Cost vs. Expectations. The Agency Experience.

by digital_unicorn_ca. Posted on Sep 13, 2020    0    5

I'm a PPC specialist and it has become a trend for more and more companies to look for that "cheap" $300 a month digital marketing strategy but demand to have the "agency experience" ( preferably North America) and highest ROAS. Invest a $1 make a $1mil, right?

So for all business owners out there that have the same idea let me break this down for you so you would understand what a marketer can get out of your $300/month if they would give you the agency experience.

Monthly budget of $300 and hours required for each task on average

Initial setup:

  • auditing existing account and identifying issues - 20h
  • strategy proposal per channel ( KPIs, goals, market analysis) - 30h
  • media planing & budget management - 10h
  • campaign creation and setup per PPC channel ( structure, ad copy, ad extensions, keywords etc) - 50h
  • conversion tracking review/setup - 15h
  • reporting/data analysis - 15h
  • client meetings/communication - 40h

Monthly management:

  • ongoing optimizations - 10h
  • reporting - 5h
  • client meetings/communication - 10h

Now let's do some math!

Setting up a paid advertising marketing strategy would come to about 180 hours on average per project. That would come up to about $1.6/h salary for you freelancer/agency.

Don't forget that they need to pay taxes out of that hourly rate and benefits so let's say it comes up to $1/h.

After the initial setup has been done, now they need to take care of your "baby". They need to make sure everything runs properly, they need to report on the performance and constantly find ways to optimize the account so that it can make more money for you.

Let's say it takes about 25h/month to do all this and that's if you are a nice client and you don't want the impossible and call your marketer at night because you have an idea. They're still making less than $12/h which is under the minimum wage in most places in North America.

Also, most digital marketers have at least an undergrad degree, several marketing certifications and years of experience.

So please remember this whenever you ask a marketing professional to make you a profit on a buck.

P.S. I haven't written this in anger or to be disrespectful towards entrepreneurs, but simply to show the situation from my perspective.


Putrid-Excitement 1

What is the cost for the entire marketing (strategic planning, and the month's work)?

Is the better to hire freelancers and consultants and skip the marketing firm's markup?

What are the advantages of a firm or freelancers?

  digital_unicorn_ca 1

It all depends on the size of the project.

If you require several strategies then you would need more people to be able to complete the workload. An agency can give you a team and you will have a paid media director, account manager, paid media specialist, data science team etc.

The pros are that you get access to different talents, tools and expertise.

The cons would be that often it's very political, things get done slower and because you have so many people working at the same time it's easier to make mistakes.

If your project is smaller an agency is an overkill and it's more cost effective to hire a freelancer that comes with recommendations and has a decent portfolio.

Normally a good agency charge between $200-$700/h
Freelancers between $50-$200/h.

A good freelancer can actually do a better job than an agency because they have probably worked in an agency before so they have the experience and know what to do to give you the best outcome without all the agency "noise".

Cons for finding a freelancers is that there's a lot of "gurus" out there that promise a lot but don't deliver anything. The internet is full of them so you need to pay attention to that.

Putrid-Excitement 2

Thank you for the insights. I really appreciate it!

Mirsaaa75 1

I understand your mind but I think you’re overratting time spent for the different tasks.

  digital_unicorn_ca 1

If your mechanic would tell you it takes him 30 hours to make your car start again. Would you question him? Would you do it yourself?

Or if your doctor tells you you need heart surgery and it's going to take him 8h to do it. Would you question him? Would you tell him to do it in 3h?

That's the problem with professionals working "virtually". People think it's easy and the work is not taken seriously. It's so easy to "put 3 keywords together" and the money starts coming in and if they do an evaluation it must be wrong because it actually costs money.

I've been working in agencies for over five years managing corporate accounts so I have enough experience but I'm still asked to "whip" something together in 10 hours if possible, for cheap, that yields a ROAS of at least 5.