Beginner’s Guide on Starting a Marketing Agency in the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is one of the best economies to do business in the world, but this has brought a challenge. The country now accommodates more than 6 million private companies, resulting in a very competitive environment for businesses. Thus, starting a marketing agency in the UK is actually a very tactical move, which allows you to avail yourself of the competition.
However, in your quest to help businesses stand out from their competition, don’t forget that the market for marketing companies is competitive as well. You have to get it right from the first time, offering your best so as to retain your clients and get referrals.
In this article, we provide insights and tips on starting a marketing company in the United Kingdom.
What Is a Marketing Agency?
A marketing agency helps other companies to research the market and promote their brand and products. Their responsibilities include creating branding and marketing strategies, customer profiles, brand messages, promotion materials, etc. and connecting with the customers. In short, a marketing company helps its clients to improve their sales and brand positioning.
Based on the nature of activities, marketing companies can be of various types such as Marketing Consultancies, Direct Marketing Firms, Telemarketing Companies, Digital Marketing Solutions, Marketing Communications companies, etc. However, these days, Digital Marketing is seen to be more effective and efficient than other forms of marketing.
Marketing Agency Trends in the United Kingdom
Before starting a marketing agency, you will have to prepare based on the current industry scenario, which will give you an idea of what to expect. Currently, the entire focus for companies has been based on making COVID-19 friendly marketing strategies. Here are some marketing trends in the United Kingdom:
Digitization of Marketing Activities
Since COVID-19, marketing agencies have been working to adapt their content to their audience’s newfound needs. Lockdown has led to greater use of the internet, allowing marketers to adapt and connect with their audience in ways they couldn’t do before.
To stay relevant, brands must keep up with the latest digital marketing trends to communicate their purpose. A strategic balance between effective digital marketing activities and brand authenticity is the key to success.
There are various digital marketing channels like content marketing, SEO, etc., and companies need to choose one based on their needs.
More Use of Social Media
Social media has always been the core of marketing in the 21st century. The use of social media was always high, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made it more important for marketing.
As more and more apps and features are released, such as Reel Guide on Instagram, it will be important for brands and influencers to remain creative to stay relevant and stay on people’s feeds. These new features will provide marketers with new ways to create content and will be at the centre of collaborative campaigns in 2021.
Also, choosing the right social media platforms will be equally essential. From Instagram to Tiktok and Facebook, not every platform may bring equal results for everyone. It all boils down to how effective you are at finding customers at the right place.
Influencer marketing is when people with large (or even little) social media fans are paid to talk about a product or service. Various researches have shown that this marketing trend is going to increase by 15% on the social media front in 2021.
The good news is that influencers are a niche. They operate more like affiliate marketers, and no matter what your business is, you will be able to leverage influencer marketing to promote your offering. Furthermore, the number of micro-influencers is on the rise, so you don’t necessarily need to hire high-cost celebrities to market your products. Thus, if it’s not something you’ve been trying for years, now may be the time to give it a go.
Innovations in Artificial Intelligence (AI) enable companies to revolutionise everyday life and increase productivity. In marketing, for example, AI-based clustering and interpretation of consumer data, coupled with profile information and demographic data, can adapt to customers preferences and dislikes and respond to new recommendations in real-time.
The Deloitte Global Marketing Trends Report 2021 confirms that consumers are increasingly looking for people-centric businesses. 70% of respondents in the research said they appreciate brands deepening their relationships with each other during the pandemic. This brings us to big data analysis.
It means analyzing big sets of data based on various data behaviour and trends. Big data analysis allows companies to understand customer behaviour in depth like never before. Thus, the brands are able to communicate with customers and offer their services as per the people’s expectations.
The Process for Starting a Marketing Agency in the United Kingdom
Starting a marketing agency involves creating a business plan and then registering your company and for taxes. The registration could be overwhelming if you don’t have experience. Thus, it is always a great idea to avail of company incorporation services.
This is the process for starting a marketing agency in the UK:
Find Your Niche
Many marketing companies focus on a specific solution and specific fields.
Thus, the first step while choosing your niche is choosing the type of service you want to offer. You can start an outreach company, while you may also start a content marketing company.
Furthermore, you can start a company that offers services only in a specific industry. For example, you can start a Medicine Marketing Company. This could be great in terms of specialization, but you have to ensure you choose a field that will keep on giving you clients.
Register Your Company
You start your registration by choosing the right business structure. You can go for a sole proprietorship, partnership, or a private limited company. The latter is the ideal structure if you want a transparent process and the protection of your personal assets. However, the structure also depends on the size of your company.
After choosing the structure, you need to understand and fulfil the requirements. There aren’t special requirements for a partnership or a sole proprietorship. However, a private limited company requires a registered address, guarantors or shareholders, directors, etc.
Register for Taxes and Get the Licences
The final step is registering with the HMRC for taxes. The corporate tax rate in the United Kingdom is 19%, but you may be able to avail of incentives. Make sure to register for taxes within three months of starting any business activity.
After registering for taxes, you need to get the necessary licences. The licences really depend on the nature of your business activities. We talk about the licences broadly in the next part of this article.
For more information regarding registering a company, check our guide to company registration in the United Kingdom.
What License Do I Need to Start a Marketing Company in the United Kingdom?
A marketing company generally needs the following licences:
- Licences to play background music
- Notification to process personal data from the Information Commissioner’s Offices personal data in an automated form.
- Public space surveillance (CCTV) licence.
- Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Consumer Credit Licence authorisation to offer credit to your customers.
- Scaffolding and hoarding Licence.
- NLA Media Access Limited business licence to make copies of newspaper content for internal use in a business.
- Permission to distribute leaflets.
- CLA Media Consultancy Licence.
However, remember, the licences are based on the nature of your business activities, and it is always recommended to double-check with a lawyer. Alternatively, you can take assistance from a corporate service provider who will help you ensure full compliance.
Starting a marketing company in the United Kingdom is a long process, but definitely worth it, given the promises it holds. However, to streamline the process, it is always a great idea to work with a company registration services provider.
3E Accounting is a leading corporate services provider in the United Kingdom. We offer various company registration packages that make your company registration effortless. All you need to do is contact us and tell us your requirements.