Every brand is won­der­ing if they’re over­pay­ing for their agency partner – even if you de­pend on them for traf­fic and sales. Here’s a look at fees and what you might ex­pect at each lev­el.

We’re go­ing to look at this two ways, first as a fixed amount and then as a percent­age of revenue.

As a fixed amount…

Note: This is look­ing through the “sin­gle chan­nel lens,” mean­ing these rates are for me­dia ser­vices on one plat­form (i.e., just Face­book, just Google, etc.). If you’re rolling mul­ti­ple ser­vices into one re­tain­er, then these guide­lines should be ad­just­ed a bit.

Less than £500 per month

Here is the “just get­ting start­ed” rate no mat­ter what chan­nel you’re on. You’re prob­ably work­ing with over­seas providers or some­one who’s just tak­ing on their first few accounts.

If you’re look­ing to test the wa­ters and you feel con­fi­dent in your offer, then this can be an excellent place to start.

£500 to £1,000 per month

We’re get­ting into “one-man-band” lev­el agen­cies at this point. Typ­i­cal­ly an ex­pe­rienced me­dia buy­er with some sup­port staff. The great thing about this lev­el is that you can find some in­cred­i­ble tal­ent be­fore they fig­ure out how to run a high-fly­ing agency. With fees this low, I would ex­pect to pro­vide your cre­atives and pro­vide some guid­ance on hooks and po­si­tion­ing for the ads. You’ll get great value in this range despite not getting a full white-glove service.

Man­ag­ing, even a sin­gle chan­nel ad cam­paign for a busi­ness, can be se­ri­ous work!

£3,000 to £10,000 per month

If you’re look­ing for a pro­fes­sion­al lev­el agency but don’t want to pay what the big boys pay, then this is a good range. At this lev­el you can ex­pect full cre­ative ser­vices to de­vel­op, cre­ate, and re­fresh your ads reg­u­lar­ly. That’s a BIG deal if you want to suc­ceed. You can also ex­pect them to have the mar­gin to bring more strat­e­gy to the ta­ble. They should be think­ing about how to make the cam­paign suc­ceed with small changes based on what they’re see­ing in the ad re­sults.

More than £10,000 per month

If you’re spend­ing £70,000 or more, then this could be a to­tal­ly rea­son­able fee. If you’re not in that range yet, then you’re prob­a­bly over­pay­ing (un­less this is go­ing to rapid­ly be­come that lev­el of spend and you to­tal­ly know what you’re do­ing). At any rate, you should be get­ting some se­ri­ous­ly white-glove ser­vice here from a team of sea­soned pro­fes­sion­als with deep ex­pe­ri­ence in your in­dus­try. If you’re not get­ting that, you’re over­pay­ing.

As a re­minder, these fees are look­ing at sin­gle-chan­nel ser­vices. So if you’re pay­ing £10,000 but get­ting two or three ser­vices in there, then you’re still in a reasonable range.

Flat fee plus a percentage of net revenue

A flat fee plus a percentage of net revenue is a newer agency model that considers the brand’s performance. It often contains a lower fixed fee in exchange for a percentage of generated revenue. The percentage can range between 0% and 10%, depending on the level of performance. It’s often a good solution for growing brands generating less than seven figures in sales.

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