UK creative businesses target both organic and in-organic routes to growth

SI Partners’ Path To Growth research, which surveyed over 600 businesses in 16 key creative markets across the globe, examined the growth ambitions and how leaders believe they will achieve these ambitions.

Here we take a closer look at UK creative businesses and their growth plans.





 Read our UK report


Key trends for UK creative business

The UK is a sophisticated market with developed contemporary offers:

A long-established and world-leading creative hub, 86% of UK agencies believe they already have a strong, contemporary service offering (higher than the global average).

The UK is also home to what is viewed as one of the world’s fastest growing creative and technology sectors. In 2018, the creative industry in the UK contributed £101.5 billion in gross value added, with this figure set to increase in 2019, according to a report from the Creative Industries Federation.

However, the pace of change experienced by our (and most other) industries, would caution UK businesses from resting on their laurels - in particular, at a time when Eastern creative powerhouses are beginning to reach maturity, a trend reflected by the growth of the creative sector in Indonesia


UK businesses are keen to internationalise and almost half have a plan in place to sell their business

85% of UK businesses surveyed report that they are planning overseas expansion in the coming two years.  However, while they believe this to be an important strategy, they don’t believe it to be the single route to growth.


UK businesses targeting both organic and inorganic growth strategies

Perhaps driven by a high percentage of UK businesses having an eye on selling their business – 48% of UK creative businesses reporting already having a plan for sale, and the majority of the rest, 44% stating they intend to put a plan in place to sell their business – UK businesses also believe that organic growth is an important strategy for achieving their growth ambitions in the near term. 51% cite winning new business as a top-three strategic priority.


Talent is a barrier to growth

Despite confidence in their offer, and ambitious plans for organic and acquisition-led international growth, UK creative businesses believe talent is a major obstacle to growth and lack confidence in the ability to make the right senior hires. If a corporate transaction is the perceived long term route to growth, it will be imperative to address the talent planning concern among UK creative businesses.


Download SI Partner’s UK Path to Growth report for the full analysis.

 Read our UK report


The UK special report is part of a series from our global creative sector growth trends research, The SI Partners Path To Growth Survey, which explores global agencies’ growth plans and challenges.