How many small creative/marketing agencies are there in the US? (Note #1: services include design, digital marketing, PR, etc. Note #2: "agencies" include independent freelancers and businesses with less than 5 employees). Also, what is the dollar...

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How many small creative/marketing agencies are there in the US? (Note #1: services include design, digital marketing, PR, etc. Note #2: "agencies" include independent freelancers and businesses with less than 5 employees). Also, what is the dollar volume of services provided by these businesses?

Hello! Thanks for your question about the number of small creative and marketing agencies in the US. The most useful sources I found to answer your question are the websites for citylab and payable. The short version is that there are 151,068 independent contractors in the creative, marketing industry.
I could not find the number for creative and marketing agencies in particular, but there was information for a broader scope (e.g. Ad agencies, Design and Media, and Graphic Design). I could not find information for the market value, other than the information that 50 ad agencies take about 50% of total revenue. Below you will find a deep dive of my findings.

THE NUMBER OF CREATIVE MARKETING AGENCIES IN THE US

In the ad industry, small agencies can compete by specializing in a niche market or offering a lower price. Demand is driven by business in sectors such as automotive, retail, pharmaceuticals, and telecommunications. According to D&B Hoovers, the U.S. industry is fragmented with the top 50 ad agencies comprising less than 50% of revenue. According to the website of the US census, designers are in the NAICS code 54, under professional, scientific and technical services. The total for this group is close to 3.4 million, a fraction of them are in the marketing and creative industry.

Rob Sentz and his team at Economic Modeling Specialists (EMSI) also used numbers from the US census for their research. They state that more than 4 million people--of the 10 million self-employed American workers--are members of the creative class of scientists, knowledge workers, artists, designers, entertainers, and media workers. They comprise 43% of the total self-employed group. Arts, entertainment, and media comprise 689,945 freelancers. This is 6.8% of the total of all self-employed people.

Payable released a spreadsheet showing the number of professionals in occupations that were likely to use independent contractors. There were 42,636 self-employed art directors; 39,273 self-employed multimedia artist and animators; 62,280 self-employed graphic designers; 6,879 public relations specialists. The total equates to 151,068 independent contractors in the creative, marketing industry. For the U.S. ad market, ZenithOptimedia predicts a spending growth of 3.2% in 2017 and 3.3% in 2018.

CONCLUSION

To wrap it up, there are 151,068 independent contractors in the creative, marketing industry. I could not find the number for creative and marketing agencies in particular, but there was information for a broader scope (e.g. Ad agencies, Design and Media, and Graphic Design). I could not find information for the market value, other than the information that 50 ad agencies take about 50% of total revenue. Thanks for using Wonder! Please let us know if we can help with anything else!

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