Retainer agreements with marketing agencies can be a bit of a concern for many businesses. They tend to see the agreement as long-term trap or a large capital investment without a guarantee.
5 Reasons to Use Retainer Agreements
However, once they have the opportunity to step back and review the potential benefits retainer agreements have, especially over the more traditional task-driven arrangements, they typically find that retainer agreements have several benefits that were not initially apparent.
Reason One: No More Nickel & Diming
Unlike the more traditional task driven-agreements, where the customer can potentially get nickeled and dimed to death because of overage charges, add-on charges and beyond the scope of work charges, retainer agreements are a more inclusive arrangement. Since retainer agreements are based on results and not tasks, all of the work that is required to reach the project goals are usually included.
It’s not unlike the Sandals vacation experience where you have an all-inclusive experience where no extra money is needed for anything. Vacation on your own at a resort and those extra charges add up fast:
|2 Mimosa’s by the pool||$22|
|A round of golf||$120|
Dinner for Two
Times 7 Days
This doesn't even include breakfast, lunch and other activities. Do that every day of your vacation and before long, a couple of thousand bucks has gone bye-bye! Much like Sandal’s, a retainer agreement takes all these extra charges and includes them in the agreement. No more surprises, no more nickel and diming you to death.
Reason Two: Retainers Are Predictable
Hiring agencies on either a per-project or per-hour basis makes expenditures hard to predict on a month-to-month basis. Cash flow is easier to calculate and maintain on a retainer basis, because you know exactly how much you are spending each month and what you are getting. There are no hidden fees. The amount of content to be created, timetables and responsibilities are all spelled out in the agreement so all parties feel comfortable about who is responsible for what.
Reason Three: An Abundance of Resources
Do you have your own team of designers, bloggers, content creators, graphic designers, social media experts, website developers and a team of people to integrate, monitor and publish all of the content required to implement an effective inbound marketing strategy? Trying to piecemeal several of these areas out to different agencies, and keep control of them is very difficult. The retainer model allows you work with one agency and get all these services in one place. You are able to effectively collaborate and control the process more efficiently, by working closely with the people who are actually creating everything for you.
Reason Four: Accountability
Everything that is done using inbound marketing strategies and methodologies can be tracked and analyzed. Clients can see exactly how well their agency is performing. There is no more guess work! Traffic, conversions and sales can be all be analyzed from the first click to the closing sale. Hiring agencies to perform one or two tasks can leave you with an empty feeling and no real knowledge of what your ROI is.
You typically have dedicated account managers that are assigned to your account that you coordinate everything with. Many agencies have project management platforms that clients can access and see exactly what is happening on their account at any given time. The retainer model creates a relationship between the agency and client, establishing trust, credibility and accountability!
Reason Five: Inbound Marketing is a Marathon, not a Sprint
Inbound marketing typically starts to deliver a return on investment after 7-9 months and continues to grow from there, so you need a long-term partner who’s in it for the long run with you. Planning, strategizing and analyzing everything to ensure your business goals are met over the long haul is the only way to ensure success. The retainer agreement is like a marriage, you are both committing to each other for the foreseeable future. It’s up to the agency to make sure you don’t get a divorce.
Bill is the CEO and Founder of InTouch Marketing. Bill drives the vision and direction of InTouch except when England's playing in a soccer tournament, because everything stops!