Relationships are key to the success of a marketing agency, and protecting those relationships with contracts is crucial. Without a contract, both the agency and the client are left open to misunderstandings and even litigation.
Read our guide because it dives into the importance of comprehensive marketing contracts, and looks at how templates can be the key to creating streamlined agreements.
- What a marketing agency contract template is
- How a comprehensive marketing contract can benefit you
- What to include when writing a marketing contract
- Advantages of using a template from a site like Bonsai
- What to watch out for when customizing your contract template
- Frequently asked questions.
What Is a Marketing Agency Contract Template?
A Marketing Agency Contract Template is a document that acts as a scaffold to define the terms of a business relationship between a marketing agency and its clients. A marketing agency contract template is tailored for marketing services and defines the responsibilities and obligations of both parties.
It makes sure everyone understands what services will be provided, the compensation required for the services, and the duration of the entire marketing agreement.
Using a template hugely streamlines the process of creating a contract, and also reduces the risk of missing out on something essential. A template typically outlines the scope of agency services, which include advertising strategies, branding, and social media marketing.
The template will also include details regarding payment terms and binds both the agency and client legally. Payment terms could include things like how profits will be shared, and processes for bonuses.
A template often includes confidentiality clauses, which protect intellectual property rights, and may include non-compete clauses. The template also makes sure liability waivers and warranties are laid out and gives examples of remedies in the event of contract breaches.
The ideal template is designed to be customizable to the needs of the agency and the client. They are legally binding documents and utilize the signatures of both parties to consent to the terms provided.
There are many examples of contract templates available, and one of the most comprehensive providers is Bonsai! We offer a huge range of contract templates, including this Digital Marketing Contract Template and this Branding Contract Template.
Benefits of a Superior Marketing Agency Contract
A comprehensive, well-designed marketing agency contract has many benefits — it underpins the success of a client and agency business relationship, ensuring everyone is protected and there are no misunderstandings.
Before you begin writing your contract, there should be a negotiation period where both you and the client make representations regarding your expectations.
Clearly Defines Expectations
A good marketing contract clearly defines expectations — this can include the goals, steps to be taken, and expected outcomes of the marketing campaigns. Clearly defined expectations provide a point of reference against which to measure performance and task completion. It ensures both the agency and client are on the same page right from the beginning of the agreement.
Outlines the Responsibilities of Both Parties
When each party understands their responsibilities and expectations, the workflow can proceed smoothly. A good contract will outline the agency’s duties, which can include managing social media accounts, creating advertising strategies, or coming up with marketing materials.
The client’s responsibilities can include providing tools, equipment, and resources to achieve the desired outcomes. The client can also be required to provide feedback on how the work is proceeding.
If there is an expectation for either party to undergo training or share their expertise and experience, the contract should clearly state this. Having clearly defined expectations ensures that collaboration avoids misunderstandings.
Protects the Interests of All Involved
Protecting interests is key for both the client and the agency. A stellar contract includes provisions for confidentiality, non-disclosure, and intellectual property rights. This ensures trade secrets, trademarks, and copyrights are protected. The contract should also include a section that spells out liabilities, warranty, and indemnification policy.
Builds Trust and Helps Build a Good Working Relationship
A contract that includes clear terms and obligations increases trust between both parties. It demonstrates that the agency and the client are both respectful of the other’s roles and are committed to the business relationship.
Outlines the Proper Avenues for Termination
The ideal marketing contract includes the terms for termination, and what will happen in the case of a breach of contract or other certain conditions.
Clearly state that your contract can be terminated under certain conditions, and specify them. A termination clause protects from legal conflicts and provides a process to follow if parting ways becomes necessary.
To ensure your business is protected, try one of Bonsai’s comprehensive contract templates, like this Marketing Consultant Template! Download one today, totally free, to get started!
Essential Components of an Effective Marketing Agreement
So, what should an effective marketing services agreement contain? We break down the key aspects of a comprehensive contract.
This section outlines the marketing services that the agency will provide to the client. It can include details of marketing strategies, social media campaigns, and marketing materials. This section forms the framework of the agency’s work and outlines the scope of agency services.
Payment and Fees
Clearly listing payment terms and fees is essential to avoiding disputes. The ideal agreement specifies payment terms, which include amounts, invoices, and payment schedules. The contract should also specify how expenses and costs can be claimed, and include a section for how to address revisions to fees and payments in case there are changes to the scope of the project.
The termination clause includes clear details on how the business relationship can be ended. It should include notice periods, obligations, extenuating circumstances, and any ongoing obligations upon the closure of the agreement.
Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure
This section is vital for protecting everyone’s information! Confidentiality and non-disclosure provisions protect both parties’ trade secrets, business plans, and customers’ data. If a lot of people are involved in the project, such as a whole team of workers, everyone involved in the project must sign a nondisclosure agreement.
