FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What does "Full Stack Marketing" mean?

Full stack marketing refers to our broad and diverse skill sets. In short, it means we're ideal for entrepreneurs and small business owners who require a marketing and communications firm with experience across every element of the "marketing stack". In practical terms, this means we're a one-stop shop for on-the-go businesspeople. If you need it, we do it.

How is your business model different?

We believe that the days of big agencies, operating in big offices, charging big fees will soon be over. Why pay $15,000 for a logo or $45,000 for a website when someone in Eastern Europe or Asia can deliver the same quality of work for $500 or $3,000 respectively? Why pay $150,000 for a brand strategy when an independent consultant, who would otherwise be the same person working at the agency and producing the work, would charge only $15,000? See what we mean? Change is happening and traditional agencies can't keep up. 

At Top Water, we focus on providing our clients' with senior, executive level expertise. We develop all of our brand strategies, marketing communications plans, media plans, public relations plans, government relations plans, advertising campaigns and public affairs campaigns in-house. We then sub-contract the creative through our extensive network of freelancers.  This provides clients access to dozens of "Creative Directors" rather than just one or two and it enables us to charge lower fees.

So, you're like the general contractor who built my house?

Sort of. Think of it this way: We provide all of the direction, analysis, deep thinking, strategizing and planning. We then outsource creative development to keep costs down.

If you want to liken our business model to homebuilding, we'd be the architect, interior designer, engineer(s), municipal planner and contractor/project manager. We then go out and find the best concrete pourers, carpenters, electricians, stonemasons, etc., to complete the project in a high-quality, cost-effective way.

How much do you charge? What's your hourly rate?

Our compensation structure is different with every client and depends on the type of work and nature of the project we're completing.

We don't have an hourly rate but our competition certainly does. Other agencies will charge anywhere between $75-$500 dollars per employee, per hour, which may look like this:

Senior Strategist: $300/hour

Creative Director: $300/hour

Jr. Copywriter: $125/hour

Graphic Designer: $100/hour

Now, imagine a one to two hour meeting with you to discuss your project? That's $825-$1,650 for a single meeting and you're going to have plenty of meetings, trust us.

Sometimes, they'll get generous and offer a "blended rate" which is usually in and around $150/hour, per employee.

Pretty nuts, right? Right.

We do things differently. We charge per project fixed fees so you know exactly how much to budget for.

More importantly, we're open to alternative forms of payment based on performance. For instance, let's say that Top Water and you agree that $5,000 is a fair price for a project. We're willing to charge $2,000 in exchange for a percentage of sales resulting directly from that project. This is called "Having skin in the game."