Get more from your agency marketing retainer

3 minute read

3 minute read

As it's the start of the year we've been having more conversations with people wanting new marketing retainers than usual.

Lots of companies have agencies on retainer but aren't sure if the work done gets returns and don't feel they get enough ideas or clear direction from their agency.

It's a recurring issue we've helped people with for 20+ years so today we're sharing 3 fundamentals for better retainer performance.

1. Appoint a specialist agency 

Obviously we get many calls from people who are frustrated in some way with their current agency retainer. 

What we often agree is that actually it is nobody's fault - it's simply that the agency in place isn't the best one to deliver big results for the business in question.

Sometimes the agency doesn't really want the client on the books anyway, and it shows in the way the retainer is managed.

For example, here at Bespoke our work is focused around service and manufacturing businesses now.

So we have had to close a couple of retainers in the last couple of years as we were no longer the best matched agency for those businesses.

The first thing to do therefore is check the agency you have on retainer specialises in your specific area and size of business.

If they don't, replace them with one that has set up specifically to serve businesses like yours - they will love having you on their books and it will show.

2. Agree the ROI up front

It's very healthy to discuss ROI at the outset.

It only works to discuss in pounds - that's what will make the retainer first pay for itself and then be profitable.

A simple example:

  • You tell us a new customer is worth £30k on average
  • You tell us you convert 1 in 3 leads to orders
  • This means a lead is worth £10k on average

So we agree together that a good outcome of the retainer would be 12 leads per month as this would be expected to generate £40k per month of new business.

The retainer and ad spend combined cost less than £5k per month so it would profitable to deliver results like this.

With this kind of conversation at the outset everybody knows what is needed to generate lots of extra revenue for you.

And we have a simple framework for monthly meetings which focuses the agenda and decisions on profit and achieving a consistently high ROI.

3. Use highly targeted tactics 

It surprises us that in 2023 is that most marketing retainers still just go through the motions with work that everybody just "feels" should be done. 

For example, many retainers are a bit of SEO, tracking some keywords, doing some social posts, creating some content, tracking some things in analytics, and so on.

We're in the 2020s now - the age of laser-targeted marketing.

It's possible to create campaigns and lead magnets that are seen by lots of small niches of our audience, so content can be tailored to really excite prospects now.

Using these targeted paid ad campaigns it's possible to generate leads and interest among the people that are really interested in us very consistently.

So ditch the fluffy marketing of the 2010s and switch to targeted tactics that can ultimately work like an automated order generating machine for your business.

Next steps

Two options to dig deeper into these topics:

Both are free to businesses wanting generate more B2B leads online.

Steve Brennan Author
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Steve Brennan

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Steve Brennan is Co-founder and CEO of Bespoke, and author of the Amazon #1 bestseller, Build Your Digital Marketing Strategy

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The website looks and feels excellent. We asked for wow factor and got that.

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Harrington Boyd

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We get clients from further afield now who say they are finding us through Google.

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Pierce Accountants

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With regards to value for money the service from Bespoke has been very good.

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