It was something very uncommon, if not highly impossible for any client to agree to pay a marketing/Branding company an agreed fee on a contractual period of time. Graphics was not considered one of the strongest elements of business success by many business men and women back then. Graphics was considered a fractional function of marketing, and this was what made the branding industry relegate some of our best resources to sub-contracts with marketing agents to get us jobs.
As time evolved and the business man is educated about the usefulness and impact of visual communication, it has become apparent that marketing, PR and promotional agencies cannot survive without the services of a branding company. This strong aid has not only helped to improve the status quo of the branding industry but helped to establish it as a professional entity.
Today, companies allocate millions for graphics and branding as support services for their marketing, PR and promotional obligations. In order to help companies save, branding companies have adapted the same methods that the marketing gurus designed to assist client marginalize cost.
Monthly retainers for clients has then become a very common business attribute in the branding space, in Africa specifically and for most companies in Southern Africa. We signed our first client under a retainer contract in 2015 before the list of other clients.
But, it would be nice to establish the reasons why paying a branding agent a monthly cost is the wisest decision any company would make.
It’s actually quite common for business owners to express initial hesitancy when considering a retainer agreement with a marketing agency. It’s only natural. They feel locked in. Or that once they’ve signed, they’ve given up the right to customize and make adjustments.
But a retainer agreement may not be as scary as one would think. Rather than feeling handcuffed, you’re actually enabling your company to execute a much more hands-on campaign that’s more focused on your business goals rather than tasks.
Here are the benefits:
With a monthly retainer there are NO surprises. You’ll know at the outset of a campaign what your marketing cost will be for the year, allowing you to accurately set a marketing budget. Monthly retainer removes the hassles of hourly charges and a much unstructured process of noncompetitive pricing. Monthly retainers eliminates the following:
- The tasks being completed might not be in line with your companies marketing goals.
- Charged extra for a specific task.
- Charged more for going over the allotted time for a certain task.
- Could be paying more for tasks billed hourly rather to complete a task rather than paying a set amount.
Whereas, when you sign a retainer agreement with your inbound marketing agency that’s working to achieve your marketing goals, they aren’t just spending three hours for the whole month on one task, they are continuously working on your account daily creating a relationship with your company.
Wouldn’t it be nice to just pick up the phone and talk to the one person who knows everything about your company and your account?
Rather than paying separate agencies or professionals on an hourly basis, you can develop a relationship with your agency. Allowing you to pick up the phone anytime and talk to your dedicated account manager.
When you are signing a retainer agreement with an agency, not only are you making a commitment but so is the inbound marketing agency. It can sometimes be frustrating to call your marketing agency and be bounced from person to person whenever you ask a question about a different marketing service.
When working with a company, trust is extremely important. You don’t just want just anyone creating content and managing the marketing for your company. Developing a relationship is essential, consider it a two way street.
The Branding industry is often very hard and unpredictable for experts, hence clients who pay a monthly retainer are always given priority over the once-off clients. This is motivated by the tuck shop mentality that the regular payers keep the business afloat.
So, paying a monthly retainer does not only create a relationship between the client and company but also extends to priority work and hence helps with time of delivery and preference order of work for retainer clients.
Discounted Rates and Savings
Nothing is as painful as needing a job and not having the capital to get it done. Most companies rely on monthly payments generated from their clients, hence cash flow would be an issue during the period of the month when most work are needed. Considering a retainer with a branding agency means more liquid capital to run the company and a consolidated payment at the end of the month.
This makes it easy for companies to cope and also reduces the price index burden as it is accustomed that contractual payment always have a discounted arrangement hence making the client more comfortable considering reduced rates.
We at NativityConcepts have also developed our services and infrastructure to support a functional retainer system, from project management access programmes to project reporting that allows clients to get access to some of the best branding service available in the country.