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Benefits of a monthly retainer

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just pick up the phone or email someone to ask for advice, to delegate marketing tasks or to handle new projects? How many times have you put a project or marketing need aside because you didn’t have the time to prepare the request for quote?

At Imagine, we use a marketing retainer model for many of our clients for this very reason that includes inbound marketing, website updates and maintenance, search engine optimization, content marketing, and designing collateral to name a few. This model has proven higher customer satisfaction and retention, because it allows us to become your brand ambassador and advocate focusing on results while you focus on other responsibilities.

We would like to share how a monthly retainer with your marketing firm would benefit you.

  1. The firm becomes a trusted brand partner not just a vendor. When a marketing firm has the mindset of a vendor, there usually is not an emotional connection to your brand. The mentality is that you will call when you need something or they “check-in” every once in a while to see if you have new opportunities.A firm that is a trusted brand partner invests their time in your brand’s mission, vision and goals. They have that emotional connection because they are looking for new ideas to help you succeed. A monthly retainer helps build this partnership because they have the freedom to lead you in the best direction without project budget constraints on the mind.
  2. The firm is available when you get too busy. How many times have you looked at your workload and realize you need another 10 hours in a day to complete your list? With a marketing retainer, the firm is available to help relieve your workload. As a trusted partner who understands your brand, you are able to delegate assignments to them such as blog posts, social media, press releases, and graphics and rely on them for thought leadership. You don’t have to worry about finding external resources and onboarding them.
  3. Focus is on results not the project. Results are often an afterthought or put on the back burner for task-oriented projects. The focus is to complete the project within the budgeted hours, which often times does not include assessing the brand first and how it should integrate.Working with a marketing firm on a retainer ensures that they know your brand and they are results-focused. They are not task-driven but instead strategic-driven. They can use retainer hours to look at that the big picture and produce results-oriented marketing elements to achieve your goals. Time is not wasted trying to “keep within budget” because the retainer gives them the flexibility to do great work.
  4. It is more cost and time efficient. Have you ever wondered how much time is wasted on project descriptions, estimates, emails, phone calls and cost negotiations? I suspect it is more than what you want to admit. Many projects (mostly small) never come to fruition because they get lost in the estimate or negotiation phase.With a monthly retainer, you don’t have to write up a budget, description and timeline for a small project and then wait for the estimate. You can call your marketing firm and begin working on the project without waiting for estimates and approvals. The result is a quicker turnaround for your request and more time to devote to other tasks on your list.

By working with your marketing firm to define a retainer that meets your needs and implementing, you will find more peace of mind, quicker turnaround on requests, and the ability to do more with your budget.

Patrick King

Patrick is the Founder of Imagine and advisor to places on brand strategy and creative. His insights have been published in Inc. Magazine, SmartCEO, Washington Business Journal, The Washington Post, and Chief Marketer, among other publications, and shared at conferences throughout the US. He also has an amazing sock collection.

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