Updated on January 12th, 2023
An advertising agency retainer agreement is a contract used to reserve the services of an advertising agency for a limited or indefinite term. A “retainer” generally refers to a one-time fee paid as a downpayment on future work or a monthly fee that guarantees a package of services. The completed document will need to specify the services the agency will provide, the duration of the agreement, and the type, schedule, and amount of compensation.
When an Advertising Agency Retainer is Used
An advertising agency retainer is used when a company needs to outsource marketing work to a third party with assurances that their services will be delivered on time and in a consistent manner. By having an advertising agency on retainer, a company guarantees access to their services and communications whenever required.
Types of Agreements
- Pay-for-Access Retainer Agreement – The client pays a periodic fee (usually monthly) for the agency’s continued services. Services beyond the regular scope of the agreement will usually come with additional charges.
- Pay-for-Work Retainer Agreement – An hourly rate is charged by the agency. A fixed block of hours may be allotted to a given period to guarantee income.
- Project-Based Retainer Agreement – The agency is paid a flat fee per project, such as a logo design, website launch, or online ad campaign.
Types of Advertising Agencies
The term “advertising” covers a wide variety of services. In general, an advertising agency conducts market research, then plans and launches an advertising campaign on behalf of a company. Advertisers tend to focus on paid channels, such as online, social media, television, and radio. However, there are specialized agencies that provide narrower services adapted to specific company needs, such as creating logos, marketing strategies, or video advertisements.
A company’s branding, including its logo, page layouts, ad content, business cards, and color schemes, is usually developed by a creative agency. These agencies specialize in copywriting, videography, and graphic and visual design.
Digital agencies specialize in digital marketing and can provide a variety of services including brand design, website development, content creation, and marketing consultation. These agencies help clients to ensure that their digital marketing campaigns will have maximum impact.
A marketing agency analyzes the client’s products, marketplace, and branding to create a marketing strategy. A full-service agency will see a marketing campaign through to completion and provide access to multiple advertising channels. In some cases, another advertising agency may be hired to carry out the strategy developed by a marketing agency.
Benefits of an Advertising Agency Retainer
A retainer agreement provides security to both parties. For the agency, it gives them the guarantee of regular work and income, and for the client, it provides more stability and the ability to implement long-term marketing strategies. Another benefit the contract provides both parties is it enables them to develop a mutual understanding and communication that facilitates productive and efficient working dynamics.
With a retainer agreement, advertising agencies can better predict revenue, plan their budget and activities, and develop client connections.