What is the cost of digital marketing: Marketing Agency Vs Freelancer?

At some point, most businesses hire external digital marketing experts to provide inbound marketing, SEO, PPC, and social media services. In Dubai, that experience comes in the form of agency or independent talent. In a tough B2C and B2B environment, budgets are tight and generosity limited, so how can potential customers afford the cost of digital marketing in Dubai? Why hiring a digital marketing agency in Dubai is cheaper than you think! Until now, establishing what are the reasonable costs to hire a digital marketing agency in Dubai has been murky and anything but transparent. Trusting your gut won’t get you very far and public data on utility rates and fees remains elusive.

If you are considering leveraging external digital marketing expertise, getting a clear line of sight on the average asking costs for monthly advances and hourly rates for digital marketing in Dubai can be challenging and time consuming to compile. Digital Marketing Pricing Survey Insights A recent survey by Credo, a company that matches potential clients with marketing agencies or consultants, released the results of their latest digital marketing pricing survey. The survey was distributed to 184 respondents in 19 countries and produced some interesting insights into current digital marketing cost trends. Independent consultants quote on a consistent basis based on hourly or monthly base rates and project fees. Digital consultant fees worldwide continue to be based on years of experience. Consultants with 1-3 years of experience charge around $88, while those with 10+ years of experience charge an average of $189.

Agency prices appear throughout the map. Agencies with 2-5 employees and 6-10 employees actually charge more on average than agencies with 11-20 employees according to the survey. SEO agencies seem insecure about pricing their services with prices being all over the place. The survey showed an hourly range of $145 to around $181. Agencies and consultants with a strong focus on strategy charge higher rates compared to those with a broader portfolio of services. Monthly advances, project fees, and hourly rates are all higher for strategy-related services.

customer implications

With so much variation in fee schedules and competition from independent consultants, the cost of hiring a digital marketing agency in Dubai may be cheaper than you expect.

Precisely assess what digital marketing services you’re looking for, overlay that with a monthly service fee from a pool of potential agencies, and use that as a starting point in your negotiations. Most agencies are very clear about their target cost base and utilization rates and therefore understand how far they can comfortably negotiate. Agency Versus Freelancer Unsurprisingly, there are a few key differences in pricing between freelancers and agencies:

Freelancers mostly serve clients through a combination of hourly rates and project-based rates.

The agency’s preference for monthly retainer contracts is not surprising, after all, they typically have more overhead to cover.

The digital marketing industry average monthly retainer contract starts at $1,000 and ranges up to $5,000.

The larger the agency, generally the more services they offer under one umbrella. If you’re looking for a mix of digital marketing services, hiring an agency will reduce the amount of coordination you need to do as a client. The larger the agency, the more customized solutions it typically provides, and therefore the higher the average price per client required to cover that specialized expertise and talent. The best clients Small and medium-sized businesses often feel they are at a disadvantage when dealing with an agency due to their lack of scale compared to larger clients. However, small and medium-sized businesses are often the best clients from an agency’s perspective.

The reality is that digital advertising as an industry in Dubai remains a comparatively immature market, with most agencies lacking the corporate expertise and infrastructure to serve clients on an enterprise scale.

Thus, small and medium-sized businesses provide an agency with reliable bread-and-butter revenue streams without the complexity and high service costs that come with large multinational clients. So, if you are a small or medium business, don’t be ashamed to negotiate with an agency. They need clients like you, another reason why the cost of hiring a digital marketing agency in Dubai may be lower than you expect! Agency services in high demand Despite the profusion of digital marketing services, SEO and PPC services remain the main source of income for most agencies. The top five services sought by clients are: SEO PPC Management Social Media Content Marketing Analytics and UX

Analytics and user experience (UX) design are gaining in popularity as their importance in attracting prospects and retaining customers becomes apparent. This recognition is reflected in its growing presence within the portfolio of digital marketing services that clients seek from their agencies.

While this is good news for the industry as a whole, it indicates a more disciplined and structured approach to digital advertising in the Middle East. It also points to a continuing lack of recognition by business owners and vendors of the need to implement adequate analytics capability in-house.

Similarly, ensuring an engaging user experience from the launch of a digital marketing initiative would go a long way in supporting consumer acceptance of online marketing, especially as regional Internet users have become more experienced and online UX expectations.

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Conclusion If you are in the process of hiring a marketing agency, the news is good. The cost of hiring a digital marketing agency in Dubai may be lower than you anticipate and there are different pricing structures and models available.

Many agencies use a combination of pricing models, such as monthly advance for standard services, milestone pricing for projects they do frequently, or hourly pricing for new or more complex work. Discuss which pricing model works best for you with your prospective agency and you may be in for a pleasant surprise!