Agency Compensation Consulting

Agency compensation is one of the most important criteria to consider when selecting a partner. In order for the relationship between the agency and client to be successful the agency must be fairly compensated for their efforts and the client must receive value for that compensation. Fee structures of digital agencies can vary wildly so it is important to align the services to be provided with fair market values for those services.

Working with Guidant Search Partners can save your company thousands of dollars in agency fees.

Guidant’s Agency Compensation Consulting Services

When companies engage Guidant we leverage our experience on the agency and client side when structuring contracts and negotiating fees in order to ensure that both sides are satisfied with the fee structure. Our agency search and selection include compensation consulting but some companies choose to use us simply for the compensation and contract terms consulting.

  • SOW Review – We ensure that the statement of work to be performed by the agency is detailed and also the right mix of services for your company’s needs. Failure to dial in the SOW and set expectations is the #1 reason why agency/client relationships go bad and make fair fee negotiation impossible.
  • Benchmarking – We make sure that your web analytics data and other historical data is set up properly so that there is a mechanism to measure the success of the services being performed by your new agency.
  • Fee Negotiation – Working with Guidant gives you an asset in the negotiation that not enough companies have when dealing with agencies. We offer a buffer which will help you avoid starting with relationship with lingering bad feeling from the negotiation and more importantly understand where agencies try to hide fees or  limit the scope of work. We work closely with clients to develop a fee structure that closely aligns with budget, cash flow, and the value of services to be provided.
  • Compensation Assessment – If you are already working with an agency and need an examination and evaluation of the agency cost structures then we can help. Guidant offers services to evaluate the SOW, agency performance, and fee structure. It is not uncommon that your needs have changed and the agency has not adapted.
  • Creative Compensation Solutions – There are many types of agency compensation structures available. While not all agencies are flexible we often find that some of the best partnership come with agencies that are vested in the success of their clients. Guidant

Types of Agency Fee Structures

Project Based – Fixed fee engagements with an outlined statement of work are the most common type of fee structure for SEO companies.

Hourly/Retainer Based – A lot of agencies prefer a retainer with an allocated number of hours for each month. This can be effective when companies have loosely defined or evolving needs. It can be a problematic structure for companies that have fixed budgets especially if the agency is not efficient with the use of the allocated time.

Performance Based – There are always agencies out there that offer “performance based” services. Historically the SEO companies that have offered this type of fee structure have been some of the least trustworthy. Guidant recommends only considering a performance based agency compensation structure for paid advertising campaigns and the performance should be benchmarked and based on sales or ROI,

Hybrids – Many agencies are adopting hybrid fee structures which most typically a monthly retainer and an agency performance bonus based on results. This type of structure can work very well for paid advertising on search, display, and social media but requires total transparency and  tightly integrated analytics. Hybrid and performance based agency compensation structures do not work well for SEO.

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