Shaun is a Growth Marketer at Lean Labs, working with deserving brands to create, implement, and optimize proven growth strategies.
You can’t buy success. Though this chestnut has varying levels of truth, the point is clear: You can’t just write a check and expect your business to grow and thrive. So, should you consider hiring a digital growth agency at all?
Though it’s true you can’t simply write a check for growth, partnering with the right growth team can help you grow your business, fill your pipeline, and position your brand for long-term success. But how much does it cost to work with a digital growth agency?
This article explores every component of digital growth agency pricing. We’ll cover factors that impact services, the benefits of working with a partner agency for your business’s growth, and some common missteps in partnerships with digital growth agencies.
When is it Time to Hire a Digital Growth Agency?
Also known as a growth marketing team or growth agency, the one thing growth agencies all have in common is that growth isn’t about hitting marketing KPIs; it’s about growth.
A typical KPI is traffic. “We want more traffic!” But traffic for the sake of traffic isn’t an indicator of growth. A sales pipeline full of qualified leads? That’s more indicative of growth. When push comes to shove, you need revenue for your company to survive. Company growth leads to revenue growth.
When hiring a digital growth agency, you must look beyond the obvious. You need to see proven results, straightforward pricing, and third-party confirmation that they’re easy to work with.
It sounds simple, but to get all three is a tricky balancing act.
So when is the right time to hire a digital growth agency? There are some signs to look out for:
- Your growth goals far outweigh your organization’s current growth efforts.
- You’re heavily outmanned by your competitors when it comes to growth.
- You have talent gaps in-house and don’t have the payroll budget to hire a full-time team.
- You’re ready to 10X your traffic and leads within the next 36 months.
Do any of those resonate? Read on!
1. Digital Growth Agency Pricing Factors
Naturally, you want to know how much it costs to hire a digital growth agency.
Approach the digital agency you choose on price alone at your peril. Instead, always have value front of mind. The agencies that get the best results will cost more than agencies that take your money and waste it on vanity metrics.
My wife always says, “Buy cheap, buy twice.”
The same sentiment applies to marketing. Good marketing always pays for itself; bad marketing will cost you more than dollars. It could cost you your business and reputation, too.
That said, what are the different pricing models?
This is often a flat fee for the project. Agencies determine how long they think a project will take and multiply it by an hourly rate. For a website design, a fixed fee can make sense.
It’s simple to understand and allows for transparency. It’s a good fit for new clients. The agency completes the project, and if it performs well and you’re satisfied, you might work with the agency on more significant projects.
However, if a project takes longer than anticipated or a higher-paying client comes along, your project might take a backseat or have resources diverted elsewhere. Also, if you want to make any changes, you’ll have to agree to another final price before continuing.
Agencies and most freelancers charge an hourly fee. It works for the agency or freelancer, but if the scope of the project changes, it hits your pocket. Every time a change needs to be made, or if something underperforms, the agency keeps changing its hourly rate until you’re happy.
Except you won’t be happy because you’ll be out of pocket, spending more than you planned for.
You risk subpar project completion with an emphasis on time spent on a project instead of value. You might be OK with that early on, but you need a more flexible budget as you scale.
In the hourly plus model, hours become “points.” If a website takes 10 hours to complete, that’s 10 points.
It’s a more flexible model. If clients want to add a new page to their website that wasn’t discussed initially, points can be added or funneled to create the new page.
In the points scenario, the client pays X amount for X number of points spendable on whatever they need or want that month. With built-in flexibility, you can draw points from the next month if needed or purchase further points.
Why does this model work? Because the agency promises to your new website will take 15 points. If it’s not completed in 15 hours, the agency swallows the cost of going over budget.
For agencies confident that they can provide results and deliver revenue, value-added pricing is a risk they’re willing to take.
In this scenario, an agency that usually charges $250 an hour would charge $100 plus 15% of the revenue attributable to their actions. It’s performance-based pricing and it aligns the incentives for both parties.
2. Why Partner with a Growth Team?
When digital growth agencies focus solely on growth, aligning on a vision is easy. You want to grow. You need more revenue. We have the same goal!
Instead of dividing work between team members and hoping for the best, growth teams are cross-functional. Growth teams work towards filling your sales pipeline with qualified leads and work to improve performance at every opportunity. This means your team can be more agile and adapt to changing markets.
With a scientific, data-driven approach, growth teams collaborate with you to bring together your marketing, product, and sales teams and crush your goals. This collaboration tears down siloes and focuses on the 6 Levers of Growth.
A dedicated growth team communicates the importance of growth initiatives to your entire organization. It makes it easier to set meaningful marketing goals based on metrics that matter, not vanity metrics.
3. Common Missteps in Digital Growth Agency Partnerships
Choosing Your Partnership Based Solely on Upfront Pricing
It’s never wise to find the lowest-priced agency and dive in. Without courting controversy, they’re cheap for a reason.
You’ve got to consider ROI. If good marketing pays for itself and bad marketing costs more than money, how do you decide which agency will drive ROI? It comes down to success. Look for agencies with case studies, plenty of good reviews, and a solid Net Promoter Score (NPS). Don’t be afraid to ask for details.
Agencies that deliver the goods are willing to show and tell.
“Think great marketing is expensive? Wait until you see the cost of bad marketing.”
- Kevin Barber Head of Growth @ Lean Labs
You’re not investing in growth if you outsource all of your marketing. You’re just writing a check and hoping for the best. It might work for a while, but nobody knows the ins and outs of your business like you do.
You know your customers and how you want to position your brand and product. You have expertise in your field. You have a unique experience. All of those things breathe life into your marketing. Without your input, your marketing will fall flat.
Instead, look for a hybrid growth team. A hybrid growth team works with you, not for you. With transparent processes, plans, and progress, both the agency and your team can focus on the right activities to achieve the right goals.
Losing Sight Of Your Goals
You can’t work on everything at once. Strategic planning is necessary to facilitate steady growth. Of course, we all want massive growth, but you can’t rush the process.
Separating KPIs and prioritizing goals in a given period or quarter ensures you’re laser-focused on each objective. Use a tool like the Growth Grader to identify the biggest area of opportunity, and focus your efforts there.
Instead of shiny object syndrome, where your attention is pulled to the next hack or trick for driving traffic or purchasing leads just to increase vanity metrics, break goals down into micro-goals, and get small wins. Each small win adds up to a big win over time.
Working with a Digital Growth Agency: Next Steps
This post should give you an idea of what you can expect regarding digital growth agency pricing.
If you want to take your organizational growth to the next level and gain an incredible ROI on your marketing efforts, partnering with a growth team might be the right move.
You have several options for outsourced growth teams. Still, if you want a scalable option that will allow you to produce repeatable results in perpetuity, you truly need a hybrid growth team.
Lean Labs’ hybrid growth model helps kickstart your growth by leveraging the experience of an entire team part-time while you build your own team in-house. Get in touch with us to see how we can help you reach your growth goals, or check out The Growth Playbook to steal the strategies we use to 10x revenue growth for our clients.
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