Relationship Between Parties
The agreement can be used to clarify the nature of the business relationship. It should clearly state whether the agency is being engaged as an independent contractor, subcontractor, or in another capacity. This section is essential as it has an impact on taxes, liability, and other legal considerations.
Intellectual Property Rights
This part of the contract governs who owns the creative work that may be produced as part of the collaborations. Intellectual property rights should be clearly defined to clarify ownership of content, logos, and other promotional products.
In some cases, the contract will include an exclusivity clause, which will define whether the agency is restricted from providing similar marketing services to competitors.
Limitation of Liability
This section sets a cap on the liability for damages or losses that either party will have to pay if there is a failure to meet the terms of the contract. It protects both parties in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
A severability clause is designed to ensure that if one part of the contract is found to be unenforceable, the rest of the agreement is preserved and remains in effect.
This part of the clause states that the written contract template is representative of the entire agreement between the client and the agency and that it takes precedence over any prior agreements or verbal discussions.
Things to Include When Writing a Marketing Agency Contract
Identify the Parties Involved
Begin the document by identifying all parties involved. This could include the client, the agency, a company or business, and any contractors involved. Include the name, title, and address of each party in the contract.
Ownership and Intellectual Property
In this section, clearly state the ownership of any trademarks, copyrights, patents, or content created during the term of the contract. Make sure this section includes language that protects intellectual property rights and states how the intellectual property will be handled in the event of a termination.
Every marketing contract template should include a confidentiality clause that requires a period review. This means that confidential information and trade secrets stay protected from being disclosed to a third party.
Contract Duration and Deadlines
State the duration of the agreement, including the start date and end date, and any deadlines within the timeline of the contract, such as for specific tasks or deliverables. This section provides a clear timeline for project completion, ensuring everyone is on the same page.
Scope of Work
This component is tailored for marketing services and details deliverables and timelines. It can include details of projects, campaigns, strategies, or action steps that will be performed.
Dispute Resolution and Liability
It’s important to outline the methods for dispute resolution in the case of disagreements, such as arbitration and mediation. This will hopefully prevent any court actions from occurring. Make sure this section defines the liability of each party in the event of a breach.
Payment Information, Budget, and Pricing
In this part of the contract, detail fees, payment schedules, expenses, and revenue expectations, as well as how compensation will work.
A contract template can be particularly useful for making sure you include all relevant details for your circumstances — for example, this Lead Generation Contract Template has all the details necessary for crafting a comprehensive contract for a lead generation agreement.
Signature and Date
Every contract should include space for both parties to sign and date — this binds both the agency and the client to the contract terms. The documents can either be digitally signed online, or printed out and signed in person.
Advantages of Using a Marketing Agreement Template
There are several advantages to using a template when drawing up a marketing agreement. These include:
Simple to Use
When you use a template, you’ve got an easy starting point to create your contract. It takes all the guesswork out of drafting contracts — you know it covers all essential provisions, causes, and terms. Templates are user-friendly and are particularly helpful for small companies who may not be able to afford a lawyer to review all their contract writing.
Quick and Streamlined
Time is critical for businesses, and a marketing agreement template helps you save time that could be spent on growing your businesses and doing paid work. It allows both parties to move on with the agreement quickly.
A template contains all key sections and has legal jargon already in place, so you have the chance to focus on tailoring the agreement to fit the project or partnership in question.
Every agency and client is unique, and that is why it is so important that templates can be customized. All Bonsai templates are easily customizable, so you can make sure they fit the needs of your business. Whether you want to use the contract for social media marketing agreements, branding, or advertising campaigns, the agreement can be changed to accommodate your preferred goals, strategies, and deliverables. You can also edit details such as scope of work, fees, and payment terms to suit your preferences.
Still not sure if a template is right for you? Why not just give one a try? Bonsai has a huge range of templates, specialized for a wide range of marketing services. Try the PR Contract Template, the Social Media Contract Template, or the Client Contract Template — there’s something to suit every situation!
Things to Watch Out for When Editing a Marketing Agreement Template
When editing your contract template, make sure you consider the following aspects:
Clear and Precise Terms with Minimal Ambiguity
A contract needs to avoid ambiguity wherever possible, as it can lead to misunderstandings and even disputes and litigation. Make sure everything is crystal clear, including provisions related to expenses, scope of work, and compensation. Make certain your document outlines the responsibilities of all parties with clear language.
Accurate and Up-to-Date Party Information
Check thoroughly that all information about the client and agency in the document is verified and up to date.
This includes names, titles, addresses, and contact details. If these are wrong, it can lead to a breach of the agreement and can even cause issues surrounding enforcing the terms of the contract. Correct information also ensures any notices or other communications are received.
Compliance With Relevant and Current Laws and Regulations
Ensure the contract complies with state and federal governing laws. This should include laws surrounding marketing practices, intellectual property rights, confidentiality, and data protection. Ensure all disclaimers, warranties, and indemnification clauses are carefully scrutinized to ensure the contract is legally sound in your jurisdiction.