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Understanding Marketing Agency Retainer Fees: A Guide For Smarketing From Bullzeye Media Marketing

Understanding Marketing Agency Retainer Fees: A Guide For Smarketing From Bullzeye Media Marketing

It is relatively easy to get a little confused when determining your agency retainer fee at the outset.

It could even take several attempts to arrive at a price that fits the organization perfectly.

However, when there is some good base to begin with or other circumstances that can be used as a reference, this process runs smoothly. Bullzeye Media Marketing

brings short research done on retainership blending it with smart marketing tools. Let us explore today—factors other agencies focus on when setting retainers’ prices.

Several Frequently Asked Questions About A Marketing Retainer

A marketing retainer principally exists in two parts, beginning with you and your client on the project’s details. Things such as what kind of work is expected, what is expected to be achieved, and when it is expected to be achieved count as documentation. Laying this out helps in two ways:

Agency Perspective:

It will enable you to define tasks that still have to be accomplished and the time required for the accomplishment on a weekly/monthly basis to allocate resources optimally.

Client Perspective:

The last component of security is comprehending it by the client, that is, the goal, the task, and its contribution.

With these specifics in place, you can determine a retainer fee as a reserve of hours that the consultant will be paid to be available. Several ways can be used to set the price of the services, including hourly, value pricing, and other pricing models. Larger agencies are more likely to have preferred retainer-based pricing (38%), followed by fixed fees (less than 20%), mixing of both (less than 10%), or hourly rates.

However, performance-based pricing is minimal, as only 5 percent of the companies apply this model.

Advantages of a Retainer Agreement

For the Agency:

  • Loyal customers offer steady business due to their loyalty, ensuring that they provide steady business.
  • Show up and work daily to get your results so you can be sure of your next move and have a good record.
  • A regular and steady income is helpful in accurately planning and forecasting business revenues.

For the Client:

In the previous study, the potentially improved outcomes arose from the fact that a specialized team managed and conducted everything.

  • It is much cheaper than having an internal team to create a video or sourcing freelancers.
  • Direct and essential communication with a separate team with particular employees interacting with the other side.

The services included hinges on your agency’s specialties and the client’s requirements. For example:

Some functions managed by full-service digital marketing agencies may include media buying, traditional advertising, web lead generation, search engine optimization, content marketing, and more.

Content marketing agencies may provide services such as content strategy, competitor analysis, content auditing, content creation, and others.

The most offered service is content marketing, with about 75% of agencies offering it. Other services include search engine optimization,  social media marketing, email marketing, and web development.

Therefore, the amount charged for a marketing retainer should be fair and reasonable, ensuring the company can deliver excellent services to the client.

Now, we will provide some information about how the specific parameters of your case are estimated to determine the price of the retainer.

Understand the Costs Involved:

In this, the estimate of the work and costs required in the project is considered.

  • Describe the deliverables, the time frame for each deliverable, and what the consultant must do about the project.
  • Set some price that makes the organization financially solvent, but within the range, the client is willing to offer.

Consider the Time Involved:

  • Calculate the time needed for the project.
  • Initially, set up a fee according to the level of work and, hence, the number of hours that the client expects to be used in attaining the predefined success level.

Factor in Extra Hours:

  • Schedule margins that allow for first-time surprises that will prevent undercharging or getting an overload of work.

Calculate the Profit Margin:

  • Ensure that your retainer fee is enough to cover all your expenses and provide a nice margin of profit.

Consider the Client’s ROI:

  • In particular, the focus is on the idea of investment return of the client. Ease their lives with value-based pricing that can explain the fees they are charged.

Factor in Manpower:

  • Also, consider the number of employees who will be involved in the particular process and their hourly rates.

Account for Job Complexity:

  • Large-scale projects should, therefore, be quoted at a slightly higher fee since they require much more effort.

Include a Buffer in Pricing:

  • Plan extra time to answer clients’ questions or any other requests, training, or other related help needed.

Now you know when a marketing retainer can come in handy, say, when the agency and the marketer have agreed upon the kind of relationship that they will have both in the short and in the long term, say, for the next year or two. Then, a marketing retainer can be used.

A retainer is ideal if:

You have the resources to address a client’s requisites beyond a limited period.

The client has a budget of $11,000 and above, which will be used annually for marketing and advertising.

When Not to Hire a Marketing Retainer

Skip the retainer if:

The client does not have funds to afford any of the layouts.

It must be noted that there is no continuous requirement for marketing work.

With these, you are in a good position to price your advertising retainer properly.

First and foremost, one should take time to gain insight into the details of the project, the time required to adopt the necessary changes, and the operating expenses that will be incurred.

Subtly add other parameters, such as the level of the client’s return on investment and the overall utility of your services.


In conclusion, setting your marketing agency’s retainer fee can initially seem overwhelming; however, by fully understanding the significant determinants discussed herein, one will be adequately positioned to fix the correct cost of the offered services. Proper evaluation of the specific project as to the scope, working hours, costs, and the amount of value that the client is to receive will help to set the fee that will be profitable and satisfactory to the client.

Just think about that: for you and the agency, it is a win-win situation with a guaranteed constant supply of work, better outcomes, stable income, and no misunderstandings. Considering all the factors mentioned above: cost and time, contrast, difficulty, and the desired increment for the client, you can develop a retainer fee structure that best represents what you and your agency can offer.

We are glad to assist you at Bullzeye Media Marketing in making the right decision that will lead your agency to success and the client to satisfaction. That is why developing a good and effective client relations strategy is significant for achieving substantial and sustainable results and for gaining the client’s loyalty in the long run.

To learn more or get professional assistance, contact Bullzeye Media Marketing to get the help you need. Let us guide you and help you achieve everything you want in life. Happy pricing!

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