Why pay a Marketing Agency a Retainer?

Advantage of paying a Retainer to a Digital Marketing Agecny

Why pay a Marketing Agency a Retainer?

Digital marketing is, at its heart, a research-based and data-driven process, as performance optimization and increased sales require a series of incremental steps. You wouldn’t hire an internal marketer and remove their capacity to research how to improve your website and online communications, so why would you hire an agency this way? Here are several reasons why taking a retainer-based approach to digital marketing with your agency is not only wise, but crucial to maximizing your return on investment.

SEO: fine tuning what works
Search Engine Optimization is something that every internet company tells you need, but do you understand where it fits in marketing your business? Whether you’re measuring your success by organic web traffic, or leads generated, the key to achieving success marketing is attracting new prospects and converting them into paying customers.

Are you arming your marketing efforts with the power to attract those leads and nurture them? This is one incredibly powerful reason why retainer-based efforts, just like internally-focused staff, can be much more effective than project-based ones. Consider - to be truly successful at SEO, you must do all of the following:
  • Discover a problem or area of focus
  • Research the problem or area
  • Propose a hypothesis and solution
  • Create and implement the solution
  • Test and record the solution’s effectiveness, and
  • Report on the solution.
In most cases, this cycle repeats to continue improving the area of focus, or to find a new problem to address or area of focus to grow. Have the ability in both time and budget to allow this cycle is crucial to any long-term SEO plan.

Software Platforms
One advantage digital marketing agencies have over in-house small-to-mid size enterprise teams is the ability to afford and test software platforms. By now we’re all familiar with the basics - Google Analytics, Google AdWords, SEM Rush, and automation tools like Hubspot. But most agencies are looking at platforms to enhance these, reporting, research, local search optimization, review monitoring, and conversion optimization.

What you get with a digital retainer is access to all these tools, affordable through your retainer because the cost and use of them is spread out amongst several client groups and brands. Try getting them all at once on your own, and you’ve likely ate up a significant portion of your budget for the year. But paired with your digital agency team, you not only have the tools and the data, but the talent and experience to put both to work.

Content Strategies that evolve
Another clear advantage of arming your digital agency with time and budget is the ability to create evolving strategies. Your products change. Your target audiences change. The market changes as competitors enter and leave, economies shift, and production techniques become refined and more efficient.

How many of these factors are you monitoring? Do you know when a new competitor enters your market, what their primary unique selling propositions are, and what audience they’re targeting? Oftentimes, the savviest businesses are on top of these changes - from a business perspective. But that vigilance has to extend beyond the finances and operations planning into marketing.
Your content strategy should always reflect your business goals as a company, and that means it should shift as often as anything that comes up that affects your goals, positively or negatively. What parts of that strategy are affected depends on the market changes.

A living content strategy considers those competitive factors already mentioned, as well as campaign keywords, email cadence, content topics and their delivery types, and more. New social platforms come and go. SEO rules are updating frequently as Google and its competitors improve how search engines work. If you’re not armed to meet these strategies, you’re behind the game. And with digital marketing changing every day, that’s a place any marketer, and business, can ill-afford to be.

Data driven Marketing ROI
How often do you hear a new marketing idea? Now, ask yourself this: how often is that idea backed up by data, including web analytics, audience demographics and psychographics, ad performance, email performance or other traffic and conversion metrics?

Ready for another question? How much of that data is yours? There’s a billion studies that tell you which inbound marketing practices are best, which content promotion strategies work, and what the best paid media channels are. But as useful as these studies are the strategies, tactics and campaigns based on your actual performance data are where you can make money.

Your digital marketing team has trained for this. The devil is always in the details for us - the improving bounce rate, that strange increase in referral traffic, the drop-in email open rates, the surge of conversions. In these details, we find the clues as to what the audience is (and is not) responding to, and we use those clues to craft the next successful campaign.

Not every idea that’s driven by data is a home run, and there is always value in taking risk on an idea you feel in your gut is right, even if you have no data to back it up. But empowering your digital marketing partners to research, report and hypothesize is the key to turning every marketing dollar into a wise return on investment. This kind of retainer investment on your behalf gives your team permission to hunt, to find the next efficiency, to uncover the next hidden gem of campaign goodness.

Conclusion
Why do you want to pay a Digital Marketing Agency a Retainer? Let me count the ways:
  • SEO: fine tuning what works
  • Software Platforms
  • Content Strategies that evolve
  • Data driven marketing ROI
Want to know more about Prices for a Marketing Makeover?
Posted: 1/9/2017 2:25:52 PM by Shep Morrow