Definition of a Marketing Agreement


A marketing agreement is a written agreement for marketing services between two or more parties. The specific marketing services covered under the agreement would be defined in the agreement. Most companies entering into marketing agreements are looking for outside services to be provided to them, usually in the promotion sector of the marketing discipline.

Promotion marketing may include services from advertising, public relations, media planning and buying, sales promotion or marketing research firms or consultants. The marketing agreement should outline services to be rendered from those firms as well as detail specific obligations under the agreement.

Legal Jargon

  • Like any legal agreement, the parties' company names, dba (doing business as) names and full addresses should be included in the opening paragraph of the agreement. This paragraph might also include language that notes the date that the agreement was entered into.


  • Under a marketing services agreement, deliverables expected from the agreement should be itemized and described in detail. It might be a number of radio commercials, PR placements or a research study designed and fielded.


  • The staff assigned to accomplish delivery of the promised creative items (the deliverables) should be described implicitly or explicitly, as some companies want to know exactly who will be working on their business, as different people have different talent levels and skill sets.

    Another aspect of staff that a marketing agreement might define is the number of work hours expected from each member of the marketing team. Those hours may be tied back to an hourly salary rate. Those combined salary rates, as well as out-of-pocket expenses incurred to provide the service, plus a profit margin, might be used as the basis for developing the marketing budget.


  • The marketing agreement might be for one or more years, or one or more days, depending on the nature of the services to be rendered. This is the "term" or duration of the agreement and should be clearly defined in the agreement.


  • A major part of a marketing agreement is the section on compensation. It is here that details are spelled out as to how the marketing organization will get paid. Often, ongoing industry rates may prevail, but sometimes big clients might impose their rate upon a service provider. The compensation section should detail the exact number of expected payments required over the term of the agreement, usually in monthly increments, and those dollar amounts stated.


  • Invariably agreements fall apart, and parties may need to go to court to adjudicate a dispute. The agreement should cover the jurisdiction of the court and where it is located, as well as the manner of redress permissible under the agreement---whether binding arbitration, mediation or legal action.

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