Creative Agencies: Pricing/Rates List

Goals

To be able to understand the pricing/rates list, as well as the pricing model, of varying sizes of creative agencies. An ideal response would include:
  • The pricing/rates list, as well as the pricing model of 3-5 small creative agencies.
  • The pricing/rates list, as well as the pricing model of 3-5 medium-sized creative agencies.
  • The pricing/rates list, as well as the pricing model of 3-5 large creative agencies.

Early Findings

Data Availability

  • The initial round of research indicates that information surrounding the pricing/rates list, as well as the pricing model, of small, medium and large creative agencies is very low to non-existent. This is because most agencies do not disclose their rates, preferring that prospective clients contact them directly. All agencies we looked at did provide their services.

Definitions

  • We are defining a "creative agency" as "a company that offers a combination of strategy, design, technology and advertising services to clients, it is creative or expert lead, it’s made up primarily of creative professionals."
  • We were not told what kind of "creative agencies" we should be reviewing, so we went broad, looking at digital creative agencies, as well other models. If this is incorrect, that should be clearly communicated to us in any reply.
  • As small, medium, and large creative agencies were not defined for us, we have defined them this way:
  • Small: These are sometimes referred to as "boutique" agencies, and will typically have fewer than 50 employees. "These businesses tend to be based in a single office, or sometimes the whole team work remotely. Their clients tend to vary in size, but agencies at the smaller end of the scale may not have the same capacity to accommodate huge, global campaigns."
  • Medium-sized: those agencies that fall in-between small and large, therefore those with a workforce of 50 – 250.
  • Large: those with more than 250 employees. These agencies likely have a global footprint, or at least a strong presence in several countries. "Bigger agencies are generally headquartered in major cities, though their workforce may span multiple sites. They’ll serve clients of all sizes, from SMEs to multinationals. They can work on everything from small digital projects to large global TV and billboard campaigns."

Small Creative Agencies

  • The Bureau Of Small Projects is a small creative agency. Like all creative agencies we were able to review, they do not publish their pricing. However, this boutique agency does ask for their prospective client's budget, which can be viewed here as a contact form. [In case this does not directly link to the pop-up, we have provided a screenshot of this here]. This budget form clearly shows that the minimum amount required to engage this small creative agency is $5000.00.
  • PKG Brand Design is an award-winning package design agency for national and global consumer package goods, and especially for food and beverage brands. It was the only small creative agency that we found that provided their price rates on their website. However, we did not feel confident that it totally encapsulated the "creative agency" definition. Regardless, we included the information, as we did not want to be the final arbitrator on that. They have three pricing options that can be viewed here.

Audit of Ten Small Creative Agencies

Average Costs of a Marketing Agency

  • To hire a marketing agency, business owners should expect to spend a minimum of $4000 a month, according to Sisu Media.

Pricing Models

  • According to Sisu Media, pricing models are built around agencies offering the following services: SEO, organic social media, content marketing, paid social media, PPC/ Google Ads, a website build, and a marketing strategy.
  • Everbrave, a Canadian creative agency, reveals that "[h]ourly rates in the industry differ — by quite a lot. [A client can] expect fees from as little as $40/hour from a stay-at-home freelancer (inexperienced) to $300/hour for Creative / Strategic Direction at global ad agencies."
  • Creative agencies will typically charge in 2 different ways: time and materials or a flat rate or project cost.
  • Digital Agency Network advises that a creative agency should consider three things when determining how much to charge. They are: the costs to run the agency on a day to day basis; the marketing agency pricing model that will be implemented; and the services that will be provided. When digging into the second consideration, the pricing model could be hourly based, project based, a retainer model, a recurring project model, performance based, value based, and using customized pricing.

Summary

  • Our initial hour of research focused on ensuring that the research question could be answered using publicly available sources. We did not find any agencies [small, medium or large] that provide their rates on their websites. As Wonder is a secondary research company, we do not contact agencies for this data.
  • Because of this fact, we have completely pivoted the research in a direction that we feel will best provide the most useful information surrounding the ultimate goal of "providing clients and prospect competitive pricing and value."
  • Having written that, we will be offering a scoping that will allow for a scan of 30 small creative agencies, and then, separately, 30 large creative agencies to see if any of them have pricing structures on their websites. We will offer this, even though we are warning that this might not prove fruitful. We will not be offering a scoping for medium-sized creative agencies, as those are harder to determine. Not all agencies disclose their number of employees. Small and large agencies are much easier to determine, and we feel this is a better use of money and time. We will select the 30 agencies in each category based on "top" and "best" lists.
  • We were not provided a geographic focus for this project, so we assumed a broad approach and looked globally. If a more targeted approach is desired, for example, the United States, this would have to be clearly communicated to us in any reply within each appropriate scoping box.
  • As a reminder, Wonder only uses publicly available sources to answer all research questions. We do not do primary research, and we do not have access to paid databases or paywalled reports, but we can cite them in research for reference only [in case purchase is desired]. If that is of interest, that would clearly have to be communicated to us in any reply. However, no indication of paid resources to add value to this research was seen in the discovery phase.
  • It is of note that while the initial hour of research does not allow us to embed graphics and other visuals, we can certainly do that for any subsequent research projects that are selected. This will enable us to provide visual examples/graphs/charts to add color and depth to the research.
  • Please select one or more of the options provided in the proposed scoping section below.

Research proposal:

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