How much really does it cost to hire a Digital Marketing Agency?

Published by JK Baseer on

Wondering how much it cost to really hire a digital marketing agency & advertising agency? Sharing here the pricing/cost of hiring a digital marketing agencies from own experience + some research data from ecosystem players. 

Things to remember hiring an marketing agency

Hiring an agency partner to handle marketing of the company may not be easy task on the sales process. Especially it is an external partner, you need to persuade and get confidence from internal stake holders in your company. Imagine that you made a wrong decision, it will be a small mark in your decision history. 

Secondly, don’t get after the big brands if you do not have million in budget. once a agency get a reputation, they will charge premium for everything they offer. The service you may get going to be similar but their branding will get pay higher than normal. 

Third, An analogy to explain about importance given to you. A teacher managing 5kids will have more time and give importance to each student than a teacher managing 50 kids in a class. When you try to work with RIGHT agency, they will work more than enough because your success could be their success story to get more clients. But to a bigger agency, you might be another piece of cake to eat. If you are not a BMW, don’t go for the big.

Fourth, Think yourself whether you want to have a short term stint with an agency or long term planning. If you want to have a short term stint, then don’t take too much time to evaluate different parties, ask them to provide a proposal, review whether it’s makes sense to you and go for Pilot. Pilot can really provide a proof whether you should continue or not.

Overall whether it’s a marketing agency or anything, you can always try to be careful about the responsiveness, 2-3 calls/meetings to understand more about them, and ask all your questions before signup. Having the expectation clear between both parties can help you build a healthy partnership

Finally by having the exposure of different type of agency and how much they may charge, you can get a guess around it to plan your budget when you are resource constrained

NOTE: SGD will be the prices for Singapore Market, RM will be for Malaysia. Bigger agencies have similar price for different markets. 

The prices could range from SGD500/RM2000 to anything you can imagine based on 

  • Experience of the firm
  • The service they offer you (example: PPC, SEO/Content, Marketing Automation, creatives, app, etc) 
  • Number of markets or business unit they manage ( If you are a multi national company, you might want to localise your marketing from language to the portal address. So it’s an additional work) 
  • Where they are located and so they will have market rate
  • Here is detailed share on how you should hire/screen a digital marketing agency

Types of Cost/Pricing for digital marketing

  • Some work on Ads spending % (Example: 10% – 30% of your marketing spend) 
  • Some work on implementation and strategy based – Which are just one time cost 
  • Some work on consultation – Hourly based consultation reviewing your existing work 
  • Some work on pure channel based monthly recurring fee – Example: Managing SEO or Running PPC campaigns on FB, Google,etc or Email Marketing or Influencer Marketing 

Hourly Pricing Model

Mostly consultants who sit with you to consult on specific task/activities will have hourly based fee. Usually this people are experts who come into enterprise companies and provide assistance to the internal employees in a bigger perspective.

Monthly Recurring Fee Model

Freelane consultant

 They may charge you from SGD1000/RM2000 to anything in between SGD5,000 /RM15,000.

Boutique Agencies 

This are the agencies who has specialised expertise and mostly from your local country. They wouldn’t have handled big multi national companies and so you will not be aware of their name but worked on bringing local startups from scratch to growth. They will be nimble and forward thinking with testing future technologies and activities.

Charges vary depend on the service but it usually be from SGD2000/RM3000 – SGD25,000/RM40,000

Well known Agencies

This are the agencies which are multi-national like WPP group, Havas, Publicis, Dentsu Networks, etc

Their clients will be like BMW, Banks, Unicorns startups and Soonicorns as well

Their charges ranges from SGD20,000/RM40,000- SGD250,000

Things that are old and you should depend on 

  • Working with agencies with reports being impressions, clicks and traffic
  • The performances should be based on number of conversions instead of just email address leads
  • The performance should not be just installs but should be quality conversions 
  • Even if you are going after installs, then the RETENTION of this users (whether they stay for more than 15 days) 

How to find a right digital marketing agency

Read more here on HOW TO FIND A RIGHT DIGITAL MARKETING AGENCY based on your situation. 

+ Digital Marketing Landscape in Malaysia

Digital Marketing price list, Digital Marketing Agency rate, Advertising agency cost


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