Getting your business associated with a marketing agency can seem easy, but let us tell you brutally, it’s not. Further, the elevating levels of scams and cyber frauds increase scrutiny. That’s where signing an official marketing agency retainer agreement can help both parties; the marketing agencies and the business hiring the one!
But, What is a Retainer Agreement?
A marketing agency retainer agreement is an official and more of a legal paper signed by both parties when agreeing to come in a contract. Generally, the payment terms, conditions, services decided to be delivered in the amount agreed upon, payment cycles, and other important things are mentioned in this agreement. And, both parties (the one who delivers services, and the one who leverages or hires), after reading and comprehending each clause of this agreement, sign in to submit their support!
While many businesses and agencies might think this is an unnecessary step, signing a retainer agreement can save your business.
Are you still wondering whether to hire a marketing agency or build an in-house team? Here’s an honest comparison of both on the anvil of 6 crucial factors.
of Signing a Retainer Agreement
Signing a retainer agreement can not only save your business from scams, frauds, and unnecessary filthy money snatching, it provides you with a range of other benefits. Some of these are-
1. Documented Budget, and Investment
Every business invests only a part of its revenues in marketing. But, sometimes agencies push businesses to invest more, and more to gain the required traction. This often happens when you encounter the agency after a month or two that you are not getting the results they promised. They would then convince you that you need to increase the budget!
Things can go nasty here. But, if you had a marketing agency retainer agreement signed where you mentioned the budget you will provide for marketing, or the monthly cycles, your agency would think twice before pulling some extra bucks from you!
2. Services, and Money: No More, No Less!
Only the budgets are not enough obviously. Both parties should agree on services delivered in a decided amount! This would help both parties decide how much they should expect, and deliver.
Further, if you have this in your retainer agreement, the disputes regarding insufficient payments, improper deliveries, and failure to deliver what was promised can be ignored. This helps strengthen the relationship between you and your marketing agency. Also, the clashes that happen due to an imbalance between money and services can be mitigated as everything is agreed upon by both parties! Still haven’t outsourced marketing, but are you planning to? Know these 5 factors to shortlist the right agency for your brand.
3. Data Security
This is a real challenge. While giving your business’s critical information access to external agencies, it is important to keep data security in check. That’s where adding this clause to your marketing agency retainer agreement can help your business.
Carefully add the data security and confidentiality point in the agreement. Add what can be shared, and what cannot be. What can an agency use in order to create testimonials, and portfolios, and what it cannot use in the public domain? This would help you gain robust control over what you share publicly or whatnot about your business! This keeps you in a safe position.
But, the grass is not always green! There are instances when just because either party was a little inattentive while signing the agreement, disputes can happen. This makes it important to be a little cautious while signing an agreement.
4. You Get the Best Talent
A marketing agency is a hub for talented resources that have been seasoned in the industry for a long time and know all the nooks and crannies of digital marketing.
But, Hey! This shouts a plus plus for you as well! After signing a marketing agency retainer agreement, the agency deploys the best of its resources on your project then and there. The quality of your online ads is bound to rise exponentially, and so will the leads and traffic to your webpage or app.
As you acquire the best talent from every team of an agency, be it graphic design, content, paid media, social media, website development, etc., you have already saved a huge bag of bucks. That kind of talent doesn’t generally cost you this less. These experts work with full force and in a reporting bound manner, on each of your project.
5. You Get Assured Brand Recall Value through Consistency
A digital marketing agency does not fiddle with your project by handing it over to a new team every second month. Rather, it is guaranteed that the same team will work on your brand month after month.
But what does this ensure?
A team of content strategists, designers, paid media experts, public relations, project management when work on your project devotedly, they brew the digital ads in a manner that brings out synergy in all your ads for a long time, hence giving your audience a consistent and common brand experience for months and months. This in turn increases the brand recognition and recall value, thus hiking your online visibility multifold. Want to work on brand loyalty? An agency is your go to place.
While Signing a Retainer Agreement
One should be careful, and completely aware of what you are signing into. Carefully read every clause of the agreement. As going against the agreement can cost you time, money, and some legal trouble in some cases, it’s better you go through every detail of the agreement. Here is some cautionary advice for you to keep in mind while signing a retainer agreement.
1. Read What’s Written in the “Gray Area”
While designing an agreement, it is important you carefully read under the lines and things written in a gray area.
Comprehend each clause carefully, and avoid assuming. Don’t assume that this goes unsaid. Anything, and everything you want to add, or get added, go through it before signing. Communicate and get it written in a way that is understood by both parties. Don’t sign if you have any confusion about the marketing agency retainer agreement or the model of retainer agreement that the agency is proposing.
2. Don’t Ignore Terms and Conditions
This is one of the most misunderstood sections of any agreement, and businesses also tend to ignore this. But, this is where they get themselves stuck up!
Acknowledge each, and every term and condition. T&C on payment cycles? Budget? Or on service deliveries? Know this beforehand, and discuss it with your agency in detail. Anything you feel should not be in the agreement, put that forward and talk about it with your agency!
3. Know the Repercussions Beforehand!
Sometimes, due to poor relationships with an agency, businesses feel they need to end the contract before tenure. In such cases, you should be aware of the repercussions!
What are the conditions, and process to end the agreement before mentioned tenure? Legal trouble? Month’s notice? or paying some amount? Get yourself through with repercussions. This would keep you in a safe and secure place.
4. Make it a Value for Brand Agreement
Marketing agency retainer agreements tend to be a little inclined towards the clients, who are always trying to save each buck while buying the best out of everything.
This doesn’t take you far with good strategies and as an ever dynamic brand. No associations are there to be work pro bono for you. Agencies often get tired of spending dollars for collecting quarters, this is where the relationship between you and your agency starts getting affected. While, doing the opposite would help you create a healthy environment where everyone’s happy and working for your brand whole heartedly.
5. Incentivize Agency Performance and GO LONG!
We often forget to care for the agencies, but this is actually a catch 22 situation for your brand. While signing a marketing agency retainer agreement, the whole focus is on the negotiation of buying the best service for the cheapest rate.
In a retainer relationship, an agency might be able to recover its costs over time, and a client might be able to bang excellent marketing for the buck it has paid. However, we often miss out on the future of our own brand marketing and skip to incentivize the agency for its commendable performance. A simple 5% incentive on something great achieved doesn’t burn the pocket, but it boosts the morale of the numerous teams working for you at the agency. This also in turn ensures a long, consistent and healthy marketing for your brand.
Let’s Sign a Marketing Retainer Agreement! Are you Ready?
Are you planning to collaborate with a marketing agency in the near future? Did you have confusion regarding the retainer agreement?
You must now be clear! Carefully follow the above-mentioned cautionary advice, and gain the merits of a seamless business relationship. This can ensure you build a healthy and profitable relationship with the agency, and both parties don’t get stuck up in any trouble while doing business!
Ready, Set, Go? Wait, have a quick read about what lies ahead. Learn from these 5 must do things in the first 30 days with your marketing agency.