Five Things to Look Out for in Your Marketing Contract

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No matter how outstanding your business is, you need a solid marketing strategy to succeed. Every marketer knows that having an amazing product is only half the battle. A great marketing approach is essential to generate qualified leads that turn into conversions. Today’s marketing world is saturated with tactics and tricks to get your product noticed. 

For instance, content marketing can generate three times more leads than conventional marketing tactics, and it is 62% less costly. However, this doesn’t mean it will be the best approach for your business. An approach that works effectively in one industry might not be as successful in your industry. That’s why it’s essential to partner with reputable marketing firms to help you launch your marketing campaigns. 

A great marketing firm will help you navigate the marketing world and choose the best tactics for your business. You can rely on their services to get your product noticed by the right customers. However, whatever firm you choose, you will likely sign a marketing contract. A contract should not only delineate the intricacies of your relationship but also protect you from unforeseen circumstances. The question is, what should you watch out for before signing a marketing services contract?

Scope of Work

Understanding the kind of services you can expect from the marketing firm is essential. It reduces the chances of friction down the line. Will your marketing agency provide content marketing and SEO services? To what extent will they offer these services? Be sure to have the specific details of the scope of work included in the marketing contract. 

The contract could easily have a lot of marketing jargon, so make sure you understand each term. If you struggle to understand certain terms, ask for clarification. Feel free to negotiate any stipulations of the agreement that don’t sit well with you.

Determination of Success

Before approaching any marketing firm, you need to understand what you want to achieve with their help. Do you want to increase your exposure or improve sales? Understanding the end goal makes measuring success easy. The goal of the campaign should be included in the contract. 

However, before signing the marketing contract, you ought to know how the agency aims at measuring success. There are two common ways to measure success:

  • Metrics — this refers to data that can be tracked and measured. Some great examples of metrics include lead-to-close ratios, total conversions, bounce rates, and return on investment (ROI). 
  • Benchmarks — this refers to figures that can be used to determine your marketing campaign’s overall success. Some great examples are minimum cost per acquisition and target gross profits.

Be sure to interview your agency on how they aim to achieve and measure success. If a potential agency can’t walk you through key metrics and benchmarks, you should consider this a red flag. At the same time, be realistic with your expectations as you sign the marketing services contract. For instance, it takes four months to a year to notice SEO results, so it would be unrealistic to expect huge results sooner than that. 

Contract Length 

Avoid long contracts. Short marketing contracts offer greater flexibility when it comes to changing your approach to marketing. It might be tough to make these changes if you sign a contract that extends beyond a year. What happens if you observe that paid search doesn’t work for your business and you want to cancel that service? What if your industry has a new entrant who makes the cost per click too high to be considered realistic?

Worst of all, what happens if you aren’t pleased with the relationship with your marketing agency? Most agencies understand that businesses need some flexibility, and that’s why it’s common for them to offer short marketing contracts. Feel free to negotiate the contract length with your agency before signing on the dotted line. You should only sign a longer one if you are completely confident about the services the agency will offer you.

Payment Terms

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Most agencies will price their services based on an hourly fee, monthly retainer, or a per-project fee. The ideal option is contingent on your specific situation. If you have a recurring marketing campaign, the best option will be to pay a monthly fee. If you are running a short-term, one-time campaign, then paying the business on an hourly basis could be better. 

In case you have a long-term one-time campaign, opt for marketing contracts with project-based payments. The trick is to negotiate your preferred alternative with the agency before signing the marketing services contract. Ensure that the intricate details of how the payment is to be made are included in the contract. This includes:

  • The expected payment schedule 
  • Mode of payment
  • Amount of payment in numbers and words
  • Name of the payment recipient
  • Late payment and extra fees

Be sure to work with a transparent agency. You ought to know what amount of your investment is going into paying for ads vs. management fees. Knowing such details about your marketing contract allows you to further assess the success of your campaign with ease. 

Confidentiality Clause

As a business, your cybersecurity posture is only as strong as your weakest link. With cybercrime a growing threat, you should be careful about the businesses you trust with your customer data. 

60% of businesses that experience a data breach close shop within six months. You don’t want to roll the dice, which is why you need to ensure your marketing contract includes a data privacy and confidentiality clause. You’ll feel more at ease knowing that your marketing agency is doing everything in its power to protect your data.

The kind of data you share with them can range from customer emails to intellectual property. If any of this information falls in the hands of cybercriminals, there is no telling how much damage might occur. Worst of all, it could result in your customers losing trust in your business. 

A Great Marketing Services Contract Equals a Successful Relationship

If you put together a solid marketing contract, establishing a constructive working relationship with the agency is far easier. Never agree to a contract you’re uncomfortable with. You always have the option to choose another agency if you can’t come to agree on the terms. Make sure you’re happy with all five components discussed in this blog, and you’ll be off to a great start when you start working with your marketing agency.