How to Negotiate an Online Marketing Contract (1,033 words)
With an array of costs, providers and services, choosing the right model can be a mystery
By James Crouthamel
As more and more retailers are competing for the ever-elusive consumer dollar, an online marketing strategy is becoming increasingly important and should be an integral part of your corporate marketing effort.
There is an array of online advertising models from which you can choose—cost per million, cost per click, cost per acquisition or cost per X (which is any variable), using banner ads, textual links, e-mail, wireless, etc.—all of which can be useful to both developing your brand and driving sales online. There are also many online service providers that can help you meet your online goals—banner networks, performance-based companies, e-mail providers, etc. This article will help you prepare for and negotiate your online marketing program, regardless of who provides your online programs.
Prioritize Your Service Needs
A contract should not be negotiated until you have an outline detailing your organization's needs. Perhaps you are looking to be branded across a very wide spectrum of sites. Maybe you're looking for lead generation for your service or product. Or maybe you just want sales. Whatever your particular needs may be, you need to identify the services you want—and determine the most critical elements for success.
This is where prioritizing comes in. The best way to prepare is to review the list of available services and decide what is important. If you're not familiar with online marketing, you might wish to survey industry colleagues. Ask them what the most popular services are, and what benefits, costs and rewards come with each service. Also inquire about the rationale behind different rates and programs. Performing this exercise will allow you to confidently go into negotiations knowing what is a "must-have" and what you can do without to achieve your ultimate program goal.