Digital Marketing Industry Pricing Survey from Credo (updated 2019): Digital marketing agency and consultant hourly rates

Digital marketing agency and consultant hourly rates


We are frequently asked how much marketing agencies and consultants charge. This entire survey was geared towards answering that question, but this question specifically deals with the overall hourly rate pricing of digital marketing agencies and consultants who responded to our survey.

While it is impossible to nail down a specific average hourly rate based on our data, if we try by averaging the hourly rate ranges into the middle number for each, then the average hourly rate for digital marketers and digital marketing firms worldwide is $148.13 per hour.

Using the same data, the average hourly rate for US digital marketers/firm is $167.28 and the average hourly rate for UK digital marketers/firms is $111.36.

Here is the data:

Hourly rate Country
 $148.13 All
 $167.28 US only
 $111.36 UK
 $130.30 All other countries

The synopsis of this section is:

  • 1 in 5 of respondents with 50+ employees are in the $200-$300 range;
  • Almost half (45%) of agencies with 11-20 employees charge $100-$150/hr.
  • Agencies seem to be, on average, charging more in 2019 than they did in our 2017 survey.
  • That said, only 16.98% of all respondents say that they charge more than $200 per hour on average and a full 29.89% of respondents charge $101-$150 per hour for their work on average.

Digital marketer hourly rates

Here is the overview of hourly rate ranges regardless of company size:

And the raw data:

Under $50 $51-$100 $101-$150 $151-$200 $201-$300 $301-$500 $501+ Don’t bill hourly
8.86% 21.77% 29.89% 21.40% 12.55% 2.58% 1.85% 0.74%

If we break it down further, you can see the average hourly rate ranges by size of company:

Here is the raw data:

Company Size % Under $50 % $51-$100 % $101-$150 % $151-$200 % $201-$300 % $301-$500 % $501+ % Don’t bill hourly
1 (solo practice) 9.62% 31.73% 23.08% 20.19% 9.62% 1.92% 2.88% 0.96%
2-5 11.43% 20.00% 38.57% 12.86% 12.86% 1.43% 1.43% 1.43%
5-10 8.33% 8.33% 29.17% 29.17% 12.50% 8.33% 0.00% 0.00%
11-20 10.00% 0.00% 45.00% 30.00% 15.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
21-50 3.57% 14.29% 35.71% 28.57% 14.29% 3.57% 0.00% 0.00%
51+ 4.00% 24.00% 16.00% 28.00% 20.00% 4.00% 4.00% 0.00%

Digital marketing agency average hourly rates

Here is the breakdown of agency hourly rates (as a percentage of the total number of respondents in that range):

And the raw data:

Company Size % Under $50 % $51-$100 % $101-$150 % $151-$200 % $201-$300 % $301-$500 % $501+ % Don’t bill hourly
2-5 11.43% 20.00% 38.57% 12.86% 12.86% 1.43% 1.43% 1.43%
5-10 8.33% 8.33% 29.17% 29.17% 12.50% 8.33% 0.00% 4.17%
11-20 10.00% 0.00% 45.00% 30.00% 15.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
21-50 3.57% 14.29% 35.71% 28.57% 14.29% 3.57% 0.00% 0.00%
51+ 4.00% 24.00% 16.00% 28.00% 20.00% 4.00% 4.00% 0.00%

As you can see from the graph, most agencies cluster in the $100-$200 per hour range. Some interesting observations:

  • 1 in 5 of respondents with 50+ employees are in the $200-$300 range;
  • Almost half (45%) of agencies with 11-20 employees charge $100-$150/hr. Only 16% of agencies with 50+ employees charge in this range.
  • A full 75% of these 11-20 employee agencies charge $100-$200/hr;
  • Interesting 8% of agencies in the 5-10 employee range charge $300-$500/hr;
  • A small percentage don’t charge hourly or don’t calculate their expense on an hourly rate.

