Digital Marketing Pricing Survey | GetCredo (2022): Digital Marketing Agency Pricing and Hourly Rates

Digital Marketing Agency Pricing and Hourly Rates


Average Digital Agency Rates (1)

The average hourly rate worldwide is $138. The average hourly rate for consultants is $143. The average hourly rate for agencies is $137.94.

One of the most common ways buyers look at a marketing agency’s price is through the lens of their “hourly rate.” 

Because of this, we’re including the hourly rates as self-reported by respondents to our survey. They are below.

Below that, we discuss hourly rates and why they are a decent proxy for how good an agency is – but not for the reasons you think!

It is important to note that 49.88% of agencies surveyed do not bill by the hour. 

  • Average digital marketing provider hourly rate worldwide is $138.
  • Average digital consultant hourly rate is $143
  • Average digital agency hourly rate is $137.94

Retainers For A Digital Agency

Agencies usually work primarily on retainers, as that lets them get the best results for their clients.

  • Approximately 50% of agencies have a retainer minimum of $2,000 per month or less.
  • Only 13.5% have a minimum of over $5,000 per month, and only 8% do not have a minimum.
  • Only 1.21% of respondents to the survey do not offer retainers!

Single Projects For A Digital Agency

Many agencies take single projects as well.

Sometimes they do this because they enjoy audits and do not like ongoing work. Others, to fill in revenue gaps and provide a service while also working towards earning a marketing retainer from that client.

  • 36% of agencies have a single project minimum under $2,000.
  • 21% have a single project minimum of over $5,000.
  • Just 10.47% do not have a minimum, and only 1.65% do not do single projects.

The Verdict?

Most digital agencies offer affordable marketing services and packages for both small businesses and larger enterprises.

This includes both retainers and single projects, depending on the need.

The price, of course, varies based on the scope of the project.

Some providers charge more to get a project done faster whereas others will charge less but the project may take longer to complete or results may take longer to be seen.

The Problem With Hourly Rates as a Proxy for Performance

Hourly rates are simply one measure and are often misinterpreted by buyers.

All too often, when talking with buyers, we hear the comment of, “Oh, that’s too expensive for me,” when an hourly rate is given.

The problem here is that the buyer has dismissed, out of hand, the potential provider off of one data point. Instead, they could ask why the provider is specifically charging that amount.

Get curious about why a provider is willing to charge that much! Believe it or not, agencies and service providers are not out to just take your money and not provide a service.

The Power of Brand Name and Quality Service

Here at Credo, we see that agencies often undercharge for their services. Usually, they could provide a much better service to their clients if they charged a bit more!

When a provider is willing to charge more (per hour or as a minimum for a project or retainer), it often means some very good things for you.

This works in the same way Rolex or Maserati can charge the prices they do. It’s name recognition and the willingness of others to pay the same.

It sounds crazy, but when a provider charges more it should mean that they:

  1. Are more experienced than someone charging less and is confident in their ability to drive value for you;
  2. Are likely in high demand and charging more is their way of managing their pipeline;
  3. Have confidence in their work product and that it is worth those rates.

When quoted a certain rate or amount for a project you should ask yourself first: why they are willing to charge that?

Then decide if paying them that rate is the right investment for your money or if this isn’t the right partnership for you. 

Figuring this out ahead of time is very difficult of course, which is specifically why we wrote our guide to hiring a marketing agency.

This page last updated on July 21, 2022 by John Doherty

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