Performance Pricing and Building True Client Partnerships

I recently came across a post on, which is fast becoming one of my new favourite blogs, called Agencies Must Embrace Performance Pricing.

The gist? Old-school agencies, be warned: your clients want you to put your money where your mouth is.

The article argued that the shift to performance pricing is inevitable.

Business leaders and their marketing heads expect more from their marketing dollars. They want partners who truly understand marketing’s responsibility beyond just impressions. Those who can build a brand by directly building revenue and market-share are the agencies that will endure in the 21st century.

Building True Client Partnerships Is Critical

I agree with the above statements, but I also believe that for this to work, businesses must view their digital marketing agency as a true partner and not just some external vendor. I don’t say this to be coy or selfish, but for very practical reasons.

If clients expect performance pricing then they must be willing to open their kimono or at least listen to the agency’s holistic recommendations.

For instance, a client who expects performance pricing from a search engine marketing (SEM) provider, yet does not give them a say when it comes to improving the landing page for conversion, is not, in my opinion, creating an environment that is conducive for a true partnership or achieving optimal results.

I realize this example is fairly simplistic. Also, it should go without saying that trust needs to be earned, but I do think it illustrates the very nature of my point.

At Fruition Interactive, we expect to have long-term partnerships with our clients. Nothing makes us happier than fast-tracking a client’s business growth from the work we’ve done together.

We Continue To Improve and Evolve…

We’re also fanatical about having the right metrics in place for tracking results. In some cases, we have even moved some of our services to more of a Pay for Performance or Guaranteed model.

It’s just one more thing we’re doing to be fully accountable to our clients. As results tracking evolves, we’ll continue to evolve along side it as an agency.

In the meantime, businesses should realize that in today’s digital world X effects Y, which impacts Z (results). Therefore, if a true partnership is to co-exist, business leaders can’t expect their agency to work from the outside in or in silos. They must allow them to work from the inside out or at the very least give them a seat at the table when considering overall strategy and optimization.

The 21st Century is an 11 Year Old Kid

As of 2012, 11 years of the 21st century have passed. Both the online marketing and new media industry is still in its infancy. However, moving forward, if both clients and modern agencies can co-exist under the terms of this new partnership, then perhaps a performance pricing model will arrive sooner than later.

In the meantime, we’ll continue to create true long-term partnerships with our clients because that’s when great things happen.