How Much Does an Advertising Agency Cost?
Are you feeling overwhelmed by advertising? Tired of dealing with sales calls from media reps, while struggling to find time to create and manage a plan?
If so, you might be thinking of hiring an advertising agency, and are looking for information about what their services cost. The answer is: It depends. We will share specifics about what our agency charges in this post, but before diving into any questions about cost, we need to uncover your goals.
Are you looking for modest growth in the local market, or are you expanding into a broader, more competitive geography? These objectives will impact the strategy and budget the agency recommends. The cost will also be affected by the assets and resources you have in-house. For instance, if you already have a quality, mobile-optimized website and a high performing social media marketing team, you will spend less on agency services to fulfill those needs.
Determine your needs
Most companies realize they need a marketing plan before they know what they need from that plan. This is part of the exploration we do with our clients, and after examining what is working in their marketing and what needs improvement, we are much better able to make a budget recommendation.
There are several different factors that can impact the scope, components and cost of an advertising plan, so the more you know about your in-house capabilities, the quicker we will be able to tailor an advertising plan that suits your needs.
What Resources Do You Have?
Building a house from scratch takes more time, effort, and money than finishing a house that is half done, and the same is true with marketing. Take inventory of the assets you have, and assess how they are contributing to the bottom line.
Do you have a business-friendly website? Do you have social media accounts and a growing following? Do you have a blog and a content strategy? Do you have advertisers lined up to buy banner ads on your website? Knowing what assets you have—and which ones you need—will make it easier to estimate costs.
How Does Your Team Support Your Marketing?
If you already have staff that works on your advertising, we need a sense of what their roles are. We don’t want to duplicate services that you already have, so this information will help us design something efficient for you.
Advertising agency fees
Most agencies follow a similar model of fees and commissions, based on services delivered to the client. These fees apply to media buying, creative development, content creation and social media management. Here is a breakdown of what you can expect for costs:
Most agencies charge a commission for broadcast and digital media buys, some as high as 20 percent. We charge a 15 percent commission on all media, as calculated by $100 x 0.85 = $85. When no commission applies (on purchases such as printing), the rate structure reverses (e.g. $100/0.85 = $117.65).
Consultation and Creative Development
Hourly rates for advertising services are all over the map. Some agencies in larger markets charge $150 to $200 an hour.
Our services include design, consulting, radio editing, copywriting, creative development, web design & programming, and our hourly rates are $85 per hour. We also offer video shooting and editing services for $175 an hour.
Social Media Management
We offer social media management on a fixed monthly plan. The rates depend on the scope of your plan, but most packages range between $500 to $1000 per month.
If you are checking various agency websites for pricing information, you are probably pretty frustrated by now. Most agencies are reluctant to talk about pricing until they have a sense of what you can afford to spend. We made the decision to publish our rates on the web because we believe in transparency with our present and future clients. If we can’t talk honestly about our rates, how can we expect you to share intimate details about your business?
Good marketing comes from strong partnerships between agencies and clients, and it begins with an honest discussion about your needs and our fees. The sooner we can work through those details, the sooner we can create a plan that takes the advertising burden off your shoulders and on the path to better results.