It's actually quite common for business owners to express initial hesitancy when considering a retainer agreement with a marketing agency.
It's only natural. They feel locked in. Or that once they've signed, they've given up the right to customize and make adjustments.
But a retainer agreement may not be as scary as one would think. Rather than feeling handcuffed, you're actually enabling your company to execute a much more hands-on campaign that's more focused on your business goals rather than tasks.
We've set out to detail the reassuring benefits commonly experienced in an inbound marketing retainer agreement.
A monthly retainer can include the following services:
When it comes to surprises, they're really only fun when it involves cake and noisemakers. When it comes to the wallet, a surprise is the last thing we all want.
With a monthly retainer there are NO surprises. You'll know at the outset of a campaign what your marketing cost will be for the year, allowing you to accurately set a marketing budget.
When developing a retainer with your inbound marketing agency, you don't have to worry about the added costs often associated with hourly rates. There's nothing more frustrating than being nickel and dimed for every task associated with getting your company the results it needs. Set a budget and know your cost going in.
Other downsides of task-driven, hourly rate agencies:
The tasks being completed might not be inline with your companies marketing goals.
Charged extra for a specific task.
Charged more for going over the allotted time for a certain task.
Could be paying more for tasks billed hourly rather to complete a task rather than paying a set amount.
Whereas, when you sign a retainer agreement with your inbound marketing agency that's working to achieve your marketing goals, they aren't just spending three hours for the whole month on one task, they are continuously working on your account daily creating a relationship with your company.
The Development of a Relationship
Wouldn't it be nice to just pick up the phone and talk to the one person who knows everything about your company and your account?
Rather than paying separate agencies or professionals on an hourly basis, you can develop a relationship with your agency. Allowing you to pick up the phone anytime and talk to your dedicated account manager. When you are signing a retainer agreement with an agency, not only are you making a commitment but so is the inbound marketing agency. It can sometimes be frustrating to call your marketing agency and be bounced from person to person whenever you ask a question about a different marketing service.
When signing an agreement for monthly retainer services, consider the following:
Will there be collaboration between members of your company and the agency?
Do they understand your goals and expectations?
Is there transparency?
Is there open communication? Can you pick up the phone anytime and talk to someone? Do you have weekly meetings scheduled?
When working with a company, trust is extremely important. You don't just want just anyone creating content and managing the marketing for your company. Developing a relationship is essential, consider it a two way street.
You Have the Resources Available When You Get Busy
Are you taking advantage of the benefits and services of inbound marketing?
Whether you are just starting to implement inbound marketing or have you been utilizing inbound marketing for awhile you know that inbound marketing works.
One question you want to ask yourself is how will you handle all of the work once you start to get busy and your traffic and lead volume increases significantly? With a retainer agreement, you're provided with a team of marketing and design experts and professionals that are readily available to help when you don't have the extra time to actively manage your inbound marketing campaign.
Results Oriented Rather than Task Driven
Looking for results from implementing inbound marketing? Consider working with a results oriented agency rather than a task driven one.
A retainer agreement is focused solely on achieving your business goals and the work necessary to do so.
A task-driven agency is focused on just that, the task. Your overall business goals are secondary, as the primary goal is completing the task they've been hired to do. Whether it's website design or content creation, the focus is on the task rather than the results.
Some companies might find it easier and more efficient to hire separate agencies to handle different areas of their marketing campaign.
You might hire an agency to complete:
Pay per click campaign
When you have different companies managing different parts of your campaign, it's extremely difficult to develop a cohesive plan.
With monthly retainer services, it's easier to develop a cohesive plan, allowing you to easily track your results and identify your return on investment from inbound marketing. The most important aspect of a retainer agreement however, is the agencies commitment to achieving your overall business goals.
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About Carolyn Edgecomb
Before moving into a portfolio management position, Carolyn was a key contributor to the IMPACT blog. (In case you thought she sounded familiar.)
Nowadays, as our Community Coordinator, she manages and maintains the logistics of daily, weekly, and monthly operations from a portfolio management perspective to ensure each client, Pod, and the overall Community is performing at an acceptable level.
You might call her the queen of post-it notes and organization. With a passion for all things inbound marketing and project management, she is always looking for new ways to improve our client services department.
Outside of IMPACT, you'll find her on Pinterest, listening to country music, reading a book or trying out a new recipe.