The observation from 2017 that smaller agencies are more likely to charge more as are larger agencies still seems to mostly hold true, though this year we see the larger companies charging more than in that survey.

If this is true, it means that agencies are on the whole charging more now than two years ago. This is a good thing if it enables them to do better work!

While this is useful to see, it also made us wonder how this varies by country. So here is average hourly rate by country for agencies:

And here’s the data:

Under $50 $51-$100 $101-$150 $151-$200 $201-$300 $301-$500 $501+ don’t do hourly
All countries 21.95% 24.39% 21.95% 14.63% 7.32% 4.88% 2.44% 2.44%
UK 8.00% 40.00% 28.00% 12.00% 12.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
US 2.08% 5.21% 40.63% 29.17% 17.71% 3.13% 1.04% 1.04%

The interesting callouts are:

  • 40% of UK respondent agencies charge $51-$100 per hour;
  • 40.63% of US respondent agencies charge $101-$150 per hour
  • 29.17% of US agencies charge $151-$200 per hour while only 14.63% of UK agencies charge this much;
  • “Other countries” on average charge much less than US or UK agencies, with ~46% under $100 per hour. There were 9 in  the “other countries” respondents under $50 per hour and 3 are in India. While this is not statistically significant, directionally it feels very correct.

Digital marketing consultant average hourly rates

Here are the solo consultant average hourly rates, as a percentage of the whole of consultant responses:

Here’s the raw data:

Company Size % Under $50 % $51-$100 % $101-$150 % $151-$200 % $201-$300 % $301-$500 % $501+ % Don’t bill hourly
1 (solo practice) 9.62% 31.73% 23.08% 20.19% 9.62% 1.92% 2.88% 0.96%

It is very interesting to see that worldwide:

  • Almost 1/3 (31.73%) of solo consultants worldwide charge $51-$100 per hour for their work;
  • 64.43% of solo consultant respondents charge less than $150/hr for their work;
  • 84.62% charge less than $200/hr for their work.

While this is useful to see, it also made us wonder how this varies by country. So here is average hourly rate by country for consultants:

And here is the raw data:

Under $50 $51-$100 $101-$150 $151-$200 $201-$300 $301-$500 $501+ Don’t bill hourly
All countries 3.70% 25.93% 22.22% 11.11% 11.11% 3.70% 0.00% 0.00%
UK 5.26% 68.42% 15.79% 0.00% 10.53% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
United States 3.64% 23.64% 27.27% 27.27% 9.09% 1.82% 5.45% 1.82%

A few specific callouts:

  • 68.42% of UK solo consultants say they charge $51-$100 per hour! Compare this with only 23.64% of US solo consultants.
  • US solo consultant hourly rates are spread pretty evenly from $51 to $200 per hour. It drop off precipitously from there, but there are 5.45% of the respondents who say they bill more than $500 per hour! The raw number here is 3 of the 55 who responded.

On average, US solo consultants charge a LOT more than UK consultants.

Our take on hourly rates

After reviewing the above data, let’s recognize that hourly rates are not a great way to gauge if you should work with someone or not. Here’s why.

If one person tells you that they charge $100 an hour and a project will take 30 hours, the project comes out to $3,000 total.

If another person tells you they charge $300 an hour and the project will take 10 hours based on their experience, then the cost is still $3,000.

Of course, you have to determine if you think the $300/hr person can actually get it done in 10 hours. You should also ask why they said 10 hours and why the other said 30 hours. This is usually because of better processes or more experience doing exactly the work you need, but the questions are still good to ask.

In this case, I would also ask for a flat fee project as opposed to an hourly project. If the project ends up taking the $300/hr person more than 10 hours, then they’ve effectively worked for a lower hourly rate. If you hire the $100/hr person and they take more than 30 hours, the same principle applies.

If you were paying them hourly, then your project could easily go from $3,000 to dramatically more. Not paying by the hour in this case will benefit you, as what you really care about is the value you are getting from the project.

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