What were the first digital agencies

These are the 60 largest German digital agencies

This means that the digital specialists are at least able to generate growth again - last year the top 60 slipped 6.2 percent into the red compared to the previous year. But there is not much left of the boom of earlier years. In 2016, the top 60 grew by a whopping 24.4 percent, the top 30 even by 30.7 percent. These numbers are measured based on the agencies' reported fee sales. In 2017, these totaled 1,106 billion euros for the top 30, and 1,145 billion euros in 2018 (+3.5 percent). In the lower ranks, however, there is still something going on. All 173 agencies registered for the ranking are loud BVDW on average to a growth of 12.4 percent (2017 it was 12 percent).

Sure: the low percentage growth in the top 60 and top 30 is related to the general increase in sales. That also emphasizes Marco Zingler, Vice-President of the BVDW: “In the past few years there have been extremely large increases in the top 60 ranks, mainly due to acquisitions and mergers. This year we see a respite. Organic growth in the double-digit percentage range in the order of magnitude in which the top agencies are now, is difficult to achieve. "

"This year we see a respite."
Marco Zingler, Vice President BVDW
Nevertheless, you don't have to be a math genius to see from the numbers that the significantly weaker growth cannot be due to the relationships alone. Especially since Zingler's own agency has provided counter-evidence. After all, Zingler is not only an official and dignitary at the BVDW, but also the founder and managing director of the Cologne agency Denkwerk. And that - with 21st place at an equally high level - increased significantly in double digits last year. By 31.8 percent to be precise. Zingler's reason for this: "We did everything right in 2018 and - in addition to Cologne and Berlin - successfully set up two further locations in Munich and Hamburg."

Reply buys Elbkind

The large IT consultancies are continuing the course of expanding their range of services by taking over digital agencies. The latest example is the purchase of Elbkind in Hamburg by the Reply Group.

Has also increased by double digits Reply Digital Experience. The agency network under the umbrella of the Italian Reply AG grew by 26.7 percent and is therefore the only one that was able to break the 100 million euro turnover limit in 2018. The consequence: for the first time number 1 in the BVDW ranking. Thomas Hartmann, CEO Reply AG, says: “As in the previous year, we grew almost exclusively organically. The main part of the increase in sales results from the expansion of existing and new customers. "

The fact that Reply is now leading the ranking of digital agencies for the first time is also due to the fact that some other industry giants did not report in 2018. On the one hand Sapient, which in 2016 were still in first place with a digital fee turnover of 90.6 million euros. On the other hand, the Bremer Team Neusta, which was the top dog last year with a reported turnover of 104 million euros. Sapient has not been involved in the ranking since 2017 because "many of the business areas we asked about are no longer relevant to us," says managing director Wolf Ingomar Faecks.

There are different assumptions in the industry about the reasons why Team Neusta does not take part in the ranking this year. The official variant is called Heinz Kierchhoff, Managing Director of Team Neusta, himself: “We decided to leave out the internet agency ranking this year, especially for compliance reasons. It is important to us to enable a separation between a ranking position relating to Team Neusta and the current election campaign of our owner Carsten Meyer-Heder. ”In fact, Meyer-Heder is currently running as the top candidate of the CDU for the office of mayor or prime minister of the state of Bremen. He had already announced this in an interview with HORIZONT in 2018. Team Neusta will “of course” be there again next year, ”said Kierchhoff.

The shooting star in the current ranking is meanwhile Intive. The group increased its digital fee sales by 50.3 percent to 22.6 million euros and climbed from 26th to 18th place. Intive Germany, based in Munich, belongs to the Breslau-based Intive Holding, which resulted from the merger of the Finnish BL Stream in 2015 and the Polish SMT software. Intive's existing customers in Germany include Vorwerk, Esprit, Audi and Xarvio. Wolfe W. Diener, Senior Vice President Germany, explains the increase in sales of the German Intive, among other things, with an "additional leap in growth due to the strong expansion with digital transformation projects for existing customers". The integration of Intence into the Intive Group also ensured further growth.

The biggest drop in sales had to Pilot Hamburg Report. For managing directors Uli Kramer an unpleasant situation as it does not reflect the actual development of the agency. In 2017, Pilot brought its digital business with Procter & Gamble into Twenty Five, a joint venture with Mediacom. However, since Pilot holds less than 50 percent of the joint venture, these sales can no longer be reported for the ranking.

The top 60 German internet agencies 2018

20182017AgencyFee turnover digital 2018 in million eurosChange compared to 2017 in%
13Reply - Digital Experience108,9526,7
22Plan.Net group98,071,7
35PIA Group **77,2416,9
79MGM Technology Partner55,0610,3
810C3 Creative Code and Content53,1411,8
11-UDG United Digital Group **38,96-
1214Fischer Appelt37,0012,1
1312TWT Digital Group35,340,7
14-Dept Germany Marketing Holding32,44-
1518Namics Germany29,7049
1715Pilot Hamburg ***23,09-12,6
2017Ray Sono21,225,1
23-Experience One18,60-
2423Saint Elmo`s18,539
25-Lack of resources17,86-
2624Neuland - IT office17,2512,2
2727Dot source16,137,9
30-Exozet Berlin12,28-
32-Mind Curve12,17-
3334The office on the wire11,8716,3
3435i22 digital agency11,1820,2
35-Grow Digital Group10,36-
3732Scholz & Volkmer10,05-8
4036Alpha system8,802,3
4642Pro vision7,846,7
4943Network core7,433,7
5254Nexus Netsoft Group7,1929,5
5456Turbine Kreuzberg7,1029,1
5781DIA The interactive ones6,3458,8
6060Web network6,0015,4
Source: (Internet Agency Ranking 2018 (BVDW, HORIZONT, ​​W & V, iBusiness))
To the ranking

* The ranking is an orderly overview of the voluntarily registered full-service digital agencies in accordance with the conditions of participation. Full-service digital agencies that are not capable of reporting or auditing according to the conditions of participation or that do not meet them in any other way are not included in the ranking.
** Takeover of UDG by the PIA-Group in 2019. In 2018 the companies were not yet connected.
*** According to the criteria of the internet agency ranking, digital sales that an agency has brought into a newly founded company in the course of the year and in which the agency has a stake of less than 50% may no longer be shown in the notification for the ranking . Pilot is affected by this regulation, so that there is an alleged decline in digital sales for 2018, which does not correspond to reality