September 14, 2023

Sally Goodall
How much does a marketing agency cost?

When it comes to deciding whether your business should work with an external marketing agency or keep it all in-house, one of the first questions you might ask will be about cost.

And that’s understandable. You want to be sure they’re really worth it.

In short: yes, they are. (We certainly are, of course.) But rather than expecting you to take our word for it, we often find that looking at the alternative options available to you will help explain why so many of our clients have turned to us in the first place, and continue coming back for more.

How expensive is in-house marketing?

In our latest guide — In-house or Outsource: What gives best marketing value? — we talk through the key things to consider when it comes to looking at both in-house and external spend on marketing. We’ll come onto outsource marketing in a moment, but let’s start with the recruitment and ongoing employment process — or, put simply, the in-house option.

Marketing recruitment is more expensive than you may think.

• Recruitment agency fees (20–30% of the salary you’re hiring for). Depending on the role you’re hiring for, this could sit anywhere between £5,000 and £30,000 (see below).

• If you’re handling recruitment efforts in-house, promoted posts — whether on LinkedIn or another jobs board site — will cost in the region of £200–400. On top of that, you’re spending your own time sifting through stacks of job applications, organising interviews, and liaising with candidates. It’s estimated an average employer spends roughly 25.5 days to hire a new worker.

Moving onto the cost of an in-house role: this depends on seniority, experience, nuances of the role in question, not to mention location. There are all sorts of things that affect salaries, but if we consider averages for now, we could be looking at the following.

• £100,000+ per year for a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).

• £35,000+ per year for a Marketing Manager.

• £27,000+ per year for a Digital Marketing Executive.

• £24,000+ per year for a Graphic Designer.

For people to thrive in their roles, they’ll also need more than just a salary. You’ll need to consider pensions, training, equipment — in fact, the true cost of an employee is anything up to 1.5 times their salary. And, especially for large, complex organisations, one person — say, a CMO — cannot handle all marketing functions alone. They need the support of that Marketing Manager role, or ideally more, to get close to hitting the objectives they’ll face.

How expensive is a marketing agency?

The great thing about working with a marketing agency — or a marketing consultancy like ours — is you can cut your cloth to fit your budget.

This isn’t going to be an all-in approach. Every aspect of working with us — whether that’s a single project or entirely outsourced marketing support — is costed and specified. You pick and choose what works from our proposal (like a shopping list), after an initial deep dive session where we learn all about you, and work with us to find what fits your objectives and budget.

Working with a marketing agency on a project-basis is a great way to test what they might be able to bring to the team. We recommend clients keep projects self-contained and specific — with a note that project-by-project work longer-term will inevitably lose the value of integrated marketing aligned with your broader objectives. Here are a couple of costed examples (correct at time of publishing).

BRAND BRIEF from £5,000
Developing a proposition and messaging, followed by a brand redesign? Package it up in a brief (or ask your marketing agency to do one for you) and get it started. We consider ourselves to be more of a consultancy, often closely involved with the business development of our clients due to extensive experience in this area, so this is where immediate value can be seen. As we get to know you, your people, and your brand, we’ll be in a greater position to develop your marketing strategy.

Ready to take on a thought leadership campaign? This brings content creation and design together to present specialist outreach in the forms of blog posts, video, webinars, email marketing, and social media. The initial thought leadership campaign takes greater investment of time, and often quickly develops into a full programme mapped across a year.

FULLY OUTSOURCED MARKETING from £5,000 to £12,000+ per month
For the same cost as a CMO, you could have access to a full team — our Transform hive-mind — taking you all the way through from strategy to delivery. It’s every bargain hunter’s dream!

We’re here to help

Rather than worrying about recruitment, HR, training, and grand marketing objectives with not enough time, focus on doing what you’re best at — knowing all about what your business needs and offers — and enjoy the company of a whole team of marketeers.

Whether it’s content writing or lead generation, social media advertisement or graphic design and video production with our sister company Transform Digital, and everything in between, working with a marketing consultancy like Transform Comms covers everything you could possibly need to hit your objectives. No hidden fees — only optional extras we can add to your plan if needed.

Get in touch with our friendly team today.

Download Pdf