The Benefits of Retainers: How to Stop Chasing Unicorns

“We’d like to find someone who can manage all of our marketing, help us define our strategy and personas, can design, knows web development, is a writer, loves social media, edits video, and can boost our SEO. Do you know anyone?” Unfortunately, this is often the conversation that happens within organizations as they begin taking their marketing seriously. We get it because we often end up hearing from them after their hunt for a unicorn is unsuccessful.

Within marketing today, finding one person, or even two, who can confidently step into all the disciplines required to market a brand is challenging. There are just too many areas to understand – and each requires levels of expertise that take time, energy, and experience to build.

Hunting for that unicorn, here’s the reality. An individual can be awesome at one thing, good at a few, or OK at a lot. It’s the theory behind seeking depth, not width. Going deep allows you to know one or two things well. Going wide allows you to know a little bit about many things – a mile wide and an inch deep.

As we shared above, this is one of the big business challenges we’re hearing from clients. To begin with, there are no unicorns. Then, add in current workforce challenges and economic pressures… Even if you could find 2-3 individuals to cover all of your marketing bases, the cost of onboarding them and adding new payroll creates a new set of challenges.

With this in mind, clients are coming to us as a team and asking if we can take this off their plates. Agencies like ours bring together a collective of talented individuals who can cover all the areas mentioned above. We don’t have any unicorns on our team, but we become the unicorn together. With retainers in place, we take an active role on our client’s teams, leading with strategy and planning and backing that up with the tactical expertise they need to execute on those strategies and plans.

The result? There’s no more need to chase unicorns.


If you think you need a unicorn or you’ve been hunting for one, there’s a better option. Find an agency you like and trust, explore what their team has to offer, and let them become your marketing unicorn. Your results will be better, your costs will be lower, and you’ll benefit from having experts on your team who are as invested in your success as you are.

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