How Much Does It Cost to Work with a Marketing Agency?

Business persons going over fincial options.We all sometimes need help, and businesses are no exception. Working with experts from a third party can provide you with options and business opportunities that wouldn’t normally be available from your own staff. This is extremely important for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (SMBs) who don’t have the staffing budget for full-time employees with certain skill sets. Today we’re going to specifically look at the investments associated working with a marketing agency, so you have a good idea of where to start.

What Do You Need to be Marketed?

Of course, there isn’t a single magic number to determine how much of an investment you’ll need to work with a marketing agency because there are many options depending on your needs, including variables. It largely depends on three major factors: what your goals are, how aggressively you want to pursue them, and the reach you wish to target. By answering these questions below, you will have a better idea of your needs, which will translate into well-informed investments.

What are Your Goals?

First, what are you coming to a marketing agency for? This can be as simple as “I need more business,” but the less focused your goals, the more your investments will vary and be difficult to plan for. Try and answer some of the following questions to get a better idea of your goals:

  • Do you feel like your website is old or doesn’t reflect your current status in your company?
  • Do you have a strong online presence? Is your website easy to search for?
  • Do you need to engage with users online on social media?
  • Do you need to change who you target with your services?
  • Do you need new branding, logos, collateral, or other image work?
  • If you do need more traffic, what kind and how much?
  • Can you quantify your goals, such as: exactly how much business you need?
  • Can you differentiate your goals between need and want, such as “need to have, vs. nice to have”?

How Aggressively Do You Need/Want to Market?

If the goals are your target, how fast and how often do you need to hit that target? If you’re launching a new product or service, your drive will be higher than someone simply looking to slowly augment existing services.

What is the Desired Reach of the Marketing Program?

Since the above question is how hard you need to be marketing your company, then this question is the logical next step: about how many people do you need to reach, and where?. For example, if you own a local restaurant, your scope is going to be hungry customers within a convenient ride to your establishment. If you’re in manufacturing, you might have an international scope within a certain niche market. Knowing your target audience and where they are is key – though your marketing agency can help with that as well.

Realistic Investment Expectations

While it’s difficult to say exactly what you should plan to invest into your marketing, these questions should help you arrive at an appropriate figure that works for your business. I’m sure by now, you’re wondering, “why won’t you just tell me how much?!” Don’t go away yet! The reason we can’t answer directly is that it varies dramatically based on the above questions, the solutions employed, and the nature of the business at hand.

Some Guidelines to Get You Started

That in mind, to give you a sense of what you can expect, consider these helpful guidelines. A disclaimer: to be clear, these guidelines tend to be fluid and are affected by internal/external variables that may cause the numbers to shift up or down either way.

  • A Small Business (Under $5M):
    • Passive approach + small audience + non-specific goals = plan for $12-$36K/yr
    • Medium approach + medium audience + semi-specific goals = plan for $36-75K/yr
    • Aggressive approach + large audience + very specific goals = $75K+/yr
  • A Medium Business ($5M-$50M):
    • Passive approach + small audience + non-specific goals = plan for $50-80K/yr
    • Medium approach + medium audience + semi-specific goals = plan for $80-200K/yr
    • Aggressive approach + large audience + very specific goals = $200K+/yr
  • A Large Business ($50M+):
    • Passive approach + small audience + non-specific goals = plan for $150-$300K/yr
    • Medium approach + medium audience + semi-specific goals = plan for $300-600K/yr
    • Aggressive approach + large audience + very specific goals = $600K+/yr

The Next Steps

Having answers to these three questions allows you to sit down with a marketing agency and quickly get a plan together, which is the best way to begin. “It depends” may not be the answer you’re looking for, even with the helpful guidelines above, but after looking at all the above factors, you’ll be glad you got specific, and your needs met the right way. If you’re looking to take that next step and sit down with a marketing agency, contact Vision Advertising. We’re a full-service marketing agency, from websites to social media, and can help you build a plan to meet your needs.

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About the author : Alex Geyer

Alex wears many hats, and not just because he’s bald. A writer by his background, Alex writes “social media content” for Vision – anything from social media statuses to blogs to whitepapers and beyond. In addition, he builds and maintains all search engine advertising for Vision’s clients, along with social media advertising for others. In his free time, he starts and stops writing novels, compiles tabletop roleplaying system conversions, and cooks a mean Chicken and Dumplings avec Peas. A videogame enthusiast, he is also developing his first video game with the startup game studio, Pretty Weird. He is terrible with plants*.