If you’re looking for an advertising agency or a marketing communications firm or a web developer or a direct marketing partner, there’s good news. You won’t be shopping on price.
This is kind of weird for most market consumers – virtually everything we buy has a price attached to it, and generally, the choice we make on any given purchase tends to include price as a determining factor.
But with marketing, it’s different. With marketing services, YOU set the price. You say “I want this and this and that and that, and I’m willing to spend $X.” Pretty cool position to be in, eh? Imagine if you could walk into your favorite restaurant, and say “I want the Sea Scallops appetizer and the John Dory Entrée and I think I’ll have the Green Tea Ice Cream dessert… and I want to only pay $42 for everything. Oh, and throw in a glass of Riesling with the entrée!”
That’s pretty much how it goes with marketing. Let’s say you’re about to embark on an advertising campaign. You would never solicit five proposals and then select the most inexpensive agency. [For one thing, you couldn’t really solicit a proposal without stipulating a budget.] And secondly, these kinds of services aren’t shopped on price. You’re searching for ingenuity. Or practicality. Or intense creativity. Or humor. Or whatever you think might move the needle.
Buying marketing services is NOT like buying tires, where you go from shop to shop, looking for the best deal.
Unfortunately, many would-be marketers like to play the “I’m not telling you my budget” game. They think that by withholding that parameter, they’ll get more affordable services. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Every ad agency, every web development company, every marketing consultant thinks they have a feasible answer to your quandary. But we all think you should be spending a minimum of $10 million.
Here’s another rub. The supplier (agency, developer, or restaurant owner) can simply say “no.” [Sadly, not many of them do. But it’s really necessary sometimes.] Some suppliers can’t do what you’re asking for $42. Or WON’T do what you’re asking for $42. And those answers will help you make important decisions later on.
So, next time you’re shopping for marketing/advertising/web services, do yourself and the professional on the other side of the table a favor: set a budget. It’s the best way to get a straight answer, the only way to compare apples to apples when you’re reviewing your proposals, and probably one of the very few times in your professional life when YOU get to determine what something will cost.