quotes for marketing

How to Get Accurate Quotes for Marketing and Advertising

How to Get Accurate Quotes for Marketing and Advertising

What’s a reasonable quote for marketing?


Let’s face it.

There are few businesses that can survive without any marketing, those that do tend to work through direct sales and business development.

As a general figure, it’s recommended that startups and small businesses invest between 20% and 25% of their annual revenue on marketing costs.

With any marketing effort, once you find a method/channel that brings you a good return on your ad spend, it’s always best to narrow your focus on it to reap more business while you can.

The law of diminishing returns is also true with marketing – it may work now but that doesn’t mean it’ll always yield results, so get as much as you can from it.

Not getting the results you want is a bad reason for halting your marketing efforts. As marketing requires lots of trials and testing, marketing campaigns that fall short usually struggle on messaging, medium and market.


Is your messaging clear, concise and relevant? Is the copy well written and free of errors? Are you using too much jargon?


Are you using the right channel? Is the channel already saturated with similar services/products? What stage are you targeting prospects at – is it right for the channel you’re using? Have you carried out A/B testing on a number of advertising channels?


How well do you know your customer? Are you casting a narrow or wide net? Remember, if you try to speak to everyone, you’ll end up speaking to no one.


Sometimes, a bad product is a bad product that can’t be fixed with marketing it, so we’re assuming that you’ve got a great product/solution.

There isn’t a straightforward number on a reasonable quote for marketing as there are lots of variables;

Agency Size

Smaller agencies tend to take on marketing for smaller companies, as campaigns and projects don’t tend to be large. Some small agencies are also to take on larger clients, this is usually what helps their agency grow.

Don’t be fooled, though. We’ve worked with agencies with around 5 to 10 employees that have handled global marketing campaigns for some very large brands. However, this isn’t common and uses up most of a small agency’s resources thus meaning they’re unable to handle more than 2 or 3 large clients.

Ad Budget

This goes directly to the advertising platform and is separate from the management fee that agencies charge. Many assume that agencies receive a commission from advertising platforms but this isn’t the case with large ad platforms such as Google and Facebook.

Generally speaking, the higher the ad budget – the more optimisation is required, usually amounting to a higher management fee.

Remember, when you’re trying to get accurate quotes for marketing, be sure that you specify your ad budget separately. It’s usually better for agencies this way, they can take into account what’s needed to then give you a one of budget for any marketing collateral, as well as


Some industries are much more competitive than others, this means that agencies have to work harder to find ways to reach the target audience.

While you’d assume that niche industries with low competition mean cheaper quotes for marketing – this isn’t actually true.

Niche industries usually require comprehensive market research. As the target audience is extremely small, everything from messaging to targeting needs careful consideration.


A marketing agency in the City of London will naturally have higher expenses than a rural-based agency, namely payroll and rent.

Their fees will usually reflect this.

If you’re a small business with a local or hyper-local target audience, it may be better to work with a local marketing agency instead. They’ll already know the local demographics as well as any local advertising opportunities.


Agencies that have had worked with large brands will generally have higher costs. It’s a powerful driver for referrals while working as a brilliant piece of social proof.

If a marketing agency has worked with a large, publicly-traded company, you’d assume that they’re the best at what they do (and sometimes, they really are).


The tools each marketer uses can vary a lot and whilst some agencies don’t charge an additional fee for this – some agencies may reflect this in the quotation and some agencies will itemise this separately.

The services that require additional tools are;


Apart from advertising platforms, there are some great tools to reduce click fraud such as PPC Protect and Click Cease that agencies may need to use.


SEMRush, Moz, Ahrefs and UberSuggest are SEO/SEM tools that an agency may charge for.

What you should know before getting quotes for marketing

If you think of marketing as an expenditure, you’ll never be happy.

You’ll end up in a race to the bottom to find the cheapest quote if you don’t understand the value of marketing.

Marketing is an investment – and for good reason. If done right, it’s a sustainable way of bringing you new and repeat business, communicating with your customers or even getting investors on board.

Many businesses have saved thousands of pounds on shifting from a heavy sales-based approach to digital marketing instead. While this isn’t right for everyone, the most successful companies always have a mix of sales and marketing, cleverly manoeuvring users into the right channels.

What to watch out for when you get quotes for marketing


Cheaper than average pricing;

We’ve worked with small businesses that have had terrible experiences from cheap providers. Certain services such as SEO are not cheap, some shady SEO freelancers will purchase backlinks that can actually adversely impact your website’s search rankings.

Once you’re aware of the going market rate for a service, finding one that’s half the price could be a red flag.

Lack of communication;

This is a huge red flag. Marketing agencies that really care about building relationships with their clients will always invest time in getting to know you.

Whilst some smaller agencies may be extremely busy focusing on their current clients, they’ll be transparent enough to convey this to you and manage their time well enough to learn more about your business.

Agencies who don’t intend to work with you may brush you off completely, so no matter how good they seem, don’t bother with them if they lack respect.

Name dropping;

This has got to be the biggest red flag. Most sales are done through referrals and relationships within marketing, so it’s not impossible for a bad agency to land a big brand.

You’ll have to decide for yourself and trust your intuition; are they humbly name dropping to give you an idea of what they do or are puffing their chests out?


Agencies vs Freelancers


Agency Benefits;
  • Access to a wide talent pool of skills and ideas.
  • Able to work very quickly to deadlines.
  • An all in one solution – full-service agencies can cover all your marketing needs.
Freelancer Benefits;
  • Lower average costs than an agency.
  • Can devote more time to your business.
  • Usually high specialised in a handful of services.


Average Agency Costs


Before getting quotes for marketing, it’s always a good idea to know what you can expect to pay and how long you can afford to invest in marketing.

The diagram below gives you an idea of average marketing costs for various channels (via agencies) and you can read more about the most popular digital marketing services this year.

2021 has brought many changes; as companies are starting to invest in more durable and long-term channels, the demand has skyrocketed for content marketing, marketing strategy, and SEO.

You could expect to pay almost twice the averages shown below while many agencies have seen a huge demand in quotes for marketing.


quotes for marketing

Img. source – Adzooma


Know Your Marketing Jargon

There are lots of terms that may be thrown at you when you’re getting quotes for marketing. Agencies have to do this so they can get an idea of the deliverables and where the focus must be.

If you know what’s important to your business, it’s then easier to figure out what metrics are important to track, plus it’ll save you the hassle and headache of agreeing to a proposal that you don’t understand.

Getting Quotes from Marketing Experts

One of the fastest ways to get quotes for marketing is by posting a request through our network.

We’ve signed some of the best agencies we could find around the UK while looking at factors such as value for money, reputation and services offered.

You can post your marketing project here, see agency reviews and get quotes from our marketing experts. If you’re still figuring out which service you need, we recommend a quick read on our tips to consider when finding an agency.

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