For example, Breef(Pay) could allow a brand to pay for a $50,000 project over 10 months, while the agency gets paid quicker through the financing. Raptis envisions the product easing budget conversations between the chief financial officer and the marketing team for a small or mid-sized brand.
“By the time the company is really starting to see the impact of paying the agency off, let's say use the 10-month example, the marketing team can say, 'Hey, look at how much we're growing.'” said Raptis, who co-founded the platform with Emily Bibb . “It creates more trust in that relationship, whereas the CFO hates paying $50,000 upfront and then never hearing how the campaign went.”
Also read: Outrage over 360-day agency payment terms
The tool, which was created in partnership with fintech company Tranch, comes as marketing budgets are getting cut. In March, Magna lowered its ad spend forecast for the year.
The offering builds on Breef's primary goal of matching brands with agencies. Breef uses an algorithm, as well as marketing strategists who previously worked in the industry, to create a shortlist of agencies for projects based on criteria set forth by a brand. Follow-up discussions between brands and agencies typically last around 14 days, according to Raptis, and can include chemistry sessions, discussions over scope and payment structure. While the process does include some level of pitching, the platform does not encourage spec work.
Brands must pay a $99 fee to post their project on the platform. While it's free for agencies to sign up, winning agencies end up paying pay Breef a referral fee based on project spend. Breef currently is catered toward boutique agencies and projects rather than agency of record relationships, according to Raptis, who said most agencies on the platform have under 50 employees. There are about 15,000 agencies and 30,000 brands on the platform, including Meta, AirBnB, Netflix and Pantone. Breef has managed over $100 million in projects since its launch and over 30% of its projects are currently from repeat users. Average project sizes also range between $50,000 and $200,000.
Other companies that offer an agency matchmaking service include Pudding.com, UpCity and HubSpot, which has its own agency directory. Raptis co-founded the platform with Emily Bibb, who previously held marketing roles at PopSugar, VSCO and S'well.