How to Determine Profitability for Your Marketing Agency

Tap into the hidden power behind your marketing agency’s success! Get a comprehensive knowledge of how to calculate profits, allowing you to make smart investments that will maximize returns. Now is the time to uncover profitable opportunities and grow your business like never before.

This article reveals the challenges within the digital marketing industry, keeping up with technology and pricing changes and calculating the key metrics you should be tracking to determine your business’s profitability.  


Calculating the profitability of a digital marketing agency is no small feat. With multiple interconnected income streams from different services and clients, measuring a real return on investment can be very complex. 

Add to this the dynamic nature of a digital agency, in which new product offerings, changing advertising strategies, and rapidly evolving trends can lead to unpredictable fluctuations in income and costs. 

Despite the complexity of the task, it’s still crucial for agencies to gather this data periodically so they can plan appropriately and make knowledgeable decisions that help them sustainably grow their business. 

Pricing Switch

As technology continues to impact many industries, the digital industry has been particularly affected in recent years. Many businesses are moving away from time-based billing and opting for flat-rate pricing models. 

    • Time-based billing measures progress by answering the question, “How long did this project take?”
    • Value-based pricing recognizes that particular work may require more or less time, depending on individual variables, and places a greater focus on the perceived benefits of a job. 
    • Flat rate pricing goes one step further by lumping deliverables into established packages with fixed prices. 

Moving away from charging for specific hours produces a win-win situation for both customers and vendors. Customers will know how much they will consistently pay, while agencies can predict revenue and more easily set competitive prices without worrying about chasing hours for payment. 

As businesses become more creative about how they charge for their services, these new models will drive innovation in the digital industry for some time. 

However, your agency’s success depends directly on your profitability. Let’s explore the steps needed for this essential process.

Gross Profit Margin (GPM) 

The first metric to consider is gross profit margin or GPM. Gross profit margin is a great way to gain insight into the efficiency of your business operations. By subtracting costs directly related to production from total revenue, you can get an accurate representation of efficiency; if the GPM percentage increases, then your processes become more profitable.

Project Scope 

Determining gross profitability at the client or project level can be a valuable tool for understanding the financial performance of your business. Accounting software programs like FINSYNC offer an easy way to track this data, providing insightful metrics that allow you to assess better how much value each customer is bringing in and how cost-efficiently you are running your operations. 

As part of your analytics inventory, this knowledge will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Understanding gross profitability and overall project scope, a process that helps determine the overall project goals, can empower you to refine your budgeting measures and make decisions that drive increased profit and return on investment (ROI).

Marketing Agency Rule of Thirds

What is a successful marketing agency’s gross profit margin? Here we coin an old photography phrase, the rule of thirds, which has adapted to several different industries. This simple concept suggests that your business income should be divided into thirds. One-third is directly transferred to your employee wages, one-third to overhead, and the final third is your desired profit margin. 

The rule of thirds permits businesses to make enough profit while still having the resources to build their agencies in other areas. It also encourages reinvestment so agencies can continually improve while still having room for revenue growth. Finally, this method allows you to adapt quickly if market conditions change. 

Knowing what ideal profit margin you would like to achieve before determining expenses can be instrumental in setting yourself up for long-term success in the digital marketing space. Overall, marketing agencies often succeed with net profit margins ranging from 6-10%, with digital firms pushing the envelope even further, achieving 20% net profit or higher.


At the end of the day, your business boils down to one thing – profit. Gross Profitability and strategic project scope give us a vivid reflection of how well your efforts are performing. This information can then be used to target resources, drive decision-making, and inform future projects in a way that keeps the company running efficiently and successfully. 

Furthermore, state-of-the-art accounting software helps businesses go beyond simple revenue and cost analyses to drill down into the details of their performance. Utilizing gross profit metrics and project or client costing insights gives business owners invaluable information on what’s leading them toward greater success.


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