim Moore
Strategic Director. Interactive technologist. Action Man. From concept to management to production, Tim guides Fabrik’s clients through the digital darkness to the interactive light. Honed his strategic skills at Playgroup, Revolution and Light & Coley. Past clients include Mercedes Benz, Unilever and BT. Loves Formula One, mountain biking and running. Also loves snowboarding (but suspects he’s too old for it).

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