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Outsourced Marketing 101: What Type of Marketing Firm is Right for You?


If you’re considering hiring an outsourced marketing team to help grow your business, you know what an important decision it can be. Your business is your baby, after all – you’ve nurtured it, lost sleep over it and done what’s best to help it grow. You know marketing is important, but don’t have the time to be consistent about it. It’s a big deal, and the options available can be confusing. What’s the difference between a retainer-based marketing firm and a project-based marketing firm? Let’s take a look.

Retainer-Based Marketing Firm

Typically with an outsourced marketing firm that is retainer-based, you receive ongoing monthly marketing efforts. This includes a plan that works ahead, rather than just taking care of immediate marketing needs. The biggest benefit to working with an agency on a monthly basis? The team gets to know two very important things: you and your business goals.

When it comes to retainer services, pricing is typically a flat fee. Pricing between advertising agencies may differ. In some cases, agencies won’t charge for meetings, email response time or conference calls, as communication is viewed as necessary for the traction needed to execute your company’s marketing goals efficiently and effectively.

Project-Based Marketing Firm

Another option to consider is a firm that offers project-based services. This can be helpful when you know exactly what you need, and only require someone with the skillset to help make a project come to life. Pricing can vary when it comes to each project. Be knowledgeable about revision costs or additional fees that may apply. For project-based work to be really cost-efficient, you should have a clear idea of what type of project you need, and what elements should be included in the finished product. When a project’s outcome isn’t quite what you had in mind and needs some tweaking, revision fees can add up fast.

Retainer vs. Project-Based Marketing Firms

Retainer-Based Outsourced Marketing

  • Flat monthly fee
  • Broad range of services and deliverables
  • Dedicated account team
  • Long-term and ongoing marketing needs

Project-Based Outsourced Marketing

  • Per-project cost
  • Well-defined project scope and deliverables
  • Rotation of available talent
  • Short-term or one-off projects

Focusing on the bigger marketing picture for your business can help you decide between an outsourced retainer based firm or a project based firm. Are you wanting a one-off piece to help improve a specific part of your business, or are you looking to take a more holistic marketing approach that could touch all aspects of your company?

At Design At Work, we’d love to talk to you about what you have in mind. Contact us today to get started – and if we’re not the right fit for you, we’d love to point you in the right direction.



Posted in Design At Work , Marketing Ideas