A marketing communications retainer could mean more benefit for your business

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Before entering into a relationship with an outsourced marketing communications partner, it’s important that you take the time to find an agency that is right for your business so you can ensure that the best possible outcome is achieved.

Here at Oxygen, we understand that marketing budgets can often be a touchy subject – which is why we offer our clients choice when it comes to how we deliver our marketing, PR and creative services. As an experienced marketing communications agency, we appreciate that every client’s needs are different, and that having peace of mind that projects are delivered in the most appropriate way is pivotal.

While we can work project by project, most of our services for clients are delivered through monthly retainer agreements, providing a tailored service delivery that best suits their business needs.

What is a marketing communications retainer?

If you don’t know already, you may be wondering what exactly a retainer involves, and why it could be beneficial to your business. Put simply, a retainer is an agreement between a company and a marketing agency with a monthly or quarterly budget assigned to it for the delivery of marketing services. It’s generally a longer-term agreement which allows an agency to become familiar with the company’s business objectives to assist with the execution of specific business goals. The retainer could be for the production of a specific amount of blog articles each month, artwork production, PR services, or all of these together – the possibilities really are endless.

But what’s the difference between a marketing communications agency and a marketing communications agency on retainer? While retainer agreements are common in the world of PR, this concept is lesser known in the marketing stratosphere. But we think that this kind of agreement is ideal for a marketing and communications relationship –read on to find out why.

types of billing arrangement
PR agency services by type, courtesy Bridge Global and Didit

Proactive creative freedom

There are a range of benefits that come from choosing the retainer route – but the fundamental reason for us is creative freedom. Rather than being reactive, we can truly utilise our marketing and communications skillset in a proactive way and propose the best services to meet a need, rather than just one service. As we are marketing communications experts, we can also actively contribute to the sales and marketing process and react to tactical marketing opportunities.

We work together to ensure that every piece of work we do makes a positive difference to our clients, and are on-hand at short notice; there when we’re needed most – whether we’re delivering a full marketing strategy or ad-hoc design projects.

Better value for money

How many times in the past have you worked with an agency that completes a piece of work and then invoices for it, only for it to be a long way away from the original quote? With a retainer agreement, you’ll know exactly what you’re spending, and what you can expect to be delivered from the investment, ahead of time. This enables more transparent financial forecasting and consistent monthly marketing expenses.

Retainer agreements usually run on a month-to-month basis, and when the allocated months’ time has been used up, it can be rolled over to the next month – so our services don’t simply stop until the next month comes around.

With a retainer agreement, you’re also more likely to get better value for money with pro-active thinking, continuity and brand alignment. What’s more, if clients have any ideas at a project’s late stage, we are able to integrate these into the project quickly without having to consider cost implications.

Quicker, better, more productive

Got a project that needed completing yesterday? Chances are, with a retainer agreement you’ll be at the front of the queue. There’s no need to worry about waiting for costs to be approved by management, as everything is already pre-agreed.

From our perspective, knowing that we don’t have a strict set of hours or days for a specific project often means we can be more creative without having to say “we think that this is a really good idea, but you don’t have the budget to do it”. We’re therefore in a better position to deliver the very best service – though we do like a deadline to keep us in check!

Longer-term relationships mean greater scope for experimentation and optimisation – we can establish what works well for your business and what doesn’t. It also means that we’re much more focused on your long-term business goals. Having the ability to explore our creative ideas keeps us results-orientated rather than task driven – meaning a better return on investment for your business.

oxygen testimonials
Long-term agency relationships create business benefits

Using a dedicated marketing communications partner on retainer also means that your time will be freed up to do other things – like securing new clients or contracts.

If you haven’t already guessed, we think that marketing retainers are great, and we’d love to secure one with you. Contact us today on 01884 255999 to start realising the benefits for your business.