Daily Bulletin

Business Mentor


  • Written by James Lawrence

Founder of Sydney digital marketing agency gives the short and long answer 

“What will digital cost?” is one of the most common questions we get asked when talking about a new SEO, PPC, social or general digital marketing campaign. 

The short answer is, it depends. But whatever it is, you should expect a return.   

Any agency looking to price an effective, mutually beneficial engagement should carefully consider the following before putting forward a fee structure: 

  1. Your desired campaign outcomes and requirements  
  2. Position in the market 
  3. Competitors  
  4. Quality of your existing marketing assets 
  5. Expected time and money invested in the campaign, plus the return  

The long answer:  

The agency/client relationship only works if there's real value and tangible results generated for both parties. For this reason, most good agencies will take the scoping and pricing stage very seriously. 

Be wary of any agency willing to give you a price before they truly understand your desired campaign outcomes. A cookie-cutter price list will almost certainly result in a cookie-cutter solution. The old saying “you get for what you pay” stands true. This might result in a lot of campaign activity but will not always lead to your desired outcomes. 

Rocket typically goes through a four-stage process before delivering a proposal: budget discussions, a discovery session with the client, competitive research and strategy development. Digital marketing is a partnership between the agency and the client. Building trust, having transparency and setting expectations from the start are the ingredients to a successful relationship.  

You always get what you incentivise  

The best pricing model for you and your agency is the one that best incentivises the right people to focus on the outcomes you value. 

We see agencies charging by the hour, working for a percentage of media spend, paid on specific performance outcomes, paid by channel or working for a set monthly fee. Depending on the agency and what you want to achieve, there is a place for one or more of these approaches. None of them are inherently flawed. 
The overall pricing model is a critical thing to consider.  

However, it needs to be secondary to achieving the outcomes you need. Don't 'win' on the price negotiation only to 'lose' on the whole purpose of why your company needed an agency in the first place. We like to work with our clients not as a supplier, but rather as a strategic business partner.  

How Rocket works out our pricing for channel-specific campaigns:  

Google Ads typically start from $3.5k per month.  

This will then scale depending on media spend and complexity. Media management will generally be 9 to 19 percent of monthly ad spend depending on scale (only charged above a certain threshold). 

SEO typically starts from $3k per month. 
Paid Social typically starts from $3.5k per month, plus media fees.  

However, Facebook, LinkedIn or other paid social channels can be the hardest to price. An effective paid social campaign requires strategy, tracking, creative, media management and technical efficiency.  

Blended Marketing Campaigns typically start from $7.5k per month.   

One-off Marketing Projects are always quoted depending on complexity once we’ve created a clear scope of work.

Whether you’re looking to organize a new SEO, PPC, Paid Social, EDM or general digital marketing campaign, it’s important to acknowledge the costs in direct comparison with the outcomes produced from these services provided by digital marketing agencies. 

James Lawrence is the Co-Founder and Director of Sydney-based digital marketing agency, Rocket. 

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